DTU Environment participaters in EU-project in Wastewater Epidemiology: SEWPROF

Wednesday 08 May 13
The purpose of the project is to develop a interdisciplinary and  intersectorial Research Capacity for the next genrerations of researchers, who works with Wastewater Epidemiology.

European Marie Curie SEWPROF Initial Training Network in human epidemiology. The €4.2 million European Marie Curie Initial Training Network, entitled ‘A new paradigm in drug use and human health risk assessment: Sewage profiling at the community level’, aims to advance knowledge of the epidemiology of (illicit) drug use and to bridge gaps in the available expertise with the ultimate goal of applying this cutting edge interdisciplinary approach combining expertise in analytical and environmental sciences, mathematical modeling, pharmacology, toxicology, clinical studies, social and health sciences and water engineering within epidemiological studies of societal health.

Dr Kasprzyk-Hordern, the coordinator of the network, comments, “We are delighted to have established this major international network within Europe, in which we will train a new generation of researchers working in these societally-critical areas. In establishing monitoring methods based on the epidemiology of sewage, we aim to gain a headstart in diagnosing and hence treating major public health issues, including disease outbreaks and our network will make a major contribution in this area.”

The network will link 16 leading European institutions, with partners in a range of countries including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, as well as the UK. A total of 11 Early Career Researchers and 4 Experienced Researchers will be recruited and trained in the network. The team from the University of Bath participating in this network also includes Professor Chris Frost from the Department of Chemistry and Dr Pedro Estrela from Electronic and Electrical Engineering.  Within the project, the Bath team will develop methods to study biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotic substances.

The network started in October 2012 and had its first meeting hosted by the University of Bath in April 2013.

This is a unique opportunity to make a consolidated effort that will bring maturity to the field of exploiting sewage analysis for the diagnosis of population’s drug use’, said professor Pim de Voogt, SEWPROF’s leader of outreach and dissemination.

DTU Environment, involved in WP1, is carrying out research with a focal area on reactive sewer modelling – experimental assessment and modelling of in-sewer transformation of drug biomarker trace organic chemicals. Our research activities include (1) carrying out laboratory-scale biotransformation experiments; (2) MIKE URBAN modelling of selected sewer catchments; (3) Development of input generator for sewer models; (4) WEST modelling – lumped/surrogate sewer network modelling; (5) Global Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis (6) Model based decision support. DTU’s early stage researcher is Mr Pedram Ramin, supervised by Associate professor Benedek Plósz and co-supervised by Associate professor Peter Steen Mikkelsen. Planned secondments for Mr Ramin include research stays at EAWAG – Switzerland; NIVA – Norway; USAAR – Germany.

Go to: http://sewprof-itn.eu/ for further details

Photo form the Lisbon kick-off meeting, December 2012.


Selected references:

Plósz, B.G., Reid, M.J, Borup, M., Langford, K.H., Thomas, K.V. (2013) Biotransformation kinetics and sorption of cocaine and its metabolites and the factors influencing their estimation in wastewater. WATER RESEARCH, 47(7), 2129-2140.

Plósz, B.G., Reid, M.J, Borup, M., Langford, K.H., Thomas, K.V. (2013) Factors influencing the estimation of cocaine use in urban areas using wastewater data. IWA/WEF Micropol & Ecohazard 2013, 8th IWA specialist conference, Assessment and control of micropollutants/ hazardous substances in water. 16 - 20 June 2013, Zürich, Switzerland.

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