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U.S. EPA awards research grants to two California universities

Release Date: 10/31/2006
Contact Information: Mark Merchant (415) 947-4297

(10/31/06 - SAN FRANCISCO) The U.S Environmental Protection agency recently awarded two campuses in the University of California’s system grants for environmental studies.

    UC Davis was awarded $700,000 and UC Riverside was awarded $600,000 from the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research’s Science to Achieve Results, or STAR, program.

    “The STAR program allows the nation's best scientists and engineers to do research that complements EPA’s laboratory research and research conducted by our partners in other federal agencies,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “I am pleased that UC Davis and UC Riverside received STAR grants and look forward to seeing their results.”

    UC Davis will use its grant to develop molecular biomarkers to measure immune responses caused by environmental factors. Biomarkers are substances, structures or processes that can be measured in biological samples, such as urine, blood or saliva that indicate an exposure or susceptibility, or predict the incidence or outcome of disease. Once tested and characterized, these biomarkers can be used in future epidemiologic studies to investigate how environmental exposure to air pollutants can affect the immune system during early childhood development.

    UC Riverside will use its grant to improve on the current analytical methods for quantitative detection of infective enteric viruses, specifically the non-polio enteroviruses, in drinking water. The methods developed in this study should improve the ability to provide rapid and efficient results for the detection and quantitation of infective viruses in water samples. It may also be used to determine how efficient disinfectants are and to monitor virus survival in water

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