University of Cincinnati home page

Home |Research Cores | Training | Outreach/General Public | News & Events


Superfund Basic Research Program

           "Health Effects and Biodegradation of Complex Mixtures"

Director Paul Bishop
Deputy Director Alvaro Puga
Program Coordinator Elizabeth Kopras

See our News and Events page for the latest in UC SBRP work!

Photo of oil refinery, one source of Superfund toxinsWhat is the University of Cincinnati SBRP?
In 1980, U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act, called CERCLA. This act enabled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to respond to hazardous spills, force companies to clean up their waste, and establish a system to clean up abandoned sites. Industries that tended to be the biggest polluters were taxed, and this money was set up in a trust called the Superfund. The money in this trust has been used to clean up sites that pose the most imminent and substantial threats to the environment, and to human health.
       It soon became clear that a better understanding of pollution was needed in order to clean up the contaminated sites. This includes understanding which materials are hazardous to environmental and human health, and how to get rid of the toxins on a site. In order to gain this understanding, the Superfund Basic Research Program was formed as part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. The goal of the SBRP is to establish multidisciplinary programs at academic institutions to address the various health and environmental issues that arise from the complex nature of contaminated sites.
       The University of Cincinnati SBRP is focused on understanding the effects that mixtures of different chemicals and metals can have on human health. Specific chemicals of interest to the SBRP at UC include arsenic, chromium, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, called PAHs. Initially funded in 1988, this program is currently under the leadership of Paul L. Bishop, with Alvaro Puga as the Deputy Director. Current biomedical projects study the mechanisms underlying the mutagenic properties of arsenic, and how co-exposure to other contaminants such as PAHs can alter that mutagenic potential. The engineering and biological sciences projects focus on the bioremediation of these mixtures. The synergy of several departments working together on related projects has led to new insights in the health effects and bioremediation of these contaminants. Aided by the Analytical, Biostatistics, Outreach, Research Translation, and Training Cores, the UC SBRP works to meet the aims of research, education, and public service.

A summary of the UC SBRP was written up in the Center for Environmental Genetics newsletter: Interface, Issue 27.

The UC Superfund Shorts is an occasional newsletter produced by the Administrative Core.  This publication provides the scientists, associates, students, and other interested parties with an easy way to stay informed on the various projects that make up this program.  The most recent issue is available here.   The first issue is available here.


Recent Publications

Older Publications



Funding for our Center has been provided by:
National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences,
Grant # P42 ES04890

University of Cincinnati home page

Superfund Basic Research Program
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati
PO Box 670056 Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Phone: (513) 558-0155   Fax: (513) 558-3509

This page was developed by Elizabeth Kopras for the University of Cincinnati Superfund Basic Research Program. Please email us with any questions or comments. Latest update: February 17, 2007.