Mar 4, 2021: Effects of cannabis on the sperm epigenome: a budding concern

Headshot of Rose Schrott, PhD candidate

Rose Schrott, ScM

PhD Candidate in Environment; Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

Duke University

She / Her / Hers

This seminar will address the impacts of cannabis use on the sperm epigenome. We have a rudimentary understanding of the consequences of preconception exposure to cannabis. As the most commonly used illicit psychoactive drug, cannabis prevalence is rapidly increasing across the United States, and consumers are increasingly perceiving it as safe. Recreational cannabis use is especially common among American men, rendering the paternal preconception environment potentially vulnerable to deleterious effects. We have used in vitro and in vivo models to address questions about the impacts of exposure to THC and cannabis smoke extract on the sperm epigenome. Using human cohorts, we have investigated the impact of cannabis use on sperm DNA methylation. We further asked whether or not abstinence from cannabis use in men can ameliorate the cannabis-induced methylation changes.

About the Speaker: Rose Schrott is a 5th year PhD Candidate in the Duke Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program working in the laboratory of Dr. Susan K. Murphy. Before coming to Duke, Rose received her B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and her Sc.M. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a concentration in reproductive biology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Rose’s dissertation work is broadly focused on the impacts of cannabis use on the sperm epigenome. More specifically, she investigates how cannabis can impact DNA methylation in sperm at genes that play critical roles in early life development in a potentially heritable, but reversible, manner using in vitro and in vivo models, and well as human cohorts.

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