Project 1: Developmental Neurotoxicants

Project 1 – Developmental Neurotoxicants: Sensitization, Consequences, and Mechanisms

What do we do?

During development, the brain is very sensitive to chemical exposures.  A great deal of research has been done to better understand how a chemical affects brain development, but what happens if a brain is exposed to more than one chemical?   The focus of Project 1 is to better understand what happens in the brain when someone who is already being exposed to one chemical (nicotine from cigarette smoke or dexamethasone from preterm labor therapy) is exposed to chemicals such as organophosphate pesticides, PAHs, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).


How do we do it?

We don’t conduct research on humans; instead, this lab uses rodent models.  This means that rodents (mice or rats) are exposed to certain chemicals in a controlled setting.  We watch the mice or rats very closely to understand how the chemicals affect brain development and behavior.  The results help us better understand the effect the chemical would have on human health, particularly on the health of children.


Who are we?

Dr. Theodore Slotkin 
Dr. Frederic J. Seidler