Laboratory and Project Manager
I graduated from the University of North Texas in 2008 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. After graduating I worked at UT Southwestern where I helped to develop transgenic rats and improved the cell culturing methods of maintaining rat spermatogonial stem cells.
Since joining Dr. Andrea Gore’s lab in 2009 I have managed three projects looking at the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the developing rat. EDCs are man-made or natural chemicals that have the ability to alter the function of the endocrine system and have been shown to have deleterious developmental effects. The first project I worked on focused on the effects of a class of EDCs called polychlorinated bisphenyls (PCBs) administered during late gestation to pregnant dams. These animals were carried out to the third generation to determine the effects of EDCs on gene expression in the brain, hormones levels and physiological measures over three generations.
My project looked at two different doses of PCBs given late in gestation to pregnant dams. This study focused on the behavioral effects of PCBs in adulthood. After gestational treatment pups were grown up and were characterized with a battery of tests that focused on social, sexual and anxiety behaviors.
Recent evidence suggests that EDCs do not only affect individuals that are directly exposed but can also affect the great-great offspring of exposed individuals. My current project aims at characterizing the transgenerational effects of PCBs. This study spans 6-generations and multiple exposures. F0 pregnant dams are treated with EDCs, grown up, and bred to the third generation. After mating, third generation pregnant dams are again treated with an EDC the same or different from the first generation. Resulting liters are then breed to the F6 generation. I am characterizing the social, sexual and anxiety behaviors of individuals from each of the 6 generations to determine if a combination of EDCs can alter behavior for multiple generations and whether these effects differ when inherited through either the maternal or paternal lineage.