Science & Technology Building 514
Our research of Biochemical Toxicology investigates the mode of action of various substances and materials including crude oil/dispersant system, abused drugs, and metallic nanoparticles, etc. Experimental organisms include Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and Rattus norvegicus (rat). Ongoing projects include 1) Reproductive toxicity of crude oil/dispersant mixture. The mixture of crude oil and chemical dispersant significantly inhibit brood size and affect embryonic development in C. elegans, current researches focus on the regulation of key players in apoptotic machinery by oil/dispersant system; 2) Molecular mechanism of addiction-related behaviors of nicotine; Nicotine induced addiction behaviors (stimulation, dependence, and withdrawal) has been characterized in C. elegans, we currently investigate the regulation of cholinergic and serotonergic signaling and transmission pathways by nicotine; and 3) Peripheral biomarkers in blast-induced neurotrauma. Developing sensitive diagnostic and prognostic markers using well-controlled experiments on model organism represent a critical basic research topic fundamentally important to neuropsychological health and recovery of TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This project using the SD rat as an animal model to identify circulating miRNAs as a novel biomarker for TBI and related neurological and systemic damages, especially for mild TBI which currently lack effective diagnostic strategy. Identified miRNAs will contribute towards the development of novel non-invasive diagnostic tools and facilitate the evaluation of medical interventions and treatments.