This application seeks administrative supplement, under the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research category (PA 20-222), to provide support for Latia Tucker, an African American graduate student in my laboratory. Her graduate research project focuses on the impact of environmental disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the cardiovascular-circulatory system, including the heart and blood coagulation. Bisphenol A (BPA) and its related analogues are common EDCs with a range of potential adverse health effects. Growing epidemiologic and experimental studies have demonstrated a potential link between higher BPA exposure and cardiovascular diseases. In previous studies, my laboratory reported some of the first evidence on the arrhythmogenic actions of BPA in rodent hearts. We further showed that the pro-arrhythmic effects of BPA was shared by its analogue chemical bisphenol S (BPS). Our findings demonstrate the potential cardiovascular toxicity of BPA, and highlight the need to further define the impact of BPA and related EDCs on human heart health. While the cardiac toxicities of bisphenol chemicals have received increasing attention, an area that is currently completely unknown is the potential impact of these chemicals on hemostasis. Increased blood coagulation leads to thrombosis, which can result in life threatening conditions including myocardial infarction (heart attack), ischemic stroke, and pulmonary embolism. Importantly, it has been well established that gonadal hormones impact blood coagulation; in particular, estrogen has been shown to increase coagulation. However, the potential influence of environmental chemicals, including EDCs, on these processes is entirely unknown. The overall goal of Latia's thesis research is to determine the impact of both BPA and a mixture of BPA analogue chemicals on the circulatory system. Her study will focus on 1) the impact of these chemicals on cardiac electrical properties and markers of electrical abnormality in the hearts of larger animals; and 2) the effects of exposure to BPA and a mixture of BPA-related bisphenols on blood coagulation and thrombotic risks. These studies are innovative and has high significance, and will provide important understanding of the potential cardiovascular-circulatory toxicity of bisphenol type EDCs. They will also provide comprehensive training for Latia on environmental health and toxicology, cardiac physiology and electrophysiology, and hemostasis regulation, thus equipping her well for pursuing future independent research career.
The goal of the thesis research project of Latia Tucker, an underrepresented minority graduate student, is to elucidate the impact of bisphenol A (BPA) and a mixture of BPA analogue chemicals on the cardiovascular-circulatory system, including the heart and blood coagulation. Latia will pursue two specific aims in the project, to determine the impact of BPA and a mixture of BPA analogue chemicals on 1) cardiac electrical properties and markers of electrical abnormality in the hearts of larger animals, and 2) on blood coagulation and thrombotic risks. The project and related training plan are design to provide Latia with comprehensive training on a broad range of toxicology, cardiovascular and hemostasis research techniques, and foster her research capability and independence.