Exposures, Health Impacts, and Risk for Mine Waste Contamination

The Superfund Research Center at the University of Arizona uses an interdisciplinary approach to study hazardous waste issues in the U.S. Southwest (including the Arizona-Sonora border and Native Nations). We focus on arsenic and mine tailings. Our biomedical and environmental scientists collaborate to investigate risks, develop remediation strategies, and translate research findings to government stakeholders and the affected community. Our mission is to advance science and to use the research conducted by our program for the improvement of human health and the environment.

About Us

Our Research

Project 1 - Diabetogenic Mine Tailings: Mechanistic Link Between Arsenic, NRF2, Autophagy, and Diabetes

This project investigates the molecular mechanisms by which arsenic alters cellular responses and seeks to achieve a mechanistic understanding of the arsenic-mediated pathophysiologic alterations that lead to diabetes.

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Project 2 - Role of CYP2A and Hmox1 in the Diabetogenic Effects of Arsenic in Mine Tailings

This project will identify arsenic-induced host responses important for reducing arsenic bioavailability and protecting against the diabetogenic effects of arsenic from mine tailings and contaminated soil and ground water.

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Project 3: Microbial Contributions to Arsenic Transformation in the Gut

This project investigates how biotransformation of orally ingested arsenic by the gut microbiome modulates the arsenic-load experienced by the host.

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Project 4: Environmental Controls on Bioavailability of Arsenic and Toxic Metals

This project investigates the effect of weathering-induced changes on toxic metal(loid) speciation and bioaccessibility in mine tailings.

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Project 5: Importance of Capping Material Properties in Remediation of Mine Tailings

This project explores remediation technology to generate lasting vegetation covers that can stabilize mining wastes and prevent transport of associated contaminants via wind or ground water into surrounding areas.

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Research Support Cores

Four Research Support Cores serve and enhance the Center:

  1.  Administrative and Research Translation
  2.  Data Management and Analysis 
  3.  Community Engagement
  4.  Training Coordination

UA Superfund News and Highlights

See our latest in research, training, and community interactions.

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