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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Study will look at mercury and PCB exposure to Narragansett tribal members from locally caught fish

Collaborations with Brown University, Bradley Hospital target environmental and behavioral health issues

EDITOR’S NOTE: Federal funding for environmental health research is gravely imperiled by Trump’s newly submitted budget. That budget takes a meat cleaver to the EPA and to science research.

Pilot Projects involving researchers at the University of Rhode Island have been awarded federal funding through Advance Clinical and Translational Research (Advance-CTR), a statewide effort to support clinical research that can be translated into approaches and policies that improve the health of Rhode Islanders.

Marcella Thompson, assistant professor in the College of Nursing/Academic Health Collaborative, and Kunal Mankodiya, assistant professor in the College of Engineering, along with colleagues at Brown University and Bradley Hospital, will each receive one-year grants of $75,000 through Advance-CTR’s initial round of funding.

Thompson and co-principal investigator Dinalyn Spears of the Narragansett Indian Tribe are collaborating with Elizabeth Hoover, Gregory Wellenius and Alison Field of Brown University to examine exposure to PCBs and mercury among members of the tribe, whose traditional diet includes locally caught fish.



The project, “Community-Engaged Tribal Research to Assess Dietary Exposures to Mercury and PCBs,” will send trained tribal members into their community to collect data on eating habits and the rate of local fish consumption.

The analyses and survey findings will provide the community with information needed to weigh the benefits and risks of eating local fish.

“This is just one phase of our community engaged research with the tribe on a complex environmental health issue,” Thompson said of the project.

Advance-CTR (Award #U54GM115677) is a statewide program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Science/National Institutes of Health to support clinical and translational researchers in Rhode Island through funding, research resources and services, and professional development. It seeks to support research across the translational science spectrum, including basic science, clinical and public health.

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