(August 5, 2008) - Dr. Xabier Arzuaga, a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Bernhard Hennig's lab, will be joining the staff of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) in Arlington, VA. IRIS is an electronic database containing information on human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances in the environment. IRIS is prepared and maintained by the EPAa€™s National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within the Office of Research and Development (ORD).
In his new position, Dr. Arzuaga will be responsible for the development of multiple concurrent health assessments while advising NCEA staff about scientific issues related to health assessment. IRIS was initially developed for EPA staff in response to a growing demand for consistent information on substances for use in risk assessments, decision-making and regulatory activities. The information in IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences.
Dr. Arzuaga's research has primarily focused on the biochemical and molecular effects of environmental contaminants, such as PCBs, in the pathology of vascular diseases. Specifically, he has studied cellular signaling pathways activated by these pollutants and how nutrition can influence the exposure outcome in cell culture models and genetically modified mice, with a long-term interest in impacts on human populations.
Born in Puerto Rico, Dr. Arzuaga attended the Universidad de Puerto Rico before coming to the University of Kentucky as a doctoral student. He joined Dr. Hennig's laboratory as a postdoctoral scholar in 2004. He assumes his duties with US EPA in September 2008.