A toxicogenomic approach to investigate contaminant exposure in fish

A Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering by Dr. Doris E. Vidal-Dorsch, Toxicology Department, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:45 AM
Boelter Hall 4275


Although we can detect the presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in effluents and receiving waters, we still do not have a good understanding of the ecological implications of their presence in aquatic environments.  CEC effects are subtle and diverse, comprehensive tools such as gene expression microarrays can identify toxicity mechanisms involved in these types of responses.  We investigated the use of microarray analysis in municipal wastewater effluent exposures.  We performed microarray analyses and measured phenotypic endpoints in model and non-model fish.  Effluent exposure produced changes in certain phenotypic characteristics including changes in plasma proteins.  Effluent exposure also elicited changes in the expression of genes involved in functions such as, xenobiotic metabolism, estrogenicity and energy/metabolism processes.  Gene expression data provided valuable information regarding some of the mechanisms associated with effects observed at higher biological levels.


Dr. Vidal-Dorsch received an undergraduate engineering degree in Mexico and a doctorate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  Her previous research studied resistance and adaptation to heavy metal exposure and the use of wetlands for bioremediation.  She specializes in studies to understand the relationship between sediment contamination and biological effects.  Her current research includes studies of contaminant bioavailability, and the assessment of biochemical and molecular responses to environmental contaminants such as contaminants of emerging concern in aquatic organisms.