In addition to Recovery Act funding, the NIEHS supports grantees across the country working on issues related to nanotechnology. The NIEHS extramural activities are focused on three main areas:

  • The application of nanotechnologies in environmental health research through use of nanomaterials to improve measurements of exposure to other environmental factors, enabling research into the biological effects of exposures and improving therapeutic strategies to reverse the harmful effects of environmental exposures.
  • Understanding the risks associated with accidental or intentional exposure to nanomaterials.
  • Through the Superfund Research Program which authorizes NIH to fund university-based research to conduct the science needed for human health risk assessment and decision-making for remediation of hazardous waste sites, researchers across the country are looking at both the application of nanomaterials for environmental monitoring and remediation, and the health implications associated with their application.

On November 4, 2009, the NIEHS announced a new funding opportunity to address the potential health implications of ENMs. The Request for Applications entitled Engineered Nanomaterials: Linking Physical and Chemical Properties to Biology can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-09-011.html.

The NIEHS also administers the National Toxicology Program, which is researching the potential human health hazards associated with the manufacture and use of nanomaterials.

The 10 Recovery Act NIH Grand Opportunities grants focusing on engineered nanomaterial safety have been awarded to:

  • James Christopher Bonner, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  • Edward David Crandall, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Alison Cory Pearson Elder and Gunter Oberdorster, University of Rochester, N.Y.
  • Andrij Holian, University of Montana, Missoula
  • Andre Elias Nel, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Galya Orr, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Wash.
  • Christopher D. Vulpe, University of California, Berkeley
  • Paul K. Westerhoff, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Frank A. Witzmann and Somenath Mitra, Indiana University, Indianapolis
  • Robert M. Worden, Michigan State University, East Lansing

The three Recovery Act Nanotechnology NIH Challenge Grants have been awarded to:

  • Kent E. Pinkerton, University of California, Davis
  • Timothy R. Nurkiewicz, West Virginia University, Morgantown
  • Wynne K. Schiffer, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Morgantown, W.Va.

The NIEHS also used Recovery Act funds to support efforts under its Superfund Research Program to determine ways to apply nanotechnology to better detect and evaluate effects on human health, and clean up Superfund chemicals in the environment. The Superfund Worker Education Training Program also provided Recovery Act funding targeting health and safety training.

The NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of NIH. For more information on environmental health topics, visit our Web site at http://www.niehs.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov

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More information about the NIH Recovery Act grant funding opportunities can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/. To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the Recovery Act, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery. To track all federal funds provided through the Recovery Act, visit www.recovery.gov.

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