Laura Vandenberg

Assistant professor of environmental health sciences

Endocrine disruptors, hazard assessment, developmental biology, endocrinology

Phone: (o) 413/577-7405

Email: lvandenberg@schoolph.umass.edu

Laura Vandenberg is among the premier researchers in the world today investigating the effects of endocrine disruptors on development and how environmental factors in early life contribute to adult diseases including breast cancer, infertility, and obesity.

Classical toxicology often focuses on how fetal chemical exposures can produce birth defects, an important part of chemical safety. Vandenberg instead uses molecular, genetic, tissue-based and endocrine tools to address how low doses of chemicals during critical windows of development can alter gene expression, cell differentiation and tissue organization in subtle ways that can lead to adult diseases such as cancer, obesity and infertility.

She has worked extensively with endocrine-disrupting chemicals used as plasticizers and flame retardants, including bisphenol A and S (BPA, BPS). She can discuss how current risk assessment practices can be improved in the study and regulation of this class of chemicals.

Her recent work in mice characterized the effects of low dose perinatal BPA exposures on the mammary gland at several adult ages, described how perinatal BPA exposures altered the sensitivity of the pubertal gland to estrogens, and identified the cellular targets of BPA on the fetal mammary gland during the period of exposure.

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