Title: EPA Non-Targeted Analysis Data Management Fellowship (RTP, NC)
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Research Project: Throughout the course of this research project, the participant will be part of an EPA team of experts who are identifying chemicals to which humans are exposed. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and Non-targeted analysis (NTA) methods have been increasingly used in recent years to elucidate structures of novel compounds as well as screen for thousands of known compounds. Large amounts of data are produced that require advanced processing and interpretation. This research may involve processing HRMS data generated in-house or by collaborators as part of NTA studies and writing manuscripts based on the results of these studies. The research participant may use existing python and R scripts and may write new scripts customized for each project. In some cases, researchers apply machine learning to answer research questions.
Title: EPA Web Application Development to Support Non-Targeted Analysis (NTA) Research Fellowship (RTP, NC)
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Research Project: High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and non-targeted analysis (NTA) methods are currently utilized by EPA team members to identify novel environmental contaminants and rapidly screen for thousands of known (but data-poor) compounds in high-interest media such as drinking water, consumer products, and human biological samples. Large amounts of data are produced which requires advanced processing and interpretation strategies to inform appropriate decisions and actions. New web-based tools are being developed within EPA to increase the speed, accuracy, and transparency of NTA experiments. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will contribute to code development, application, documentation and utilization of models used by the Agency for NTA studies and learn team programming skills in the context of modern scientific functional programming approaches. Research activities may include computer programming, numerical verification of code output, cloud-based database management, creating modules for NTA experiments, model execution, API development/documentation, likelihood estimation and model selection.
Title: EPA Toxicokinetic PFAS Chemical Assessments Fellowship (Duluth, MN)
Research Project: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a complex class of thousands of chemicals that are used in a wide variety of commercial products and industrial applications. Given their properties and widespread use, PFAS have become widespread throughout the environment and are highly persistent. While a few select PFAS (e.g., PFOS, PFOA) have been highly studied, there are thousands more PFAS structures for which little fate or effects data exist. Given the costs and time it would take to characterize thousands of PFAS using traditional animal testing, “new approach methodologies (NAMs)”, such as cell-based bioassays, high throughput transcriptomics, and toxicokinetic assays are being used to identify potential biological targets and pathways PFAS may interact with and understand PFAS behavior in biological systems. The research participant will be trained in a variety of analytical chemistry techniques and have the opportunity to learn a range of cell-based and in vitro experimental approaches aimed at characterizing the toxicokinetic behavior of chemicals. This research training opportunity will include a combination of bench lab work and in silico modeling to incorporate experimental data into in vitro partitioning models.