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Proposals for Biomarker Research Requested

Release Date: 11/25/2003
Contact Information:


Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov


(11/25/2003) To protect human health from exposure to environmental contaminants, EPA is seeking research proposals that validate or apply current biomarkers for use in environmental health research and risk assessment. A biological marker, or biomarker, is a measurable response/property of an organism that indicates exposure to or health effects from environmental pollutants. For example, the presence in a non-smoker’s body of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, is a biomarker that verifies that the person has been exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. Biomarkers are critical in identifying highly exposed or at-risk groups so that measures can be taken to prevent disease. Unlike cotinine, many current biomarkers have not yet been proven to indicate exposure or to predict the risk of disease. This request for research applications will develop more biomarkers that fill knowledge gaps across the environmental disease spectrum. Proposals should focus on animal or human epidemiology studies that relate biomarkers to risk of disease, link exposure to disease, or validate the use of biomarkers in large population studies. Four to six awards will be made for a total of $3 million through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results program. Proposal applications must be received by Feb. 11, 2004. More information is available at: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_biomarkers.html .