LSU Superfund Research Center Summer 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Dr. Harold 'Barry' Dellinger

LSU SRP Director Dr. Stephania Cormier Honored

LSU SRP Materials Core Leader Dr. Slawo Lomnicki Wins Award


LSU SRP Research Translation Core Highlights

2016 Louisiana Superfund Site Updates

LSU SRP Researcher, Staff & Trainee News

Recent LSU SRP Publications


About the LSU Superfund Research Center

Our research focuses on newly-identified pollutant-particle systems, including environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), that may form from the combination of pollutants and particulate matter, and their effect on respiratory and cardiac health. The ultimate goal of the research is to protect human health by providing information to be used in risk-based decisions on treatment options for Superfund wastes. The LSU Superfund Research Center is supported by  the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program grant number P42 ES013648.

Dr. Harold 'Barry' Dellinger

The Louisiana State University Superfund Research Center (LSU SRP) mourns the loss of Harold Barry Dellinger, Professor Emeritus in Chemistry and founding Director of the LSU Superfund Research Center.  Dr. Dellinger passed away in the early evening of March 9th, 2016, after a long illness.  He will be sorely missed.

Dr.  Dellinger was recruited to LSU and appointed as Professor of Chemistry and Patrick F. Taylor Chair in 1998.  In the past 18 years, he has published more than 225 papers, brought extensive research funding into LSU, graduated 12 PhD students and advised several postdoctoral researchers and research associates.  His research has focused on thermal degradation kinetics and degradation profiles of organic compounds with a special focus on the hazardous organic pollutants.  He also greatly advanced knowledge of compounds known as environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), which are combustion-generated particles found in airborne particulate matter. These discoveries prompted Dellinger to start the LSU SRP center in 2011, to study the origin, fate, and health effects of EPFRs.
Dr. Dellinger received numerous awards for his contributions to science, some of which are listed below:
  • ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology (2014) for creativity in research and technology or methods of analysis to provide a scientific basis for informed environmental control decision-making processes, or to provide practical technologies that will reduce health risk factors.
  • Elected as Fellow to the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2010). This was awarded based on is contributions to science and technology.
  • Astellas USA Foundation Award (2008) for having significantly contributed to scientific research that improved public health through his and his laboratory’s contributions in the chemical and related sciences.
More information on Dr. Dellinger's career and accomplishments can be found at  The obituary for Dr. Dellinger may be read here and he was also honored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the April Environmental Factor.

LSU SRP Director Dr. Stephania Cormier Honored

Dr. Stephania Cormier, Director of the LSU Superfund Research Center, was named Plough Chair of Excellence and Scientific Director of Asthma Research at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Cormier was also re-elected as the Leader of the Superfund Directors’ Working Group at the 2016 NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) meeting.  Her responsibilities include organizing the SRP’s directors to engage and educate the community on the importance Superfund work as well as planning and chairing the NIEHS Director’s meeting at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting and the Director’s meeting at the NIEHS Annual SRP Meeting.

LSU SRP Materials Core Leader Dr. Slawo Lomnicki Wins Award

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences Dr. Slawo Lomnicki is the recipient of a LSU Alumni Association Rising Faculty Research Award.  Dr. Lomnicki leads the LSU SRP Project 1:  Formation and Reactions of Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals in Thermal Processing of Superfund Wastes and the Materials Core.  The LSU Alumni Association Rising Faculty Research Award recognizes faculty at the rank of assistant professor who have outstanding records of scholarship and published research.

LSU SRP Attends Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and Environment

Members of the Louisiana State University Superfund Research Center (LSU SRP) attended the 2016 Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and the Environment (CEECHE) in Prague, Czech Republic.  CEECHE is an opportunity for environmental science and environmental health researchers to meet and exchange ideas on the most important issues associated with pollution and the health of the exposed population.   According to LSU SRP's Dr. Slawo Lomnicki, "There is an urgent need for the scientific community to help in solving the environmental problems affecting the health of general population and particularly children in this region of Europe...and this conference is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Dr. Lomnicki co-chaired the session “Special Topics Related to Environmental Pollution and Health” and gave a presentation entitled “Dioxins Formation in Thermal Processes – Synergy of Metals”.  LSU SRP trainee Chuqi Guo presented a poster entitled “Plants as a New Natural Particulate Matter (PM) Sampler”. 


