Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of manufactured chemicals that have been extensively used in a range of common household products and industrial applications. Their highly persistent nature (half-lives (t1/2) = 2–9 years in humans) and demonstrated high affinity with biological membranes and blood components have been linked to a number of adverse physical health effects (e.g. high levels of cholesterol, kidney and liver damage) and psychosocial impacts (e.g. stress and anxiety). In particular, firefighters and people living in the PFAS affected Australian towns (e.g. Oakey, Williamtown and Katherine) have expressed significant concerns about cancer clusters and potential exacerbation of existing health conditions. While PFAS levels slowly diminish over time, their harmful health effects and no known clinical intervention indicate the importance and urgency of developing strategies to bring down elevated levels at a faster rate. This project with work closely with the City of Gold Coast and Chemours to develop new therapeutics for accelerating the elimination of PFAS.

Project members


Cheng Zhang

ARC DECRA and NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow
Whittaker Group