BMS 291 - Laboratory in Human Physiology
BMS 311 - Pharmacological Aspects of Biomedical Sciences
Ph.D. (Pharmacology & Toxicology), Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
M.S. (Pharmacology), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2005
B.S. (Pharmacy), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2000
Xenopus laevis thymus – a model for assessing impact of environmental pollutants
The amphibian thymus gland may be an easily assessable surrogate indicator of the effect of endocrine agents. Endogenous (eg cortisol) and synthetic (eg dexamethasone, commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions) glucocorticoids have been associated with reduced organ size and programmed cell death of the cells of the thymus in mice. Interestingly, the commonly used pesticide Atrazine has shown similar endocrine disrupting effects and, like glucocorticoid alters immune function in Xenopus. Preliminary studies have shown that thymus reduction seen after exposure of tadpoles of Xenopus laevis to atrazine is glucocorticoid receptor-dependent; we have evidence that thymus involution is not correlated with apoptosis but associated with a decrease in autophagic flux. Given the role of this organ in the immune system and its utility as an easily detectable indicator, the overall aim of my current research project seeks to characterize the mechanism of atrazine-induced organ toxicity (ii) validate the use of the Xenopus tadpole thymus as a toxicological model for environmental pollutants. Immediate specific goals in the lab are to elucidate the cell death/ survival signaling cascades activated in response to atrazine, and its effect on tissue and organ architecture, and function.