Skip to main content
Explore URMC
menu

Marissa E. Terry, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 276-4099

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

Biography

Research

Dr. Sobolewski's lab focuses on sex-differentiated mechanisms of neurotoxicity. The perinatal endocrine environment of a developing mammal differs depending on sex. These sex-specific hormone profiles may result in unique sensitivity to endocrine active chemicals (EACs). We test the hypothesis that environmental disruption of perinatal hormone profiles results in lasting sex-specific changes to brain development and behavior. The goal is to advance our understanding of differential toxicity risk based on sex. Ultimately, our lab seeks to translate our mechanistic research into a deep understanding of the role the environment plays in the etiology of neurobehavioral disorders with sex-biased prevalence rates, such as Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Our first research aim examines EAC disruption of early sex steroids, specifically disruption of the male-specific testosterone surge before and after birth known as the perinatal testosterone surge (PTS). Steroid hormones are key regulators of reproductive tract and central nervous system development. Using EACs, our lab disrupts PTS signaling to elucidate its role in sex-specific nervous system development in rodents. Furthermore, given the vast number of compounds with endocrine disrupting properties, it is critical to characterize combinations of compounds that alter such key developmental pathways. Mixtures 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 EACs.
Our second research aim focuses on mechanisms connecting early hormone disruption with adult behavioral variability. Consistent with fetal origins of adult disease theory, environmental information gathered during development is carried forward into adulthood, influencing behavior. Increasingly, research is identifying that epigenetic modifications may provide the cellular memory for transmission. Our lab uses environmental stressors and endocrine active chemicals to elucidate mechanisms of cellular transmission from development into adulthood through epigenetic reprogramming.

Publications

Journal Articles

2/18/2019
Morris-Schaffer K, Merrill A, Jew K, Wong C, Conrad K, Harvey K, Marvin E, Sobolewski M, Oberdörster G, Elder A, Cory-Slechta DA. "Effects of neonatal inhalation exposure to ultrafine carbon particles on pathology and behavioral outcomes in C57BL/6J mice." Particle and fibre toxicology.. 2019 Feb 18; 16(1):10. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

1/7/2019
Morris-Schaffer K, Merrill AK, Wong C, Jew K, Sobolewski M, Cory-Slechta DA. "Limited developmental neurotoxicity from neonatal inhalation exposure to diesel exhaust particles in C57BL/6 mice." Particle and fibre toxicology.. 2019 Jan 7; 16(1):1. Epub 2019 Jan 07.

12/20/2018
"Enhanced cerebellar myelination with concomitant iron elevation and ultrastructural irregularities following prenatal exposure to ambient particulate matter in the mouse." Inhalation toxicology.. 2018 Dec 20; :1-16. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

VIEW ALL PUBLICATIONS