One of the goals of environmental toxicologists is to understand the relationship between exposure to toxicants and disease. The research in my laboratory focuses on a heterogeneous group of environmental pollutants referred to as “endocrine disruptors”. Endocrine disruptors may mimic, block, or alter the metabolism of endogenous hormones and have been implicated in the decline of amphibian populations and the etiology of some cancers. Many pesticides, herbicides, industrial pollutants, pharmaceuticals, and household products are potential endocrine disruptors.
The research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the human health effects of exposure to complex mixtures of environmental pollutants with emphasis on estrogenic and antiestrogenic pollutants. There presently are three major funded projects in the lab: 1) breast milk as a marker of exposure, effect and breast cancer risk, 2) signaling pathways in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer and, 3) bioassays for detection of endocrine disruptors in water ways.