Alex Carll - 5

Alex Carll

Research Fellow

Department of Environmental Health

655 Huntington Avenue
Building II, Room 217
Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Carll researches the cardiovascular and neural mechanisms of air pollution toxicity. Using laboratory rodents, he measures cardiac pressure, echocardiography, arterial pressure, and electrocardiography to determine how air pollutants impair cardiac pump function and geometry, vascular function, cardiac conduction, and autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system. Additionally, Dr. Carll incorporates stress tests to determine if air pollutants impair innate abilities to respond to physiological stress. His recent studies have tested whether air pollutant-induced hypertension and arrhythmia result from an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system and altered cardiac reflexes to blood pressure fluctuations.

In his prior research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Carll found evidence that autonomic responses to inhaled diesel exhaust weaken and stiffen the hearts of  rats with underlying cardiac disease.  Several other of his studies demonstrated that inhalation of the common air pollutants particulate matter (PM) and diesel exhaust increased spontaneous arrhythmia in rats.

Second Degree Atrioventricular Block, Mobitz Type II: An arrythmia that increases in rats exposed to traffic-derived particulate matter or fresh diesel exhaust

Second Degree Atrioventricular Block, Mobitz Type II: An arrythmia that increases in rats exposed to traffic-derived PM, metal-rich PM, or fresh diesel exhaust

Accordingly, Dr. Carll has researched several models of heart failure and drug-induced cardiomyopathy in rats.  These models have been useful in demonstrating that preexisting cardiac disease confers susceptibility to air pollutant inhalation.

Education
Ph.D. 2012, University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences.

M.S.P.H. 2008, UNC-Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Environmental Sciences & Engineering.

A.B. 2004, Duke University, Environmental Science & Policy

Prior Training
Pre-doctoral Fellow, 2006-2012, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Cardiopulmonary and Immunotoxicology Branch.

Publications:
Carll AP, Haykal-Coates N, Winsett DW, Hazari MS, Ledbetter AD, Richards JH, Cascio WE, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2015). Cardiomyopathy confers susceptibility to particulate matter-induced oxidative stress, vagal dominance, arrhythmia, and pulmonary inflammation in heart failure-prone rats. Inhalation Toxicology 27(2):100-12.

Carll AP, Lust RM, Hazari MS, Perez CM, Krantz QT, King C, Winsett DW, Cascio WE, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2013). An Autonomic Link between Inhaled Diesel Exhaust and Impaired Cardiac Performance: Insight from Treadmill and Dobutamine Challenges in Heart Failure-Prone Rats. Toxicological Sciences. 135(2):425-36.

Carll AP, Lust RM, Hazari MS, Perez CM, Krantz QT, King C, Winsett DW, Cascio WE, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2013). Diesel Exhaust Inhalation Increases Cardiac Output, Bradyarrhythmias, and Parasympathetic Tone in Aged Heart Failure-Prone Rats. Toxicological Sciences. 31(2):583-95.

Carll AP, Hazari MS, Perez CM, Krantz QT, King C, Winsett DW, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2012). Whole and Particle-Free Diesel Exhausts Differentially Affect Cardiac Electrophysiology, Blood pressure, and Autonomic Balance in Heart Failure-Prone Rats. Toxicological Sciences. 128(2):490-9. 

Carll AP, Haykal-Coates N, Winsett DW, Hazari MS, Nyska A, Richards JH, Willis MS, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2011). Dietary salt exacerbates isoproterenol-induced cardiomyopathy in rats. Toxicologic Pathology. 39(6):925-37.

Carll AP (review), Willis MS, Lust RM, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2011). Merits of Non-Invasive Rat Models of Left Ventricular Heart Failure. Cardiovascular Toxicology. 11(2):91-112.

Carll AP, Haykal-Coates N, Winsett DW, Rowan WH 3rd, Hazari MS, Ledbetter AD, Nyska A, Cascio WE, Watkinson WP, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2010). Particulate matter inhalation exacerbates cardiopulmonary injury in a rat model of isoproterenol-induced cardiomyopathy. Inhalation Toxicology. 22(5):355-68. 

Additional Publications:
Perez CM, Hazari MS, Ledbetter AD, Haykal-Coates N, Carll AP, Cascio WE, Winsett DW, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2015).  Acrolein inhalation alters arterial blood gases and triggers carotid body-mediated cardiovascular responses in hypertensive rats. Inhalation Toxicology. 27(1):54-63

Perez CM, Ledbetter AD, Hazari MS, Haykal-Coates N, Carll AP, Winsett DW, Costa DL, Farraj AK. Hypoxia Stress Test Reveals Exaggerated Cardiovascular Effects in Hypertensive Rats after Exposure to the Air Pollutant Acrolein (2013). Toxicological Sciences. 132(2):467-77.

Farraj AK, Hazari MS, Winsett DW, Kulukulualani A, Carll AP, Haykal-Coates N, Lamb CM, Lappi E, Terrell D, Cascio WE, Costa DL (2012). Overt and Latent Cardiac Effects of Ozone Inhalation in Rats: Evidence for Autonomic Modulation and Increased Myocardial Vulnerability. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120(3):348-54.

Lamb CM, Hazari MS, Haykal-Coates N, Carll AP, Krantz QT, King C, Winsett DW, Cascio WE, Costa DL, Farraj AK (2012). Divergent Electrocardiographic Responses to Whole and Particle-Free Diesel Exhaust Inhalation in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Toxicological Sciences. 125(2):558-68.

Farraj AK, Hazari MS, Haykal-Coates N, Lamb C, Winsett DW, Ge Y, Ledbetter AD, Carll AP, Bruno M, Ghio A, Costa DL (2011). ST Depression, Arrhythmia, Vagal Dominance, and Reduced Cardiac MicroRNA in Particulate-exposed Rats. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 44(2):185-96.

Farraj AK, Haykal-Coates N, Winsett DW, Hazari MS, Carll AP, Rowan WH, Ledbetter AD, Cascio WE, Costa DL (2009). Increased non-conducted P-wave arrhythmias after a single oil fly ash inhalation exposure in hypertensive rats. Environmental Health Perspectives. 117(5):709–715.

LaGier AJ, Manzo ND, Carll AP, Jaskot RH, Slade R, Richards JH, Winsett DW, Farraj AK, Dye JA (2008). A hyperlipidemic rabbit model provides new insights into pulmonary zinc exposure effects on cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular Toxicology. 8(4):195-206.

Honors and Awards:

  • Paper of the Year in Cardiovascular Toxicology Section, 2014 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Meeting for Carll et al., Toxicological Sciences 135(2) 425-36
  • Paper of the Year in Inhalation & Respiratory Toxicology Section, 2013 SOT Meeting for Carll et al., Toxicological Sciences 131(2) 583-95
  • Mary O. Amdur Award for Inhalation Toxicology, 2012 SOT Meeting
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, 2012 SOT Meeting
  • 1st Place Graduate Student Poster, Research Triangle Visiting Pulmonary Scholar Seminar 2011
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, Cardiovascular Toxicology Section, 2011 SOT Meeting
  • Cooperative Fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. EPA and UNC Chapel Hill  2006-2012
  • Stanback Internship, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment / Appalachian Voices  2003