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Superfund Announces Wetterhahn Award Winner

By Rebecca Wilson
November 2009

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The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) announced that Kathleen Radloff, a doctoral student at Columbia University, is the twelfth recipient of the Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award( Radloff will be presented with the award at the SRP Annual Meeting in New York where she will deliver a keynote address highlighting her research.

Radloff was chosen for this award based on the excellence of her scientific research. She is conducting research to increase understanding of the mechanisms of arsenic mobility and transport in groundwater using samples from a field site in Bangladesh. Her results have been published in Environmental Science and Technology and Applied Geochemistry. Radloff also serves as a mentor to female undergraduate students interested in careers in science. According to Columbia SRP Program Director Joseph Graziano, Ph.D., Radloff is "exceptionally smart, mature, curious, [and] driven .... She also has the gift of motivating younger students."

The award is presented annually in honor of Karen Wetterhahn, Ph.D., who was the program director of the Dartmouth College SRP from 1995 to 1997. Wetterhahn died in 1997 as a result of dimethylmercury poisoning caused by the accidental spill of a few drops of the compound on her hand. As a way of honoring Wetterhahn's life and scientific accomplishments, the SRP established an annual award to recognize an outstanding graduate student or post-doctoral researcher who best demonstrates the qualities of scientific excellence exhibited by Wetterhahn.

As part of the award, Radloff will receive support to attend one major scientific conference, in addition to travel funds to attend the SRP Annual Meeting.

(Rebecca Wilson is an environmental health information specialist for MDB, Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Worker Education and Training Program.)

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