In September 2005 the US Environmental Protection
Agency funded the San Joaquin Valley Aerosol Health Effects Research Center (SAHERC) at UC Davis. SAHERC will investigate
the mechanistic links between ambient particles and the health effects that they elicit, which comprises two goals:
(1) understanding the metabolic response of tissue
and organs when they are exposed to particulate pollutants, and
(2) understanding the characteristics of the particulate
pollutants and their gaseous co-pollutants that elicit these responses. SAHERC is composed of five projects supported
by five cores.
The projects will investigate:
1) the metabolic response to pollutant exposure
2) cardiovascular tissues;
3) whole animal effects of ambient particle exposure;
4) transport of particles from the airways to other tissues; and
5) the effects of particles and gases on lung development in juveniles.
The projects will take both top down approaches,
identifying the characteristics of particles that elicit health responses, and bottom up approaches, examining
the metabolic responses that these particles elicit. We will perform both field and laboratory studies. The field
studies will take place in the San Joaquin Valley of California, one of the worst violators of the National Ambient
Air Quality Standard for particulate matter. The laboratory studies will examine the effects of particles from
specific sources or laboratory-generated particles with carefully controlled properties that model ambient ones
or those from dominant sources.
The research team, composed of physiologists, toxicologists,
chemists, and engineers who already collaborate on air pollution studies in the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center,
the California National Primate Research Center, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and the
Center for Health and the Environment, will use their complementary skills to address the center's objectives.
In this talk, we will present the center's approach to elucidating the physiological link between ambient PM and