In a culmination of several transcriptomic and genomic screening efforts in Drosophila we have resolved that methylmercury (MeHg) can target muscle development and alter expression of specific Notch receptor target genes. Studies in flies and mice and cultured myoblasts are directed at defining conserved mechanisms of MeHg myotoxicity and their relationship to neurotoxicity in developmental contexts.
Learn more about Mechanisms of Methylmercury Toxicity in Notch signaling and Neuromuscular Development
This project addresses the fact that the rate at which humans metabolize and eliminate MeHg is highly variable and the mechanisms influencing MeHg metabolism are poorly characterized. The study involves human subjects who eat fish meals and subsequent measures of the kinetics of MeHg elimination and metabolism using samples of hair and the gut microbiome, respectively.
Learn more about Methylmercury Metabolism and Elimination Status (MerMES) in Humans
As part of the Rochester-based multi-national investigative team of the Seychelles Child Development Study, a long-running epidemiological cohort investigating prenatal MeHg exposure effects in a fish eating population, we are probing the influence of genetics on MeHg metabolism and neurological outcomes in children. Candidate genes are being queried in both flies and humans.
Learn more about Functional Assessment of Genetic Factors That Moderate Methylmercury Toxicity in Humans