Core A - Synthesis Core


The major objective of the Synthesis Core is to provide a large variety of fully authenticated and highly pure PCB derivatives to individual research projects and the Analytical Core


  • Maintain and prepare PCB mixtures and pure PCB congeners.
  • Prepare hydroxylated PCB derivatives.
  • Synthesize PCB sulfate metabolites.
  • Prepare miscellaneous compounds, including diazomethane


The Synthesis Core is responsible for the synthesis, purification and characterization of individual PCB congeners and PCB metabolites required for all research projects.

Compounds are supplied to research projects for animal studies, PCB/PCB metabolite binding studies with plasma proteins, metabolism studies, and inhalation toxicity studies.

In addition, the Synthesis Core will provide the Analytical Core with analytical PCB standard mixtures that are based on individual PCB congeners (and not technical Aroclors). These mixtures will significantly contribute to the high quality of the PCB analysis needed by most research projects.

The Core also provided compounds to researchers at other institutions in the United States and across the world to investigate the adverse effects of PCBs.


  • Core Leader: Hans-Joachim Lehmler, PhD

    Dr. Lehmler is an experienced synthetic organic chemist with over twelve years of experience in the synthesis of polychlorinated biphenyls and their metabolites. He is currently an Associate Professor (Research) in the University of Iowa Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. He has been involved in the NIEHS Superfund Program since 1998-first at the University of Kentucky and since 2003 at the University of Iowa. As Core Leader he will oversee and coordinate the chemical synthesis and the chemical characterization of synthetic compounds.

  • Larry W. Robertson, PhD, MPH

    Dr. Robertson has over thirty years of experience in the synthesis of polychlorinated biphenyls, their metabolites and other environmental contaminants. His expertise in the synthesis of individual PCB congeners using the Cadogan and Ullmann coupling as well as the Sandmeyer reaction is an especially important asset for the Synthesis Core.

Technology Transfer efforts

The Synthesis Core has a long history of supporting researchers worldwide (especially from other superfund basic research programs) by providing individual PCB congeners as well as PCB metabolites. The Synthesis Core endeavors to continue this support as part of our research translation efforts and, whenever possible, will make test compounds available to other research programs at no or reduced cost.


Please e-mail any inquiries relating to the Synthesis Core to Hans-Joachim Lehmler at

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Program and Research Support Cores

The Program and Research Support Cores communicate with all projects, thus fostering regular communication and interaction among all components (projects and cores) of the isrp.

Program Support Cores

Research Support Cores