UK Superfund Research Student Maggie Murphy
Research conducted by Maggie Murphy, a fourth-year Ph.D. student under Bernhard Hennig, director of the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC), has shown that PCBs can induce atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) -- a class of hazardous chemicals used in coatings for electronics, sealants, adhesives, paint, and flame retardant's were banned in the 1970s but these toxic compounds continue to linger in groundwater and soil.
Murphy’s cell-culture and whole-animal research shows that antioxidants can prevent PCB-induced signaling which leads to inflammation, and ultimately atherosclerosis.
Her next step: exploring lifestyle changes such as running as a therapy for PCB exposure. An avid marathoner, Murphy enjoys being able to combine her love of running and her passion for research in her quest to see if exercise is a therapeutic treatment against chemical insults.
UK Superfund Student Maggie Murphy from Reveal on Vimeo.
UK Superfund Research Student Brad Newsome
Fifth-year graduate student Brad Newsome is developing composite nanomaterials for sensing and capture of PCBs, toxic compounds at Superfund sites in Kentucky and around the world. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) -- a class of hazardous chemicals used in coatings for electronics, sealants, adhesives, paint, and flame retardants -- were banned in the 1970s, but these toxic compounds continue to linger in groundwater and soil.
Newsome’s research focuses on creating a nontoxic way to address pollution by incorporating membrane filtration and magnetic separation with natural antioxidant polymers that bind organic pollutants. He is taking this research to Southeast Asia, through the Fulbright program, where he will develop water remediation techniques to deal with the rapid production of environmental pollutants in Cambodia.
UK Superfund Student Brad Newsome from Reveal on Vimeo