UA SRP Associate Director Gets New NIEHS Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Clark Lantz, Associate Director of the UA Superfund Research Program (UA SRP), and Dr. Yin Chen, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology who were awarded a 5- year (May 2017 to March 2022) NIEHS grant: “Arsenic exposure, CC16 and its effect on pulmonary function”.  This grant will examine the potential interactions from inhalation (dust) and ingestion (water) exposures to arsenic. One known biomarker for arsenic toxicity in the lung is a cell secretory protein known as CC16 which is dramatically reduced in blood and lungs of current smokers and is associated with decreased subsequent incidence of airflow limitation, accelerated decline of lung function, and mortality. However, a specific function for CC16 in arsenic-induced lung abnormality remains ill-defined. The overall objective of the research is to determine the mechanism by which arsenic alters CC16 production and the role of reduced CC16 in altering lung structure and function following early life exposure to arsenic. Results from the study will establish the validity of CC16 as a biomarker for early life arsenic exposure and for the assessment of arsenic toxicity on long-term lung health. The elucidated mechanism will also help to establish therapeutic interventions in the treatment of arsenic-induced lung disease. This research is complementary to ongoing efforts in the UA SRP to examine the impact of exposure to mine tailings dusts, which contain arsenic and other metals, on the lung.