CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati researcher Scott Belcher, PhD, has received a two-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to expand his environmental estrogens research.
Belcher, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, has led previous studies showing that bisphenol A, or BPA—an industrial chemical and environmental pollutant found in many hard plastic products—could be linked to certain neurological defects, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
This new grant, supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the National Institutes of Health’s Grand Opportunity, or “GO” program, will specifically support his group’s continuing research on effects of BPA and other plastic compounds on the heart and reproductive system.
“Findings from our lab and others across the world have shown the health risks associated with BPA,” he says. “This research will help us provide further evidence of the endocrine-disrupting activity of BPA and its true threat to human health.”
Belcher says this funding will help to expand research in new ways.
“We’ll have more freedom to develop research in ways that may not have been possible within the academic arena,” he says. “This will allow us to get some definite answers.”
Belcher says this is roughly one of 10 “GO” awards presented to scientists.
“These basic science studies will be coordinated with the NIEHS, which will help agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency make regulatory decisions about BPA—a very important step in improving public health,” he says.
To date, UC researchers have received 66 ARRA-supported awards, totaling $17.7 million for 2010, with another $8.8 million committed for 2011. To follow UC’s research stimulus progress, visit www.researchgateway.uc.edu/arra.