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Two Arkansas researchers awarded $1.3M NIH grant

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LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Two researchers at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute have received a $1.3 million grant to student how children's immune systems are affected by a common pollutant.

The National Institutes of Health awarded the 4-year grant to Kathleen Gilbert and Sarah Blossom. The researchers are studying how chronic low exposure to trichloroethylene, known as TCE, may contribute to diseases like diabetes, lupus and autoimmune hepatitis.

TCE is an industrial solvent that is present in some water supplies because of improper disposal.

The team has proven the link between TCE and autoimmune disease in previous studies.

Both researchers work at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' College of Medicine. Gilbert is a professor of microbiology and immunology and Blossom is an assistant professor of pediatrics.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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