The Superfund Research Program is an interdisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students from the University Of Washington departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Genome Sciences, Biostatistics, Civil Engineering, Biochemistry, Forestry and Microbiology. Program Goals Develop biological markers to assess exposure to nervous system toxicants and susceptibility to disease Assess physiological damage in humans and wildlife Develop new technology to remediate contaminated sites Develop Biomarkers Biomarkers are abnormal levels or activity of substances found in living tissue that indicate exposure to toxicants and susceptibility to disease. We study certain enzymes and chemical compounds to determine their usefulness as biomarkers of toxic exposure. Our focus is on links between enzyme levels, chemical exposure and genetic predisposition to toxic effects of metals, pesticides and other chemicals. Assess Physiological Damage We investigate the complex interplay between low-level toxic exposure and disease, genetic susceptibility factors and models for risk assessment. Our studies seek to generate new scientific and health knowledge, and create risk assessments and a framework for including wildlife assessments in waste site evaluations and remediation decision-making. Develop New Technology We conduct research on biomarkers and physiological damage associated with toxic exposure to support the development of new technology to remediate contaminated sites. Technological research works to develop a repertoire of plants that remediate toxic solvent spills, broaden the range of compounds detoxified by plants, and further the knowledge of microbial processes and their use in neutralizing contaminants.