Research Opportunity Description
Chemical Safety for Sustainability
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park, NC
A postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This training opportunity is with NERL’s Human Exposure and Atmospheric Modeling Division (HEASD).
HEASD conducts research focused on building a sound scientific understanding of the processes and factors that impact sources of environmental pollutants, environmental concentrations, and human exposure to help protect human health and the environment. HEASD’s core research activities include:
- Development of sampling and analytical methods for measuring environmental concentrations of organic and inorganic pollutants;
- Measurement studies to understand atmospheric processes and human exposures to environmental pollutants;
- Development and application of models to link:
- Sources to atmospheric concentrations;
- Environmental concentrations to human exposures;
- Human exposures to dose; and
- Human exposures and environmental concentrations back to sources.
In this research program, integrated computational modeling approaches are being developed to tackle the challenges of integrating human biomarker data with knowledge of exposure, chemistry, biology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and epidemiology to inform the linkages among exposure, susceptibility, and human health. This research program will extend the current capability for interpreting human biomarker data and enable discovery of novel biomarkers of exposure and effects.
Chemical safety is a major priority of EPA and its research. Moving toward a safer and more sustainable environment requires producing new and existing chemicals in safer ways. It means having the information and methods needed to make better-informed, more-timely decisions about chemicals.
Chemical Safety for Sustainability research includes computational toxicology, nanotechnology, endocrine disrupting chemicals, human health and pesticides and is focused on three main areas: (1) Provide scientific knowledge, tools and models for integrated evaluation strategies; (2) Improve assessment and inform management for chemical safety; and, (3) Target high priority research needs for immediate and focused attention.
The research participant will be part of an EPA team of investigators who are identifying and characterizing biomarkers of exposure and effect in the exposure-tissue dose-health effect continuum. The goal of this research is to identify sets of biomarkers that provide cost-effective, accurate information about exposure to environmental chemicals and to health effects associated with these exposures. S/he will be involved in the development of computational models linking exposures with target site doses and these doses with perturbations of normal biology leading to adverse health effects.
Research activities may include: 1) acquiring and maintaining comprehensive knowledge of the biomarker literature; 2) developing computational models; 3) participating in meetings of the project team; 4) presenting at professional meetings; and 5) preparing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Through this opportunity, the research participant will: learn to apply their creativity and intellect toward solving complex problems and generating ideas for further investigation; further develop their technical skills, analytical capability, and communication skills; and, learn to develop scientific methods that allow for a more intuitive and informative analysis of biomonitoring data in an exposure and/or risk context.
Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in biological sciences, computational biology, computational chemistry or a related discipline within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the start date. Applicants should have a strong interest in the mechanisms through which exposures to chemicals in the environment perturb normal biological processes and lead to adverse health effects.
The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).
The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed for upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse a research participant's travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.
The contact person for this project is Dr. Cecilia Tan. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply:
An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NERL-HEASD-2013-03 when calling or writing for information.