News and Events

  • 8th International PCB Workshop Journal Released

    March 30, 2016

    Proceedings from the 8th International PCB Workshop in Woods Hole, MA were released in the February 2016 journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The conference was entitled "PCBs in Schools, Exposures, Effects, Remediation and Regulation."

    A primary objective of the PCB Workshop was to provide a single forum for the world experts on issues of analysis, fate and transport, exposure assessment, metabolism and disposition, toxicity, and public health policy – a unique opportunity for scientists to come together and learn from each other. 95 articles are included in the journal.

    There were over 200 attendees. The conference was oranaized by the University of Iowa Superfund Research program and the Boston University Superfund Program. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences helped support the conference with grant R13 ES024637.

  • Ninth International PCB Workshop-Save the Date!

    March 24, 2016


    The University of Iowa Superfund Research Program(isrp) will be co-hosting the Ninth International PCB Workshop in Kobe, Japan from October 9-13, 2016. The workshop will be entitled "PCBs Risk Evaluation and Environmental Protection."

    A primary objective of the International PCB Workshops is to provide a single forum for the world experts on issues of analysis, fate and transport, exposure assessment, metabolism and disposition, toxicity, and public health policy of PCBs- a unique opportunity for scientists to come together and learn from each other. This Workshop will include presentations on sources and occurrences of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); toxification mechanisms and targets; as well as an emphasis on human exposure, risk evaluation, and environmental protection.

    The target participants are government, academic and industry scientists working on PCBs, with expertise on their detection, occurrence, exposure & risk assessment, regulation and policy development. This is the first time the Workshop will be held in Asia and over 200 attendees are expected. The Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry is co-hosting9th International PCB Workshop the event.

  • First Ever Urban PCBs Emissions Inventory

    March 16, 2016


    In the October 6, 2015 issue of Environmental Science and Technology four researchers from the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program report on an inventory of PCB stocks and emissions for Chicago, Illinois. Caitlan Shanahan, Scott Spak, Andres Martinez, and Keri Hornbuckle reported that stocks and emission are highly concentrated and not correlated with population density or demographics at the neighborhood scale. The abstract for the report can be found at    


  • National SRP Meeting Highlights

    February 17, 2016


    The Iowa Superfund Research Program was well represented at the National Superfund Research Program Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico in November 2015.SRP National Director Bill Suk, far left, presents Bill Klaren, second from right, a poster award

    Superfund trainees Gopi Galupudi, Bill Klaren, Marisa Salomon Beltran, Eric Rodriguez, and Victoria Parker presented posters. Bill received a best-poster award for his presentation(co-authored by Gadupudi GS, Wels B, Simmons DL, Olivier AK, Robertson LW, University of Iowa SRP) entitled "Progression of micronutrient alteration and hepatoxicity following acute PCB 126 exposure." Only 4 best poster awards were given from the 100+ posters presented.

    Dr. Peter Thorne, University of Iowa SRP Project 6 Leader, presented a poster entitled " Exposures to PCBs Not Found In Commerical Mixtures: Evidence from Biomonitoring Among Urban and Rural Adolescents and Their Mothers." Dr. Thorne also presented a platform from Project 7 (Peter S. Thorne, Xin Hu, Andrea Adamcakova-Dodd, Hans Joachmim Lehmler) entitled " Subchronic Inhalation Toxcity Study of a Complex PCB Mixture Representing Urban Air."

    Community Engagement Core Leader Dr. Craig Just presented a poster, co-authored by David Osterberg, Scott Spak, University of Iowa SRP, entiteled " The Iowa Superfund Research Program, Ecolotree, and the Town of Altavista Expand a partnership. He also co-led a CEC/RTC work group discussion on 'online communication of science" with Kathrin Lawlor from Dartmouth University.

    Other attendees included Dr. Larry Robertson, Director of the Iowa Superfund Research Program; Gabrielle Ludewig, Training Core Leader; David Osterberg, Research Translation Core Leader; and David Purdy, Program Administrator.

