Research

The following are a sampling of the project’s on-going in the Center for Environmental Health Engineering.

 

Bioremediation of Environmental Contaminants

We are conducting research and also are supporting full-scale field deployments of bioremediation strategies for the removal of toxic pollutants from impacted soil and groundwater environments. This work includes the development of novel diagnostic devices for groundwater monitoring and remedial design.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in the Environment

We are determining the fate of PPCPs in the environment, beginning with a characterization of sources such as wastewater treatment plants and ending with the characterization of the human body burden and biomarkers of exposure.

Environmental Proteomics

We are developing and applying proteomics techniques for the detection and characterization of microorganisms providing ecological services or posing public health threats.

Instrumentation utilized includes liquid chromatography coupled to robotic spotters for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (LC-MALDI) analysis, and electro spray ionization (ESI) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Our laboratory features triple quadrupole and time-of-flight (TOF/TOF) mass analyzers.

Health Effects of Human Exposure to Toxic Pollutants

We are studying the extent of human exposure to toxic pollutants and their associated health effects by examining biological specimens from adults and children.

Renewable Energy from Biological Systems

We are developing diagnostic assays for monitoring photosynthetic biomass production and biomass conversion to hydrocarbons and electricity.

Phylogeography of RNA Viruses

We are exploring approaches to merge viral genetics with climate and population data for zoonotic surveillance. Here we are using in silico approaches for phylogeography to model spread of influenza and West Nile virus.

Ebola and airline travel

The goal of this project is to create a massively parallel simulation infrastructure that will provide useful insight to decision makers dealing with Ebola by modeling human movement in planes, modeling the spread of infections, software infrastructure for decision support, and massively parallel computing.

Amplification and Sequencing of Influenza A viruses in birds and humans

Here we are using molecular biology approaches to amplify and then sequence genes of influenza A viruses found in birds and humans. We then use these sequences in phylogeographic models to assess influenza spread.