The Emerging Science of Epigenetics: How environmental exposures today may affect our future generations
Our guest blogger and VLS alum Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, invites you to this teleconference on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 9am Alaska/10am Pacific/1pm Eastern:
Join Washington State University researcher Dr. Michael Skinner for a discussion of new findings in epigenetics, the field of study which looks at how environmental factors can affect the way genes are expressed – and how those traits can be passed down from one generation to the next. For example a new study from WSU’s Center for Reproductive Biology suggests a link between exposure to the insecticide DDT (a chemical banned for more than 30 years) and obesity. Researchers exposed pregnant rats to low levels of DDT and studied how the chemical affected successive generations of their offspring. They found that the third generation of offspring – in other words, the great-grandchildren of the exposed rats – had much higher rates of obesity than their ancestors. Other industrial chemicals are now known to have multi-generational effects. What preventative measures can we take and how can we address this collectively through policy changes?
This call is presented by ACAT’s Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-AK). Learn more about the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE).
Dr. Michael Skinner, Washington State University
Dr. Michael Skinner is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University. He did his B.S. in chemistry at Reed College in Portland Oregon, his Ph.D, in biochemistry at Washington State University and his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the C.H. Best Institute at the University of Toronto. He has been on the faculty of Vanderbilt University and the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Skinner’s research is focused on the investigation of how different cell types in a tissue interact and communicate to regulate gonadal growth and differentiation, with emphasis in the area of reproductive biology. Recent studies have elucidated several critical events in the initiation of male sex differentiation, testis development and ovarian primordial follicle development. His current research has demonstrated the ability of endocrine disruptors to promote transgenerational epigenetic disease phenotypes due to abnormal germ line programming in gonadal development. Dr. Skinner has over 200 peer reviewed publications and has given over 180 invited symposia, plenary lectures and university seminars.