Human babies are typically born with over 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in their umbilical cord blood. Due to the ubiquitous nature of chemicals, and the enhanced sensitivity of developing animals to them, it is important to understand how development is altered and modulated upon exposure. One family of proteins thought to be involved in a protective response are the Nrf, or nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like, proteins. Using the zebrafish as a model, our lab is using molecular biology and microscopy to explore the role of several of these proteins during development and upon exposure to several environmental chemicals.
Dr. Williams is Assistant Professor of Biology at Bates College.