Jeff Burgess

UA Receives $1.5 Million to Study Cancer in Firefighters

News Date: 
January 1, 2017 :00am
Image: 

The job of a fireman is dangerous in more ways than one. As a matter of fact, cancer happens to be a leading cause of death for firefighters due to prolonged exposures to carsinogens by means of inhalation and skin absorption. For this reason, Dr. Jeff Burgess (the associate dean of research and the professor at the UA Zuckermn College of Public Health) has dedicated the past 25 years to developing new methods for improving occupational health, particularly for that of firefighters.

UA's Dr. Jeff Burgess Receives Fulbright Schuman European Union Award

News Date: 
July 12, 2016 :00am

(UAHS-College of Public Health News) 

Opportunities for partnerships with fire departments and tribes around ground exposure assessment and effects

Datetime: 
May 4, 2016 - 9:00am
Speaker: 
Jefferey L. Burgess, MD, MS, MPH
Institution: 
University of Arizona

Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Seminar

EPI 696B

UA Cancer Center -- Kiewit Auditorium 

 

Society of Toxicology Award Recipient - Dr. Jefferey Burgess

Relevance to Swehsc : 

Dr. Jefferey Burgess is this year’s recipient of the Society of Toxicology Translation Impact Award.  The Award is presented to a scientist whose recent (last 10 years) outstanding clinical, environmental health or translational research has improved human and/or public health in an area of toxicological concern.

Cluster of Efforts: 

Scientists who are leaders in multidisciplinary team efforts that have contributed to alleviating toxicity-related health problems are particularly attractive candidates.  

Milestones: 

Dr. Burgess will be recognized at the Annual SOT meeting in San Diego in March, 2015 for his research on biomarker identification in arsenic exposed populations and on occupational inhalation exposures in fire fighters and miners.

Article Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Relevance to Swehsc : 

Environmental arsenic exposure and microbiota in induced sputum. White AG, Watts GS, Lu Z, Meza-Montenegro MM, Lutz EA, Harber P, Burgess JL.  Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb 21;11(2):2299-313. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110202299  

Cluster of Efforts: 

Arsenic exposure from drinking water is associated with adverse respiratory outcomes, but it is unknown whether arsenic affects pulmonary microbiota. This exploratory study assessed the effect of exposure to arsenic in drinking water on bacterial diversity in the respiratory tract of non-smokers. Induced sputum was collected from 10 subjects with moderate mean household water arsenic concentration (21.1 ± 6.4 ppb) and 10 subjects with low household water arsenic (2.4 ± 0.8 ppb). To assess microbiota in sputum, the V6 hypervariable region amplicons of bacterial 16s rRNA genes were sequenced using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. Microbial community differences between arsenic exposure groups were evaluated using QIIME and Metastats. A total of 3,920,441 sequence reads, ranging from 37,935 to 508,787 per sample for 316 chips after QIIME quality filtering, were taxonomically classified into 142 individual genera and five phyla. Firmicutes (22%), Proteobacteria (17%) and Bacteriodetes (12%) were the main phyla in all samples, with Neisseriaceae (15%), Prevotellaceae (12%) and Veillonellacea (7%) being most common at the genus level. Some genera, including Gemella, Lactobacillales, Streptococcus, Neisseria and Pasteurellaceae were elevated in the moderate arsenic exposure group, while Rothia, Prevotella, Prevotellaceae Fusobacterium and Neisseriaceae were decreased, although none of these differences was statistically significant. Future studies with more participants and a greater range of arsenic exposure are needed to further elucidate the effects of drinking water arsenic consumption on respiratory microbiota.

Article published in Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology

Relevance to Swehsc : 

Environmental Arsenic Exposure, Selenium and Sputum alpha-1 Antitrypsin

Cluster of Efforts: 

Significant decreases in alpha-1-antitrypsin were seen in induced sputum from adult populations exposed to low levels of arsenic in their drinking water (20 ppb).  Decreases in this enzyme have previously been associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. 

Effect of Environmental Exposures to Arsenic

Relevance to Swehsc : 

Arsenic is a major environmental toxicant, not only in the Southwestern United States, but also throughout the world. Understanding the effects of inhaled arsenic in arid climates is particularly relevant.

Cluster of Efforts: 

Investigators: 

  • Jefferey Burgess, MD, MPH
  • Scott Boitano, PhD
  • Yin Chen, PhD
  • Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, PhD
  • R. Clark Lantz, PhD
Milestones: 
  • Significant decreases in a-1-antitrypsin were seen in induced sputum from adult populations exposed to low levels of arsenic in their drinking water. (Burgess, Boitano, Kurzius-Spencer, Lantz)
  • Children (ages 6-12) who have been exposed to arsenic in their drinking water during in utero and early life show decrements in lung function. (Lantz)
  • In utero and early postnatal inhalation exposure to real world dusts collected at a legacy mine site lead to alterations in lung function (increased airway reactivity). (Boitano, Lantz)
  • Arsenic Exposure through drinking water alters lung expression of genes and proteins involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). (Boitano, Lantz)
  • Animals exposed to arsenic have decreased expression levels of club (Clara) cell secretroy protein (CCSP). (Chen)

Exposure Assessment

Relevance to Swehsc : 

Accurarate determination of the sources and levels of exposure to environmental toxicants is essential to understanding the relationship between exposure and adverse health outcomes.

Cluster of Efforts: 

Investigators: 

  • Paloma Beamer, PhD
  • Jefferey Burgess, MD, MPH
  • Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, PhD
  • Fernando Martinez, MD
  • Mary Kay O'Rourke, PhD

 

Milestones: 
  • Analysis of dust fall down wind of a legacy mine site show that it is an excelent, low cost alternative for assessing dust related exposures. (Beamer)
  • Majority of inorganic and total arsenic exposure is attributable to diet in subjects with tap water arsenic <MCL. (Burgess, Kurzius-Spencer, O'Rourke)
  • Acute exposure to arsenic through ingestion of arsenic containg foods results in increased serum MMP-9 expression. (Burgess, Kurzius-Spencer, O'Rourke)
  • Wheezing lower respiratory infections were associated with increased air polution. (Beamer, Martinez)
  • CCSP levels are significantly decreased in children exposed to higher levels of diesel traffic-related air pollution. (Beamer, Chen)

Environmental Exposures and Chronic Lung Disease

Relevance to Swehsc : 

The adverse health response to exposures to toxicants is related both to the exposure to the toxicants as well as the genetic make-up of the exposed populations.

Cluster of Efforts: 

Investigators:

  • Jefferey Burgess, MD, MPH
  • Yin Chen, PhD
  • Stefano Guerra, MD, PhD, MPH
  • Fernando Martinez, MD
  • Shane Snyder, PhD
  • Donata Vercelli, MD
Milestones: 
  • Identification of compounds responsible for asthma protection in a farm environment and the underlying mechanisms. (Vercelli, Snyder)
  • Proteomics analysis identified potential biomarkers following exposure to biodiesel. (Burgess)
  • Inhalation of coarse particulate matter disrupts the endothelial barrier function, resulting in increased risk of cardiovascular disease. (Wang)
  • Validation of serum biomarkers associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from cigarette smoking is continuing. (Chen, Guerra, Martinez)
  • Serum levels of CCSP predict mortality in adult populations. (Chen, Guerra, Martinez)
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