The Duke Superfund Research Center, and the Center’s Project 3 on persistent mitochondrial and epigenetic effects of toxicant exposure in particular, was well-represented at the recent Environmental Mutagenesis & Genomics Society (EMGS) Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, from Sept. 9-13.
Susan Murphy, an investigator on Duke SRC Project 3, spoke on “Environment and Gametic Epigenetic Reprogramming” in a symposium entitled “The Unique Vulnerability of the Germline Epigenome: Towards Evidence of Transgenerational Inheritance?” co-organized by Caren Weinhouse a postdoctoral researcher with William Pan at the Duke Global Health Institute.
Caren Weinhouse also co-organized two other symposia: “Environmental Epidemiology: The Influence of Early Life Exposures on the Epigenome” and “Biological Implications of Covalent Modifications to DNA and RNA.”
Joel Meyer, principal investigator for Project 3, co-organized –with Carol Swartz of Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc.– a workshop entitled “Alternative Models for (epi)Genotoxicity Testing” highlighting the uses of stem cells, organoids, C. elegans, drosophila, zebrafish, and wild fish populations in understanding contaminants’ effect of the genome and epigenome.
Nishad Jayasundara, former postdoctoral researcher the Di Giulio lab (Project 4), presented on the topic of “Ecogenotoxicity: what we can learn from wild populations.”
Finally, as a punctuation mark on a successful conference, Duke Superfund trainee Tess Leuthner was awarded 1st place in the student platform competition by the conference organizers. Tess presented a talk entitled “Adaptation to cadmium reveals mechanism and susceptibility to mitochondrial genotoxicity” as part of the symposium “Effects of Environmental Exposures on Mitochondria,” co-chaired by Tess and Joel Meyer.