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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UMass: Student Receives NIH Award to Examine PCB-11 Toxicity

Environmental health sciences doctoral student Ms. Monika Roy recently received a three-year, $114,072 F31 Predoctoral Fellowship Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the liver toxicity potential of the environmental chemical 3,3’-dichlorobiphenyl, or PCB-11. PCB-11 is primarily a byproduct of yellow pigment manufacturing, but is also found in sealants, resins, and other consumer products where it can eventually evaporate and be inhaled by humans.

The fellowship, funded through the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) program, enables promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into productive, independent research scientists, to receive financial support to conduct their own dissertation research.

Ms. Roy’s project will examine how PCB-11 and PCB-11 metabolites, alone and in combination with other environmental chemicals, induce toxicity through the liver’s metabolism system in the zebrafish model. Ms. Roy’s work will also examine whether chronic exposures to PCB-11 or its metabolites leads to excessive fat buildup in the liver, also known as hepatic lipid accumulation.

PCB-11 has been widely detected in air samples in both urban and rural areas, and in environmental and human samples, including in pregnant women. Ms. Roy says that understanding how PCB-11 affects liver enzyme function, especially in the context of increasingly urbanized areas where exposures to both PCB-11 and other environmental contaminants occur will be useful for public health researchers and regulators to know.

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