CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher Scott Belcher, PhD, has received a five-year, $1.68 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to continue his research into the effects of environmental estrogens on the developing brain.
Last year Belcher and his team published two articles in the journal Endocrinology showing that “surprisingly low doses” of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), widely used in products such as food can linings, milk containers, water pipes and dental sealants, affects developing brain tissue.
Belcher, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, says the funding will support his group’s continuing research into the effects of BPA and other plastic compounds on brain development.
“Findings from our lab and others across the world already show that the health risk from estrogens in everyday packaging is important and has the potential of being a major human health problem,” says Belcher.
Belcher has also been invited to chair a session at a major NIEHS-sponsored workshop that will bring together scientists from different disciplines who have conducted research on BPA.
The workshop, Nov. 28 and 29 in Raleigh, N.C., will seek a scientific consensus on the adverse effects of BPA that can be used by regulators and other policy makers in their decision making.
“We’re giving regulators an opportunity to learn about the science of BPA so they can appreciate the scientific community’s concern about this important issue,” Belcher says.
Also representing UC at the workshop will be two other nationally recognized researchers into the health effects of BPA: Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, professor and chair of the environmental health department, and Karen Knudsen, PhD, assistant professor in cell biology, neurology and anatomy.