Neil Hunter, PhD – Department of Microbiology

Effects of atrazine on the developing ovary

Atrazine, a widely used weed killer is a common contaminant found in drinking water. Atrazine is a member of a family of chemicals called the xenoestrogens that mimic the hormone estrogen and thereby disrupt endocrine function. Another xenoestrogen, bisphenol-A (BPA), causes problems in female reproduction. BPA leads to a “grand-maternal effect” that increases the likelihood of developmental problems in grandchildren. Even subtle defects in processes of female reproduction can lead to miscarriage or chromosomal disorders such as Down Syndrome. Dr. Hunter and his team will investigate whether similar effects in female reproduction and birth outcomes are associated with exposure to atrazine.