Research Translation Core (RTC) Highlights

Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium

In February, RTC leader Dr. Maud Walsh and trainees Grace Leblanc and Ashlyn Harmon gave a presentation entitled "Investigations in Toxicology" at the 2016 Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium.  Dr. Walsh also discussed LSU SRP research and led an activity developed by the Environmental Health Sciences Center, Oregon State University using yeast as a model system to determine if chemicals are toxic and make dose response curves.

Louisiana Envirothon & Louisiana Earth Day

LSU SRP was one of the sponsors of the 2016 Louisiana Envirothon, an environmental problem-solving competition for students in grades 6-12 held on April 16 at the LSU Botanic Gardens at the Burden Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  On April 17, the LSU SRP RTC helped the city of Baton Rouge celebrate Earth Day.  The LSU SRP RTC team provided assistance at both events and shared information about the research going on at the center as well as information about education and careers in the environmental health sciences.


2016 Louisiana Superfund Site Updates

Colonial Creosote

The Colonial Creosote Site in Washington Parish, LA has been added to the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites. The 32 acre former wood treatment site was referred to the EPA in 2011 by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  There is evidence that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a suspected human carcinogen, have migrated from the facility to groundwater, adjacent wetlands and nearby surface waters.  For more information about the site visit the EPA Superfund Program:  COLONIAL CREOSOTE, BOGALUSA, LA page.

Petro-Processors of Louisiana

The third five-year review for the Petro-Processors of Louisiana, Inc. (PPI) Superfund Site was released by the EPA in March.  The PPI site consists of 62 acres in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana used as a depository and incineration site of various petrochemical waste products during the 1960s and 1970s.  The site’s principle pollutants, chlorinated hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals, and oils, contaminated ground water, soil and surface water.  The remediation plan for the PPI site involved ground water recovery and containment and an onsite treatment system that separated organic chemicals from the ground water for onsite incineration.  The third five year review concluded that the remedy at the PPI site is protective of human health and the environment.  To learn more, visit the EPA Superfund Program: PETRO-PROCESSORS OF LOUISIANA, INC., SCOTLANDVILLE, LA page or read the complete Third Five-Year Review.

Combustion, Inc.

The second five-year review for the Combustion, Inc. Superfund Site was released by the EPA in February.  The Combustion, Inc. site, located about 3 miles northeast of Denham Springs, Louisiana, is the location of a former waste oil recycling facility.  Groundwater contaminants from the site include volatile organics and semivolatile organics including 1,2-dichloroethane.  Remediation at the site included expedited excavation and disposal of soil, sludge, waste oil, underground storage tanks, and wastewater as well as longer term phytoremediation.  The second five year review concluded that the remedy for the site is protective of human health and the environment in the short term but due to stricter toxicity values for several site contaminants of concern the groundwater remedial goals need to be reevaluated. To learn more, visit the EPA Superfund Program: COMBUSTION, INC., DENHAM SPRINGS, LA page or read the complete Second Five-Year Review.

Camp Minden

Test burns began at Camp Minden on April 13th in a massive contained burn system (CBS) that will be the cleanest military munitions disposal facility in the nation.  Camp Minden in Webster Parish, Louisiana, formerly known as the Louisiana Military Ammunition Plant, will be home to the largest disposal of military munitions in the history of the world as over 15 million pounds of m6 propellant and clean burning igniter will be destroyed.  Cleanup of the site was fast tracked after a massive explosion occurred in 2012 but will not reach full capacity until after the CBS has passed a Comprehensive Performance Test (CPT).  For more information on the cleanup at Camp Minden visit the EPA Camp Minden page or view waste disposal progress and real time air quality monitoring data at ESI’s Camp Minden Daily Dashboard.

