Biological Sciences and the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program
Research in Lisa Bain’s laboratory examines the mechanisms by which toxicants alter cell fate determination, differentiation, and organ development, particularly during the embryonic period. Most of her current projects focus specifically on arsenic toxicity. This is because arsenic is a contaminant in drinking water in many parts of the world, and has been found at appreciable levels in rice and juices. Arsenic readily crosses the placental barrier and exposure is correlated with adverse developmental outcomes such as stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, neonatal mortality, low birth weight, delays in the use of musculature, and altered neuronal and behavioral function. Thus, her goals are to determine whether chronic arsenic exposure to levels below the drinking water standard impair development and cellular differentiation.
Lisa’s research aims to better the understanding of why arsenic-exposed populations are at increased risk of defects in muscle and neuronal development, such as low birth weight, altered locomotion and reduced neuronal function. She hopes that this will aid in making rational decisions about specific time periods in pregnancy to avoid or reduce exposure to products potentially contaminated with arsenic. Finally, she will be to understand whether the effects of an early life exposure to arsenic are permanent, or if recovery later in life can occur.
Arsenic, Metals, Toxicology, Xenobiotics, Stem Cells, Neurons, Muscle Cells, Cellular Differentiation, Fish As Model Species