EHS Lab Member Isabella Boyack Named Rising Researcher
The Rising Researcher program celebrates students who excel in research, scholarship or creative activity.
Isabella Boyack ’23, a veterinary and animal sciences major working in the lab of Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Alicia Timme-Laragy, has been named a spring 2023 UMass Amherst Rising Researcher. The Rising Researcher program recognizes undergraduate students who excel in research, challenge their intellect, and exercise exceptional creativity.
Boyack is studying the effects of poly- and perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS)—known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment—on the development of the exocrine pancreas.
"Understanding how these compounds affect the development of organs crucial for healthy metabolism, like the pancreas, gives a deeper understanding of the risks these compounds pose to human health," says Boyack. "Toxicology research can also inform policymaking relative to the regulation of chemicals shown to have toxic effects. My research offers an early look at how these compounds affect the exocrine pancreas, but I hope the work continues and can lead to changes that protect humans and the environment from these harmful chemicals."
Boyack lauds Timme-Laragy for her support and mentorship, noting that she "is an incredible PI who builds a strong community within the lab. Past and present members stay in touch and deeply enjoy the atmosphere she has fostered. Professor Timme-Laragy also has been instrumental in my growth as a student and a researcher. She has and continues to offer amazing advice and guidance, not only on my project, but also regarding my future plans and career aspirations."