LSU SRP Researcher, Staff & Trainee News

Dr. Sridhar Jaligama Wins Society of Toxicology Awards

Dr. Sridhar Jaligama, a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Cormier's lab at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, received several awards at the 2016 Society of Toxicology meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana: the Drug Discovery Toxicology specialty section Emil A. Pfitzer postdoctoral award, the Mechanisms Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology Postdoctoral Student Travel Award, the Mechanisms Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology Gabriel L. Plaa Education Award--3rd Place, and the Inhalation and the Respiratory Specialty Section Student Award.

LSU SRP Director Visits China

LSU SRP Director Dr. Stephania Cormier and a delegation from the University of Tennessee visited Harbin Medical University in Heilongjiang province, China to discuss research and establish collaborations.   

LSU SRP RTC Welcomes New Coordinator

Jen Irving is the new LSU SRP Research Translation Coordinator.  Jen has worked with local government and has experience with environmental monitoring and citizen outreach and education, especially  around water resource issues.  She became interested in environmental health through her work managing research projects for Geisinger Health System's Environmental Health Institute involving unconventional natural gas development in Pennsylvania. She's excited to join the LSU SRP team and help communicate the center's research findings.

John Young Graduates

LSU SRP trainee John Young received his master of science degree and is now a staff scientist at Keramida, Inc., a full-service Sustainability, Environmental, Health & Safety, and Remediation Consulting and Engineering firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Albert Dela Cruz Hired by East Baton Rouge Parish

Former LSU SRP trainee and post-doctoral researcher Dr. Albert dela Cruz has been hired by the City of Baton Rouge-East Baton Rouge Parish by the Department of Environmental Services and is currently serving as Wastewater Laboratory Supervisor and Acting Environmental and Pretreatment Manager.  Dr. dela Cruz earned his PhD in Chemistry and was with LSU SRP as a postdoctoral trainee from 2012-2016.  Dr. dela Cruz is pictured at the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Environmental Services booth at the 2016 Louisiana Earth Day celebration.

Dr. Ashlyn Harmon Elected

Congratulations to Dr. Ashlyn Harmon, a LSU SRP post-doctoral trainee in Dr. Dugas's lab.   Dr. Harmon was elected as the postdoctoral representative for the South Central Chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

Recent LSU SRP Publications

Dugas T, Lomnicki S, Cormier S, Dellinger B, Reams M. 2016.  Addressing Emerging Risks: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges Associated with Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13:573.

Stephenson EJ, Ragauskas A, Jaligama S, Redd JR, Parvathareddy J, Peloquin MJ, Saravia J, Han JC, Cormier SA, Bridges D. 2016.  Exposure to environmentally persistent free radicals during gestation lowers energy expenditure and impairs skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in adult mice. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00521.2015.

Chuang GC, Xia H, Mahne SE, Varner KJ. 2016.  Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals Cause Apoptosis in HL-1 Cardiomyocytes. Cardiovascular Toxicology.1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s12012-016-9367-x.

Scott EE, Wolf CR, Otyepka M, Humphreys SC, Reed JR, Henderson CJ, McLaughlin LA, Paloncyova M, Navratilova V, Berka K, Anzenbacher P, Dahal UP, Barnaba C, Brozik JA, Jones JP, Estrada DF, Laurence JS, Park JW, Backes WL. 2016.  The Role of Protein-Protein and Protein-Membrane Interactions on P450 Function. Drug Metab Dispos. 44:576-90. Epub 2016/02/07. DOI: 10.1124/dmd.115.068569. PMCID: PMC4810767.

Kimura D, Saravia J, Rovnaghi CR, Meduri GU, Schwingshackl A, Cormier S, Anand KJS. 2016.  Plasma biomarker analysis in pediatric ARDS: generating future framework from a pilot randomized control trial of methylprednisolone A framework for identifying plasma biomarkers related to clinical outcomes in pediatric ARDS. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 4. DOI: 10.3389/fped.2016.00031. PMCID: PMC4815896.

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This is a newsletter to inform the public about activities and research going on at the LSU Superfund Research Center.

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