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T cell, toxin link discussed in lecture

Sarah Sleeger
Staff Writer

Christine Broussard, professor of biology, gave a faculty lecture titled “An Investigation of Non-genomic Effects of Selected Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.”

More than 30 people attended the Monday afternoon lecture in the President’s Dining Room.

Broussard began her research when a student’s senior project question was about the University of La Verne’s interest in the environment, Broussard’s immunology background and how the two come together.

“His interest was in zinc… and that branched out to our interest in general on environmental toxins and their influence on our immune systems,” Broussard said.

Many La Verne students have been involved in this research since it began. Several of the students were present for her lecture.

In her talk she compared both innate immune systems and adaptive immune systems and their responses to antigens and pathogens.

“Innate response is a very quick response, happens within a few hours or days… And is not very specific,” Broussard said.

“The adaptive response system is very slow, takes three to seven days, but this response is very specific.”

Broussard focused on adaptive immune response, specifically the body’s T cells.

“I am a T cell immunologist and I think T cells rule the world,” Broussard joked.

Ultimately, her conclusion led to a connection between the environment and the immune system.

“Maybe there is a link between environmental exposures and the immune system,” Broussard said.

Sarah Sleeger can be reached at sarah.sleeger@laverne.edu.

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