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EPA Awards Nearly $800,000 to University of Nevada Reno to Advance Research for Evaluating Chemical Toxicokinetics

Contact Information: 
Alejandro Diaz (

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $799,997 in funding to a University of Nevada Reno research team to develop New Approach Methods (NAMs) for evaluating chemical toxicokinetics, an important aspect of evaluating the impacts of chemicals on human health and the environment. NAMs allow researchers to better predict potential chemical hazards for risk assessment purposes without the use of traditional methods that rely on animal testing.

“We are excited to support the University of Nevada Reno’s work to improve chemical safety,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “By combining knowledge on cell studies and mathematical models, we can continue to reduce animal testing.”

The University of Nevada Reno is one of five national winners receiving a total of $3,980,782 through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program to develop better estimates of the bioavailability of chemicals to help assess the significance of public exposure. Their projects will address gaps in ways to obtain data for toxicokinetic studies and incorporate exposure-related factors not currently being considered.

Toxicokinetics research is an important component of understanding how chemicals can impact health by looking at chemical concentrations that cause changes at the cellular or molecular level. New methods, tools, and approaches can improve our ability to predict a chemical’s health impacts and reduce uncertainty as the science moves from laboratory approaches to real-world scenarios.

“I am very excited to receive the support from EPA. Our team looks forward to generating robust scientific results that leads to actionable insights to further reducing human health risks from chemicals,” said University of Nevada Reno’s Principal Investigator Dingsheng Li.

The University of Nevada Reno will use this grant to develop cost-efficient and high-processing methods to combine cell studies and mathematical models to estimate permeability of chemical pollutants through gut walls and the blood-brain barrier. Knowledge gained from this grant will provide critical understanding about internal exposure to chemical pollutants that enables better planning and decision-making to reduce potential adverse human health effects.

For more information on EPA’s safer chemical research, visit:

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