The DeWitt Lab at East Carolina University

Those of us in the DeWitt Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine study environmental contaminants and the role that developmental exposure to environmental contaminants plays in human disorders and diseases. Much of our focus is on how contaminants alter the developing immune system and how these changes to the immune system influence the developing brain. By looking at this “neuroimmune interface,” and how it is impacted by contaminants, we hope to further our understanding of diseases and disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that we believe are responsive to early-life immune influences. 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 conduct studies on emerging contaminants to better understand their toxicities. These contaminants include per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances as well as pharmaceutical and personal care product pollutants. We also have published studies on the toxicity of heavy metals and geogenic dusts that contain heavy metals.

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.