Anne Kwitek receives EHSRC Internal Pilot grant

Dr. Anne E. Kwitek, Associate Director of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, received an award from the Environmental Health Science Research Center (EHSRC) entitled “Gene x Environment Influences on Bisphenol Exposure in Population-based Heterogeneous Stock Rats. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Kwitek, Dr. Hans Lehmler, Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, and Dr. Leah Solberg Woods, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Bisphenols are used in the manufacturing of common consumer products such as plastic baby bottles, water bottles, and thermal paper. Evidence from human and animal studies implicates bisphenol A (BPA) in obesity and cardiometabolic disease.  Because of the growing health concerns, the use of BPA-based plastics is increasingly replaced by structurally similar chemicals, such as bisphenol F (BPF). However, their impact on human health is not known. This interdisciplinary team will study the effects of BPF exposure in Heterogeneous Stock (HS) rats, an innovative population model that is amenable to genetic studies. By exposing the rats to BPF at levels similar to human exposure, we will determine the bioavailability of BPF and its effect on body weight and the cardiovascular system, and determine whether these outcomes are influenced by the rats’ genetic make-up.  The proposed studies lay the foundation for the identification of the risk genes and associated mechanisms causing BPF-induced cardiometabolic disorders that can be translated to human populations.

Friday, August 4, 2017