Spring 2020 Newsletter

Message from the Director:

The STEEP Team hopes this update finds you in good health sheltering-at-home. One mitigating element of the Coronavirus at this point in history is that we are not cast into the isolated disconnection endemic to past crises. We can proceed with the benefits of the Internet for schooling, teaching, research, collegial communication, and virtual social gatherings. We offer this newsletter as a means to capture our progress prior to and during this difficult time. Let’s flatten the curve together!                                       

Research Highlights

Phasing Out PFAS: ‘nonessential, ‘substitutable, and ‘essential.

A team of international researchers, including STEEP Director Rainer Lohmann, has proposed eliminating PFAS in nonessential products using a 3-category sorting system. The work was selected as one of the best papers of 2019 by the journal Environmental Science: Processes & ImpactsRead More…


Trainee Dunn Furthers Development of PFAS Detection Tools in Partnership with Connecticut DEEP

As part of his PhD research, STEEP Trainee Matt Dunn is working with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to test and analyze a novel sampling tool developed by STEEP to detect PFAS in the environment. Read More…


Illuminating the Immune-Altering Effects of PFAS Exposure in Pregnancy and Childhood

Dr. Carmen Messerlian joins the STEEP team to study the effects of PFAS exposure in pregnancy and childhood on a birth cohort in the Faroe Islands, in particular immunosuppression and decrease in vaccine response. Read More…



Dr. Alan Vajda Presents at a Leadership Conference in Warsaw, Poland

In January 2020, Dr. Vajda was invited to present on ecotoxicological concerns for widespread PFAS contamination in wildlife at The Baltic Leadership Programme on PFAS in Warsaw, Poland. Read More…


Program Updates

Training Core Leads Annual PFAS Colloquium for STEEP Trainees

The STEEP Training Core provides many opportunities for trainees to gain valuable knowledge on the latest PFAS research and professional skills — leadership, communication, and community engagement. Trainees are currently participating in the third annual STEEP Colloquium, chairing and planning scientific conferences, and coordinating talks for invited speakers. Read More…

STEEP Trainees learn “FAIR” Data Principles

STEEP has teamed up with Harrison Dekker, a data science librarian at URI, to enhance data sharing by making it ‘FAIR’ and supporting collaboration across project cores. Read More…


Community News

STEEP Researchers Testify in Support of PFAS Regulations Locally

STEEP researchers, Dr. Laurel Schaider and Dr. Angela Slitt, recently testified at state hearings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in favor of regulating PFAS. Read More…


The Community Engagement Core Leads Outreach Events for Local Communities

STEEP’s Community Engagement Core has hosted several outreach events in recent months to provide information on water quality protection and minimizing PFAS exposure in everyday life. Read More…


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