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Fellowship program aims to advance PFAS science in NC

Jamie DeWitt ECU PFAS
Cliff Hollis
/
ECU News Services

Scientists with North Carolina’s environmental agency are teaming up with academic experts to advance the science of PFAS in the state. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has partnered with the North Carolina Collaboratory to announce the DEQ Applied Research Fellowship. Dr. Jamie DeWitt of East Carolina University and Dr. Lee Ferguson of Duke University were selected as the Fellows for fall 2022, which runs from August to December. Scientists from N.C. State University and UNC Wilmington will be the Fellows in 2023. Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at ECU Jamie DeWitt says the fellowship should allow for quicker and more effective PFAS research.

“We will be working very closely with the other scientists at DEQ to evaluate data on PFAS, so we’ll be looking at data collected on PFAS occurrence across the state, what types of PFAS are out there, where are they located, and what does the science tell us about their health effects.

Also known as “forever chemicals”, PFAS can cause adverse health risks such as infertility, obesity, and cancer. The fellowship program is funded by the Collaboratory, a center established by the N.C. General Assembly in 2016 that has been active in PFAS research for years.

My name is Jake Anthony, and I will be a senior at Elon University in the fall. I am a strategic communications major with a double minor in business administration and finance.