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Kelly Fader

Kelly FaderCooperating Doctoral Program: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

EITS Track: Biomedical Toxicology

Education: B.S. Biomedical Toxicology with Honors, University of Guelph (Canada)

Research Interests:
Using a toxicogenomic approach, my research examines the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome upon exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant which exerts its effects primarily through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The Zacharewski laboratory has previously reported that exposure to TCDD induces hepatic steatosis in C57BL/6 mice, and that dietary fat rather than de novo synthesis is the primary lipid source responsible. I am currently investigating whether TCDD-mediated differential gene expression along the gastrointestinal tract plays a role in facilitating lipid delivery and thus lipid accumulation in the liver. Whole genome microarray analysis suggests that dietary lipid transport and processing, and immune response are dysregulated by TCDD in the jejunum, the primary intestinal section responsible for lipid absorption. Future studies will involve differential gene expression profiling by RNASeq across the small intestine and colon, to further characterize segment-specific TCDD elicited effects along the length of the gastrointestinal tract. In order to investigate whether observed changes in gene expression translate into a dysregulated phenotype, Ussing chambers will be used to measure nutrient transport, including lipids, across TCDD-treated intestinal epithelium.

Major Professor: Timothy Zacharewski, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology