Chronic or acute occupational and environmental stressors within the workplace can significantly influence the quality of human health. These include, but are not necessarily limited to exposures to radiation, carcinogenic compounds, neurodegenerative-causing agents, obesogenic conditions, and metabolic-, endocrine, and reproductive-disrupting environments. Additionally, disruption of circadian rhythms can manifest in a variety of diseases, comparable to those initiated by chemical and radiation challenges. Even under circumstances of common work place exposures, an individual’s susceptibility to manifesting adverse health consequences may be ameliorated or exacerbated by genetic and epigenetic differences within that person. Cumulatively, these can lead to sub-optimal health, decreased worker productivity, and potentially debilitating long-term disease. Thus, the overarching goals of the Institute’s basic research goals are to identify factors that can harm human health and prevent, minimize and treat disease by understanding how these factors work.
Acknowledging the complexities of these challenges, the scope of the research conducted within the laboratories of the basic science faculty addresses many of these health-related issues. Our research spans circadian biology, genome instability and epigenetic regulatory pathways, and neurological disease. To gain a more in-depth understanding of the scope of research conducted by the Institute’s faculty, the following introduces the general subject area for each member, with links to expanded information.