Science Showcases NIEHS Grantee Thomas Hartung
Mapping perturbed pathways as a guide to high-throughput screening
Hartung, a Doerenkamp-Zbinden professor and chair for evidence-based toxicology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, has embarked on a six-year NIEHS funding quest to map the biomolecular pathways perturbed in response to toxicity by endocrine disruption that will mark one important step forward toward the gargantuan task. “Mapping the entirety of these [toxicity] pathways (i.e., the Human Toxome),” Hartung wrote in his grant description, “will be a large-scale effort, perhaps on the order of the Human Genome Project.”
Using gene expression microarrays and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, Hartung’s team is testing human breast cancer cell lines, exposed to some 53 endocrine-disrupting compounds, to chart gene expression and metabolomic changes in protein production.