Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Effects on Mothers, and Interactions with Lifestyle

March 3, 2021
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

During this webinar Alyssa Merrill discussed how pregnancy is a critical window for the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on maternal endocrine and metabolic health. Epidemiological studies indicate that pregnancy is a critical window for EDC exposures, and in support, her animal models indicate EDC exposures during pregnancy reduce estradiol and induce metabolic dysregulation across the maternal lifespan.

Dr. Jessica Hartman discussed how diet and exercise are modifiers of metabolism and chemical toxicity. Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise have a dramatic impact on metabolism and alter how an individual will respond to EDC and other chemical exposures. She discussed ongoing projects studying the intersection of organismal metabolism and chemical exposures, with a special focus on neuronal health.

Featured Speakers

Alyssa Merrill, MS, is a Toxicology Ph.D. candidate in the laboratories of Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D. and Marissa Sobolewski, Ph.D. in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York. Alyssa's research interest is in the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on both fetal and maternal health following gestational exposure. The Sobolewski lab focuses on  sex-differentiated mechanisms of neurotoxicity. The Cory-Slechta lab focuses on the impact of environmental chemicals on brain development and behavior, with emphasis on attributable risk to neurodevelopmental disorders. 


Jessica Hartman, PhD, is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Hartman completed her Ph.D. in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the lab of Dr. Grover P. Miller, where she studied cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) enzyme kinetics. In her postdoctoral position in the NIcholas School of the Environment at Duke University working with Dr. Joel Meyer, she extended her research to include in vivo models (cell culture and Caenorhabditis elegans), with a particular focus on metabolic influences on mitochondrial function and toxicity. The Hartman lab is interested in the broad question: if a population of people are exposed, why do only a few respond? They hypothesize that a key factor in chemical exposure response might be metabolism. @TheHartmanLab

The YESS webinar series is sponsored by the Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies (HEEDS) Mentoring Working Group and coordinated by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE). This series will feature speakers in the early stages of their careers, such as PhD students, post-docs, and other early-career researchers who study endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). They will present their research projects and findings on webinars with 2-3 speakers and time for questions. Presentations will be recorded and available online.

This webinar was moderated by Sarah Howard, MS, Founder and Manager, DiabetesandEnvironment.org. It lasted for 45 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive. If you are interested in presenting on one of these webinars, or have a recommendation for a speaker, please contact HEEDS.