Foad Meshkinian: 2007 – 2008

Foad Meshkinian

Foad Meshkinian
Undergraduate chemistry major

I am a fourth year chemistry major. My interests in research led me to join Dr. Gore’s laboratory. After I graduate, my plan is to attend pharmacy school.

In my spare time I like to work out, play basketball, and listen to music.


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic organic compounds that were used in coolants and capacitors until the 1970’s. Exposure to PCBs during development, especially embryogenesis, can result in profound neurological and reproductive deficits. Many of the mechanisms for these deficits are not well understood. My research aims to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the PCB-induced alterations in normal sexual differentiation. As an undergraduate research assistant, I work with a Pharm-Tox graduate student, Sarah Dickerson to test the hypothesis the prenatal exposure to PCBs has sexually dimorphic effects on the developing hypothalamus of male and female rats. The research techniques I utilize in this study include immunohistochemistry and microscopic analyses of the expression of ER alpha receptors in rat brains.