Environmental Engineering PhD student Hollie Adejumo has received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The fellowship provides research training and mentorship for predoctoral students conducting research projects in scientific health-related fields.
The award aims “to enhance the diversity of the health-related research workforce by supporting the research training of predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds including those from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce,” according to the NIH website.
Adejumo’s project is entitled “Nitrogenous disinfection by-products (N-DBPs) and their metabolic impact on human gut microbiota” and explores the health implications of N-DBP exposure.
Chlorination of drinking water prevents pathogen regrowth as water travels from treatment plant to tap, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. Nevertheless, in the presence of natural organic matter, chlorine residual also reacts to form disinfection byproducts – drinking water contaminants linked to bladder cancer, miscarriages, and low birthweight. Prior research indicates that N-DBPs are the major disinfectant byproduct drivers of toxicity in tap water; yet, most N-DBPs are unregulated. Adejumo’s project aims to evaluate the interaction between N-DBPs and gut microbiota following tap water consumption.