|Institution||School of Medicine and Dentistry|
|Address||University of Rochester Medical Center|
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box EHSC
Rochester NY 14642
||Alpha Lambda Delta, honorary sorority|
||1982||National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship|
||1985||National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences New Investigator Award|
||Honoree, Fourth Annual Women in Science Symposium, Joint Programs of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University, sponsored by The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Douglass College Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering, Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology, and the Joint Postdoctoral Program in Exposure Assessment, Piscataway, NJ|
Environmental Neurotoxicants as Risk Factors for Behavioral Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases
This laboratory focuses on understanding the contribution of environmental chemical exposures to human diseases and disorders of the nervous system in order to evaluate human health risks and to determine effective strategies for treatment.
Ongoing studies focus on three areas. One involves determination of the neurochemical mechanisms in rodent models by which chronic low level lead (Pb) exposures disrupt complex cognitive/executive functions, including learning and attention. This will allow development of behavioral and/or pharmacological therapeutic strategies for such deficits.
Our studies of behavioral deficits in lead-exposed children facilitate direct translation of findings from experimental models. Related studies are now examining the combined impacts of low level lead exposures and stress in both rat and mouse models, since these are co-occurring risk factors that both target the mesolimbic dopamine system of the brain, and our previous studies show that Pb exposure permanently alters HPA axis function.
Another line of research in this laboratory continues to explore the contribution of pesticide exposures to the etiology of the Parkinson's disease phenotype, particularly when such exposures occur in combination with other risk factors, including developmental period of exposure, aging, genetic background and gender. Future studies aim to examine both the role of pesticides in addition to the paraquat + maneb model as etiological factors and to begin to determine mechanisms and markers that are common across models of the PD phenotype.
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