    Mindy Sickels, Business Manager for the Iowa Superfund Research Program, facilitated the National Superfund Research Program Confernce's Project Administrator sessions.


  • Students Win Awards at Central States Toxicology Meeting

    February 17, 2016


    The University of Iowa Human Toxicology Program had 6 winners at the Central States Toxicology Conference in Kansas City in October 2015. Gopi Gadupudi won in Oral Presentations-Graduate Student; Susanne Flor won in Oral Presentations- Postdoctoral fellows; and Mengshi Li, Claire Doskey, Marisa Salomon Beltran, and Aditya Stanam won in Poster Presentations. Gadupudi, Flor, Doskey, and Beltran are working on Superfund Projects at the University of Iowa.

     Mengshi Li, Sanne Flor, Gopi Gadupudi, Claire Doskey, Marissa Beltran Salomon

    Pictured are Mengshi Li, Sanne Flor, Gopi Gadupudi,

    Claire Doskey, and Marissa Salomon Beltran


  • Superfund Research Program Funding Renewed

    February 17, 2016


    The Superfund Research Program at the University of Iowa (isrp) has received a five-year renewal of funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health. Based at the UI College of Public Health since 2005, the isrp is a joint endeavor involving basic, mechanistic, and applied research projects in biomedical and environmental research areas addressing semivolatile polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

    The overall goal of the isrp is to identify atmospheric sources, exposures, and potential consequences to human health of semi-volatile PCBs. To achieve this goal, the isrp addresses volatilization, transport and resultant exposure of lower halogenated PCBs, especially those PCBs that are associated with contaminated waters, former industrial sites, and buildings (especially school buildings). The program identifies routes of exposure with an eye to preventing or limiting exposure and ameliorating the effects.

    New funding for the period 2015 – 2020 brings the total of NIH support for this effort centered at the University of Iowa to a sum in excess of $40 million.

  • Li and Uwimana to Present at March 28, 2015 Jakobsen Graduate Conference

    March 26, 2015

    The Jakobsen Conference is an annual conference for University of Iowa graduate students, organized by fellow graduate students. It was established in 1998 through the generous contributions from the Jakobsen family, the Graduate College, and local businesses.

    Miao Li and Eric Uwimana, two graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology and trainees in the Iowa Superfund Research Program (isrp), will present their research in the Oral Presentation 1 section, 1-2:15PM, in the Nebraska (room 335) room of the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa main campus.

    Spreading Sickness: The Unhealthy Environment
    Miao Li, Human Toxicology
    Protein Adducts and Crosslinking Caused by PCB Quinoid Metabolites


    Eric Uwimana, Human Toxicology
    Nicotine Co‐treatment Alters the Disposition of 2,2',3,5',6‐Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 95) Following Sub‐Acute Treatment of Male Rats with Racemic PCB 95

  • Nelson Lead Author of ES&T Letters Best Paper

    March 26, 2015

    Five best studies were selected from Environmental Science & Technology Letters (ES&T Letters) publications in 2014 that spanned a variety of important topics ranging from green energy to pollutants in water and air, with important implications for scientists and engineers.

    Andrew Nelson, PhD student in the University of Iowa Human Toxicology Program, is the lead author of one of the five best papers, "Matrix Complications in the Determination of Radium Levels in Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water from Marcellus Shale." ES&T Letters editors noted that this study reinforced the challenges of working with highly saline solutions produced by gas and oil production systems.

    The article was published in ES&T Letters in volume 1, 2014:204-8, DOI: 10.1021/ez500379.

  • UI engineers find switchgrass removes PCBs from soils

    March 11, 2015

    University of Iowa researchers have found a type of grass that was once a staple of the American prairie can remove soil laden with PCBs, toxic chemicals once used for cooling and other industrial purposes.

    The researchers report that switchgrass successfully removed up to 40 percent of the PCBs from contaminated soils in lab experiments. When boosted by a PCB-oxidizing microorganism, the removal rate reached 47 percent.

    Read more