Cory Gerlach (Student)
Ron Panganiban (Research Fellow)
Maoyun Sun (Research Fellow)
Peter Wagner (Student)
I came to the Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH) PhD program with a Bachelors in Environmental Biology from Columbia University and after two years of work in the lab of Leena Peltonen-Palotie at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in Helsinki. I was interested in combining some of the environmental issues I had learned about at Columbia with the genomics I had picked up in Finland. I found the project that was perfect for me in the Lu and Christiani labs as part of the Harvard Superfund Research Program, which takes a holistic approach to understand a child’s exposure to heavy metals and the biology that underlies the resulting cognitive difficulties in children. My project, thus far, has focused on the molecular mechanisms of lead (Pb) neurotoxicity. While it has long been known that Pb is a potent neurotoxicant, the molecular mechanisms of its toxicity remain poorly understood. My goal is to work between the laboratory and population cohorts to determine which molecular pathways are perturbed upon exposure to Pb and how that disruption mechanistically leads to cognitive impairments in children.
Qiyu Wang (Research Fellow)