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Rebecca Sommer – Toxicology

Developmental Toxicology

As a developmental toxicologist, I am very interested in investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which some forms of pollution alter normal development. I have two areas of research in my laboratory. The first research project is funded by the National Institutes of Health and examines the role beta-adrenergic receptor signaling plays in dioxin-induced dilated cardiomyopathy. The second research project investigates the incidence of imposex in dogwhelks (Nucella lapillus) along the Coast of Maine.

Selected Publications

Sommer, R.J., Hume, A.J.*, Ciak, J.M.*, VanNostrand, J.J. Jr.*, Friggens, M. and Walker, M.K. (2005). Early developmental 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure decreases chick embryo heart chronotropic response to isoproterenol but not to agents affecting signals downstream of the beta-adrenergic receptor. Toxicol. Sci.  83, 363-371.

Lewis, B.C., Hudgins, S., Lewis, A., Schorr, K., Sommer, R.J., Peterson, R.E., Flaws, J.A., and Furth, P.A. (2001). In utero and lactational treatment with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin impairs mammary gland differentiation but does not block the response to exogenous estrogen in the post pubertal female rat. Toxicol. Sci. 62, 46-53.

Dienhart, M.K., Sommer, R.J., Silbergeld, E., Peterson, R.E., and Hirshfield, A.N. (2000). Gestational exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induces developmental defects in the rat vagina. Toxicol. Sci. 56(1), 141-149.

Selected Mentored Theses


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