The DeWitt Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine focuses on environmental contaminants and the role they play in affecting health. Much of our focus is on how contaminants alter the immune system with a specific focus on immune function. We also ask questions about how contaminants affect the ability of the immune system to communicate with the nervous system.
Many of the contaminants we study are considered “emerging contaminants” in the aquatic environment. Emerging contaminants are agents that are either newly discovered in the environment or in people or that lack information on the extent of their contamination or toxicity. Therefore, a parallel goal of the laboratory is to describe toxicity associated with exposure to emerging contaminants to better understand their potential health effects. These contaminants include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as well as pharmaceutical and personal care product pollutants (PPCPs). We also have published studies on the toxicity of heavy metals and geogenic dusts that contain heavy metals.
In trying to answer questions about effects of contaminants on living organisms, we also try to contribute to the understanding of diseases that may be influenced by contaminants, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Gulf War Illness.
Please feel free to explore the rest of this site to learn more about what we are doing in the DeWitt Lab. Thank you for reading about what we do.