Adverse health outcomes of environmental exposures arise from interactions between chemical toxicants and exposed organisms. A major focus of the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health is in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the effects of the environmental perturbations on health and disease. Mechanistic determination of these toxic effects relies on integrating multidisciplinary research approaches including:
- Experimental molecular toxicology
- Genome-scale analyses using -omics platforms and systems biology
- Development and application of biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility, and effect
- Data science and computational modeling
As the basic biological sciences advance, innovative experimental tools are increasingly applied to interrogate the biological systems exposed to a myriad of environmental toxicants. The technological revolutions in genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and mass spectrometry have transformed biological research. With their unprecedented global coverage and resolution, these technologies can now provide insights on how animal and human bodies experience environmental exposures. Revealing toxicological responses and their underlying molecular pathways and mechanisms requires integration of experimental and computational approaches and the faculty of the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health collaborate to specifically drive that integration.
The ability to critically evaluate environmental contributions to health and disease from a multidisciplinary perspective is imperative for the successful interrogation of environmental health data and associated outcomes and health risk assessment. With this in mind, classroom and research training in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health draws upon faculty expertise in epidemiology, exposure science, data science and biological mechanisms of disease, and unifies these approaches in a cooperative effort to provide a holistic understanding of the influence of chemical toxicants on human health.