University of La Verne Professor of Biology Christine Broussard presented research about the impact of environmental pollutants on the immune system at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting March 11-14 in San Antonio, TX.
“Humans are exposed to pesticides, plasticizers, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals, EDCs, on a daily basis,” Broussard said. “Understanding how EDCs mediate their effects is key in determining how these chemicals are licensed and released into the environment, and what impacts they will have on human health.”
Dr. Broussard and a group of La Verne undergraduates and recent graduates, Lucie Leung Liu, Cristina Zambrano, Faraj Mourad, Zachary Muscato, and Priscilla Escalante, have examined how these EDCs affect the immune system. The immune system is a critical system that protects the body from infectious diseases and cancer.
The La Verne research group found that EDCs, when present, kill immune cells as they are developing. Recently the research group undertook further studies to reveal how the EDCs cause the death of the immune cells.