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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
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Welcome to the Sabo-Attwood laboratory!  Our research focuses on molecular signaling events important in the development and progression of environmental diseases in mammalian and aquatic models. Within this research theme, we have three areas of interest:

Mechanisms of particle-induced pulmonary injury:  We utilize molecular biology techniques to elucidate signaling pathways and downstream target genes impacted by various environmental agents. Contaminants of particular interest include mineral fibers (asbestos), nanomaterials (single-walled carbon nanotubes), and endocrine disruptors (estrogen and thyroid mimics). We have recently been working on the role of mucins in the development of asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis and cancer in human cells and rodent models.

Targeted destruction of lung colonizing bacterial biofilms: Colonization of the lung with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of death in patients with cystic fibrosis when these biofilms become resistant to antibiotic therapy. We are performing targeted thermal disruption of infectious pulmonary biofilms using gold nanorods which we hypothesize will render the bacteria susceptible to antibiotic treatment. We are generating  Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in flow cell chambers and testing the ability of infrared-heated nanorods to disrupt intact biofilm structures.

Aquatic toxicology:  We are examining receptor-mediated mechanisms by which environmental and pharmaceutical agents that mimic endogenous molecules (estrogen and PPAR agonists) elicit adverse effects (development, reproduction, cancer) in zebrafish.. We are using integrated global genomic and proteomic profiling approaches to identify molecular targets of interest for further characterization.

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