Welcome to the Sobolewski Lab
The overall goal of my research is to ascertain the role of environmental factors in the etiology of neurobehavioral and neurodegenerative disorders with sex-biased prevalence rates and presentations. Ultimately, this work seeks to translate mechanistic research into a deep understanding of human health through innovative experimental design, grounding our exposures in human relevance, including sex as a biological variable, and studying unique critical windows (e.g. pregnancy as a critical period or the perinatal testosterone surge as a critical target) using translational behavioral, physiological, and biochemical approaches.
Our lab focuses on behavior as a functional and translational endpoint. To translate behavioral phenotypes across species, our research underscores the importance of defining behavioral mechanisms of complex behaviors, such as sociality or learning, including context-dependency of behavioral changes, the impact of behavioral history, and the role of species-specific evolutionary and ethological effects. These lessons are ultimately critical to bidirectional translation from animal models to human neurobehavioral disorders.
We are committed to grounding our experimental design in the reality of human exposure to environmental toxicants. Our research projects focus on understanding the effect of chemical mixtures, utilizing whole body inhalation to study air pollution, developing inhaled metal exposures based on human exposures, and investigating how stress can modulate metal toxicity. Combinatorial and mixture studies are significant for public health protection as current methods of risk assessment, based only on effect thresholds of single chemicals, may overestimate the actual no-adverse effect risk levels of single toxicants.