Rebecca Sommer (on leave fall 2012 – spring 2015)

  • Biology
  • Associate Professor
  • Carnegie Science Hall, Room 109
  • Environmental Studies

Ph.D., B.S., Wisconsin (Madison)

Professor Sommer is a developmental toxicologist who studies the molecular mechanisms by which environmental pollutants disrupt normal cardiovascular system and reproductive tract structure and function.  She is currently Chair of the Environmental Studies Program.

Recent Teaching and Research Experience

2006-present, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. Instruct undergraduate students in toxicological risk assessment, environmental toxicology, pharmacology and introductory biology. Research interests focus on studying the mechanisms by which environmental contaminants disrupt normal development, including investigations to determine the mechanisms by which developmental dioxin exposure induces dilated cardiomyopathy in the fetal chick and to determine the incidence of imposex in marine invertebrate populations of the Maine coast.

1998-2006, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

2003-present, Adjunct Faculty and Researcher, Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, Bioscience Research Institute, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine.Collaborate in Center-wide research project that investigates the developmental effects of arsenic exposure in a mouse model system. Responsibilities include incorporating general aspects of developmental toxicology into experimental designs and investigating the impact of arsenic on the developing cardiovascular system. Also guest lecture in the Center’s graduate-level Introduction to Toxicology course.

January – May, 2003, Visiting Scientist, School of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.Investigated the role of beta-adrenergic receptor signaling in the formation of dilated cardiomyopathy induced by developmental exposure to dioxin in a chick embryo model system.

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