European experts train young scientist in sewage epidemiology
During 2012, KWR has regularly been in the news in connection with the results of analyses of raw sewage samples concerning drug use. In October 2012, with a view to increasing international knowledge of the epidemiology of (illicit) drugs through sewage analysis, 16 European institutes set up an international research and training network on “sewage profiling at the community level”, or SEWPROF.
The network will be in place until the end of 2017 and is financed by the EU. For the network’s coordinator, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, of the University of Bath, “SEWPROF will train a new generation of researchers who will specialise in monitoring methods based on sewage epidemiology. The network will make a major contribution to diagnosing, and hence treating, major public health issues.”
KWR and the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, at the University of Amsterdam, are the Dutch participants in the network. Erik Emke, Pim de Voogt and early stage researcher, Ana Causanilles, are developing high-resolution mass spectrometry analysis methods to determine the presence in sewage of existing and new psychoactive substances. This involves studying the effectiveness of different ionisation techniques. The outcome allows one to identify the trends behind variations in drug use, both in terms of time and space. The network’s first training session will take place in Bath in 2013
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