Jake Beal is a T32 predoctoral training grant fellow and a PhD candidate in Dr. Milan Bagchi’s lab in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. His research focuses on the effect of phthalates, specifically di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate (DiNP), and their metabolites on the intercellular signaling of human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) of the uterus. DEHP is a plasticizer used in a variety of consumer products and DiNP has been touted as a potential safer replacement for DEHP. However, exposure to both compounds has been linked to adverse reproductive effects. Jake’s research aims to determine if the impairment of intercellular signaling mechanisms in the uterus is one potential mechanism causing this adverse effect of phthalate exposure.