Bothun to Research Chemical Pollutants in Drinking Water
Geoffrey Bothun, professor and chair of the chemical engineering department at URI, will join other researchers in studying chemicals that could be contaminating drinking water and posing a human health hazard.
The five-year, $8 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will establish URI as part of a national network of Superfund Research Program centers.
Rainer Lohmann, a professor at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography and an expert in marine pollutants, will serve as the director. He will lead an interdisciplinary group of scientists and outreach specialists from URI (including Bothun), Harvard University and Silent Spring Institute to generate new insights into these pollutants and distribute information to communities.
“This is truly interdisciplinary research, with a team of investigators seeking to understand the adverse health effects posed by this unique class of pollutants,” explained Bothun. “Our contribution focuses on measuring the physical and chemical properties of these pollutants, and studying how these properties influence the way they interact with biological molecules, such as proteins and lipids. These interactions play a key role in determining how pollutants travel through and are retained within the body.”