Jan 16, 2020: The SAFEWaterNC Study

Spring 2020 Seminar Series (Pharm 848-S/ENV 848-S)

Duke Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, Field Auditorium, Grainger Hall

SCOTT BELCHER, PH.D.Dr. Scott Belcher with baby American Alligator

North Carolina State University College of Medicine

Mitochondrial Insight into toxicity of PFAS through analysis of aquatic wildlife: The SAFEWaterNC Study

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent and toxic water-soluble chemical pollutants of ground and surface water. To better understand the degree of exposure and impacts of PFAS toxicity resulting from the various PFAS present in surface water, the Belcher lab is using wild fish and American Alligator as models to evaluate levels of PFAS exposure and to determine the detrimental impacts of exposures on a wide variety of endpoints related to PFAS toxicity. Ongoing analysis of Striped bass from the Cape Fear River has revealed very high levels of exposure, the impacts of individual and combined PFAS exposure on the loss of reproductive fitness in these fish is being evaluated. American alligators sampled from the Cape Fear River also have elevated serum PFAS levels that are associated with adverse impacts on the liver and immune function. Continuing studies are evaluating PFAS tissue distribution in the muscle tissue of recreationally harvested species from the Cape Fear River, and evaluating fish consumption as a route of PFAS exposure for humans.


BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Scott Belcher is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences at North Carolina State University. His research efforts are focused on understanding the diverse mechanisms of endocrine-disrupting chemical action on cellular signaling during development and disease progression. One focus of the lab aims to define the exposure, toxicity, and environmental health impacts of per- and polyfluorinated chemical pollutants. Those studies use high-resolution mass spectrometry approaches to characterize exposures in wildlife (American alligator and fish species) and define the molecular mechanisms of bioaccumulation, and toxicity of these contaminants of emerging concern.


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