Raya I. Boyd

Raya is a predoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Spinella’s laboratory in the Department of Comparative Biosciences. Her overall goal is to examine the possible epigenetic mechanisms that lead to the increased testicular cancer risk in populations due to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) exposure in epidemiology studies. PFASs are ubiquitous chemicals that are found in a variety of commercial and industrial products. These “forever” chemicals are persistent in the environment and bioaccumulate in organisms. Raya is determining the possible mechanisms by dosing testicular germ cell tumor cells with PFASs in vivo and in vitro, as well as determining whether in utero or environmental exposure increases cancer risk using a genetically engineered mouse model that develops a human-like testicular cancer phenotype.