Effects of Roundup herbicide on morphology and development of wood frogs
Recently, there have been growing concerns about the effects of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide) on both environmental and human health. We will soon be conducting experiments with a common aquatic species (wood frogs) that are frequently exposed to glyphosate during the early stages of development under natural conditions. Our experiments will focus on identifying how this chemical might lead to developmental abnormalities of the skeletal system, heart, and brain of these vertebrates. Ultimately, the goal of this work will be to develop a model of how this chemical might influence human health. Students will have the opportunity to gain experience in histology, microscopy and visual imaging to study specific developmental abnormalities, and to participate in data analysis and presentation.
Oxidative stress and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that can result in an array of symptoms, including resting tremor, movement problems, depression, constipation, loss of smell, sleep problems, and cognitive impairment. It is the result of the premature death or degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Although the cause of this premature death is still unclear. However, it is clear that these cells are vulnerable to oxidative stress. Our laboratory is interested in ways to monitor and reduce oxidative stress load in dopamine cells. Students participating in this research will use sterile cell culture, fluorescence and light microscopy, spectrophotometry, and immunocytochemistry techniques to search for ways to reduce oxidative-stress induced dopamine cell death. Student lab members will then have the opportunity to present their findings at local and state research conferences.