A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE), Great Lakes Toxicology & Ecology Division (GLTED) located in Duluth, Minnesota.
Research Project: PFAS chemicals have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern and currently lack toxicological data necessary for decision making. EPA is mandated to address the endocrine disrupting potential of chemicals and a growing body of evidence suggests that some PFAS chemicals can disrupt thyroid function. For the majority of PFAS chemicals there is a lack of information regarding whether they have the potential to cause adverse effects from impacts on thyroid hormone status. Understanding the important molecular targets within the network of processes involved in maintaining normal functioning thyroid hormone levels, and what approaches to best assess activity at those targets are critical to developing a comprehensive approach to evaluating thyroid hormone disrupting potential of large numbers of chemicals.
This research aims to utilize a recently developed battery of in vitro high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to interrogate chemical activity toward various biochemical mechanisms critical to thyroid function. This will include six thyroid-related HTS assays to screen a PFAS chemical library and determine the potential for PFAS chemicals to inhibit these thyroid-related targets. Further, this research aims to utilize these in vitro PFAS activity data, together with an in vitro-to-in vivo translational framework to predict which PFAS compounds have the highest likelihood of causing thyroid disruption in aquatic vertebrates. Coordinated efforts will be undertaken in the mammalian model in parallel to these efforts to bolster cross-species concordance of PFAS modes of action and adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) related to thyroid disruption.
Deadline: June 1, 2021