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James Irvine Foundation Chair in Biological Sciences
Department of Biology
Science & Learning Center 301
Whittier College, Department of Biology
13406 Philadelphia St., Whittier, CA 90608
B.Sc. with honors, Biology
Queen's University, Canada, 1995
University of Victoria, Canada, 2001
My teaching focuses on coursework exploring the anatomy and physiology of vertebrates. Course materials emphasize environmental adaptations and the relationship between structure and function.
My research focuses on understanding how organophosphate pesticide exposure influences neuronal development and its potential role in the development of neurodegenerative disease.
Currently undergraduate students are working collaboratively with me on three major projects. Preliminary studies in zebrafish and Xenopus have shown that developmental organophosphate exposure causes cholinergic hyperactivity. Therefore, we are examining the effect of this hyperactivity on the survival and architecture of neurons. Secondly, we are examining whether developmental exposure to organophosphate pesticides alters the susceptibility of neurons to oxidative stress and Amyloid β-protein induced toxicity. A third project is evaluating the suitability of the zebrafish to screen oxime compounds as antidotes for organophosphate poisoning. Together these studies hope to elucidate the biological consequences of organophosphate pesticide exposure and help identify novel drug compounds that can prevent neuronal damage.