Project Description

Alison Neff

Dr. Alison Neff, a T32 Training Grant fellow, is a postdoc in Dr. Jodi Flaws’ laboratory in the Department of Comparative Biosciences. Her research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms of phthalate induced ovarian toxicity using ex vivo mouse models. Phthalates are pervasive endocrine disrupting chemicals used as plasticizers in the manufacturing of building materials, toys, and medical equipment and as solvents in personal care products. Exposure to phthalates like di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and its metabolite mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) has been linked to impaired folliculogenesis and steroidogenesis. Her research has identified the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) as a molecular target of MEHP in ovarian antral follicles that plays a role in disrupting follicle growth and promoting estrogen metabolism. She plans to explore the influence of AHR on estrogen signaling in ovarian antral follicles through its crosstalk with the estrogen receptor (ER) and how this system may be dysregulated by phthalate exposure.