Jan 23, 2020: Using invertebrate models to investigate chemical-induced immunotoxicity

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

Duke Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

Thursday, January 23, 2020, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, Field Auditorium, Grainger Hall

DANIELLE MELLO, PH.D.Danielle Mello, PhD

Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

Using invertebrate models to investigate chemical-induced immunotoxicity

Chemical pollution is increasingly recognized as one of the major causes of disease and premature death in humans and wildlife. Many chemicals may not be harmful for healthy individuals, but may directly or indirectly affect the immune system, turning organisms more susceptible to different disease-causing agents (e.g. bacterial pathogens). Her presentation will focus on how chemicals may indirectly affect the immune response of invertebrates by impairing other important biological pathways such as the antioxidant system and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.


BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Mello received a B.Sc. and B.Ed. in Biological Sciences at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, in 2009. She continued her graduation studies in the same university, receiving a M.Sc. in Biochemistry in 2012 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2016, during which she investigated the immune response of bivalves exposed to harmful algae toxins and antioxidant-depleting chemicals. She also has international experience as a visiting Ph.D. student at the University of Montpellier, France, where she focused on the Pacific oyster immune response to pathogens responsible for oyster massive mortalities around the globe. She joined Duke University in April 2016 as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Aballay Lab, where she investigated host-pathogen interactions in the nematode C. elegans. In 2017 she joined the Meyer lab, where one of her main projects involves investigating later-life effects of a developmental exposure of the pesticide rotenone in C. elegans. Her main research interest is identifying chemicals that may affect the innate immune response of invertebrates and unraveling its mechanisms.


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