University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainee Sabine Vorrink recently received a KC Donnelly Externship Award to perform research with University of Arizona (UA) SRP investigator Dr. Bernie Futscher. Ms. Vorrink is a trainee in the laboratory of Iowa SRP investigator Dr. Rick Domann. The proposed externship project will use mammalian cell lines to investigate the role of oxidative stress in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-induced aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling. With expertise and resources available through the UA SRP, Ms. Vorrink hopes to assess on a genome-wide scale precisely where binding of the AhR to target gene sequences is impacted by hypoxic (oxygen-depleted) conditions. The research findings are expected to have public health relevance, as the process may impact responses to multiple toxic environmental chemicals. Ms. Vorrink believes that drawing on the strengths of two different investigators/SRPs will provide a unique and rigorous training experience, and hopes that her work will “not only expand my training horizon and interaction between two independent SRPs, but also may ultimately provide unique scientific insights into PCB toxicity.”
The KC Donnelly Externship is an NIEHS administrative supplement given in honor of Dr. K.C. Donnelly, a long-time SRP investigator and mentor at Texas A&M University, who passed away in 2009. It is designed to provide SRP trainees with translational/transdisciplinary opportunities at other SRP centers or agencies. The award provides funding for travel, supplies, and housing costs for up to a three-month externship, as well as travel funds to attend the SRP annual meeting. Ms. Vorrink will be performing her studies at the UA from January-March, 2013.
Congratulations, Sabine – we look forward to meeting you in Tucson!