Copper and iron are vital nutrients with evolutionarily conserved and interwoven cellular and systemic metabolism, required for the growth and development of all organisms. An overall research goal of the laboratory is to further understand copper and iron metabolism in mammals.
Toxicant Susceptibility: In their research, they are utilizing systematic functional analysis through the use of barcoding analysis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify genes involved in sensitivity and resistance to toxicants. They are currently focusing on metals, metalloids, and benzene and its metabolites. Their long term goal is identify conserved toxicity pathways which may influence susceptibility to toxicant exposure in eukaryotes including people.
Ecotoxicogenomics: They are developing a novel approach for identifying and understanding the toxicity of xenobiotics in aquatic ecosystems by monitoring changes in global gene expression patterns in aquatic indicator species representative of different trophic levels including Daphnia magna (a crustacean), and Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow).
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The National Science Foundation fellowship is a crown jewel of graduate student awards and UC Berkeley students lead the nation in capturing these prestigious and highly competitive grants.