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Our lab studies the cardiovascular system. We are interested in how normal cardiac physiology is governed by various cardiac ion channels, and how cardiac electrical properties are altered in disease conditions or by environmental chemicals. In particular, we are interested in how a group of environmental chemicals called “endocrine disrupting chemicals” may alter the normal electrical and mechanical properties of the heart. Our past studies systematically examined the impact of a common environmental chemical, bisphenol A or BPA, and its related analogs, on the heart, and showed that these chemicals can increase the risk of cardiac arrythmias. Further, we elucidated the signaling, receptor, molecular and pharmacokinetic mechanisms underlying the actions of these chemicals. Currently we are examining the cardiovascular toxicity of a broader range of environmental chemicals using animals models, human stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes, and human cohort biosamples. We also study cardiac ion channels and cardiac electrical properties. A current focus is how a type of proton channels contributes to acid extrusion and pH regulation in the heart.
In addition to the above focus areas, we also pursue broader environmental science and environmental health related questions. Some are carried out by high school students during the summer, and graduate students during their lab rotation. For examples, you can have a look at the study by Victoria on the effect of BPA on blackworms (2018), and the study by Rebecca on cleaning of plastic bottles (2021). See publications below
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