Fall 2019 Seminar Series (Pharm 847-S/ENV 847-S)
Duke University Program in Environmental Health & Toxicology
Friday, November 1, 2019, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, Grainger Hall Field Auditorium (rm 1112)
MICHELLE BLOCK, PH.D.
Associate Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Microglia and the Lung Brain Axis: Implications for CNS Disease?
Investigators in the research lab of Michelle Block, PhD, at Indiana University School of Medicine are identifying how microglia, the resident innate immune cells in the brain, can become a chronic source of cytokines and reactive oxygen species that drive progressive neuron damage. Increasing evidence links urban air pollution to central nervous system (CNS) disease. How does air pollution affect microglia, what does it mean for CNS disease, and what can we do about it?
Dr. Block graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in 1994, received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Penn State University in 2002, and completed her postdoctoral work at NIEHS/NIH in 2007. Dr. Block is the recipient of the NIEHS/NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist award and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her research team focuses on identifying environmental and endogenous disease triggers that initiate deleterious activation of the brain’s innate immune cells (microglia), revealing the redox mechanisms through which microglia cause neuron damage, and applying these findings towards halting chronic neuropathology in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzhiemer’s disease, and Gulf War Illness.