REU 2013

The REU 2013 group consists of 4 undergraduates, myself, a graduate REGer and Dr. Marina Evans from the US EPA. Our project was on investigating the metabolism of MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether), a volatile and water soluble environmental contaminant, and estimate potential risks to humans.

The undergraduates are:

  • Amy Kern
  • Sarah Laper
  • Jerrell Mure
  • Archana (Archie) Patel

The graduate REGer is Daisy Sudparid.

Project Description:

The following project description was taken from the NCSU 2013 REU site:

Title: Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of MTBE: Role of Metabolism

Description: In physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling, the structural setup of the model has the potential to impact the accuracy of the results depending upon the amount of details incorporated. By formulating and testing four different models, we sought to identify how the complexity of a model affects parameter optimization. Two volatile organic compounds, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and bromochloromethane (BCM), served as the test chemicals for this study. The inhalation data sets available provided a basis for comparison of different model structures. The three structures are: (1) a standard, 5 compartment model; (2) the standard model with isolation of the brain; (3) the standard model with the cardiovascular system isolated; and (4) the standard model with the brain and cardiovascular system isolated. We performed sensitivity analysis within each model and dose to determine appropriate parameters for optimization; results of the optimization were compared across model structures to identify effects of levels of complexity.


This work has been taken to several conferences in the form of talks and poster presentations by undergraduate students.