The ITN PERFORCE 3 research consortium held their biannual meeting on 26 April at Stockholm University where Early Career Researchers (ESRs) of the consortium spent two weeks attending a series of advanced training courses.
Highly fluorinated chemicals or PFAS encompass a large and diverse class of over 4700 substances and are widely used in consumer and industrial products. They are very persistent in the environment for which the term “forever chemicals” has been coined. Exposure to PFAS may be linked to negative effects on human health.
ITN PERFORCE3 is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network coordinated by researchers at the Department of Environmental Science and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The aim of ITN PERFORCE3 is to develop analytical tools to better characterize total PFAS exposure, improve the understanding of PFAS exposure pathways and health effects in humans, and develop solutions for PFAS contamination problems.
Running in parallel with the research scope of the project is training the next generation of scientists with enhanced career perspectives through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility. One of the ESRs who took part in the 2-week training program in Stockholm this spring was Joost Dalmijn, a PhD student at the Department of Environmental Science:
“It was very nice to have the advanced training courses in person for the first time and see the faces of the PhDs and others involved in the PERFORCE3 project. Various subjects ranging from mass spectrometry, remediation to career development were addressed. We had a very good time together in Stockholm and learned a lot from the courses and each other,” said Joost.
As part of outreach initiatives within the project, the ESRs created and launched the science podcast series PFASology, in which they discuss the challenges and solutions associated with the global occurrence of PFAS. Topics include PFAS exposure, risk assessment, remediation, and more.