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Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals Alter Pulmonary Immunologic Homeostasis

Dr. Stephania Cormier


Epidemiological data demonstrate associated increases in particulate matter (PM) with increases in acute asthma exacerbations and the risk of developing asthma; however, the reasons for these increases are poorly understood. Dr. Cormier's research group seeks to establish the mechanism by which exposure to PM from Superfund sites modulates pulmonary immune homeostasis and results in the development of asthma. Asthma affects 300 million people worldwide, and its prevalence has been steadily increasing. The presence of a newly realized class of pollutants, environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), in contaminated soils at Superfund sites and PM from combustion and thermal treatment of hazardous substances suggests a potentially unrecognized risk factor for the development and/or exacerbation of asthma.