Our goal is to explore and investigate mechanisms of environmental lung diseases (asthma, fibrosis, cancer) caused by emerging toxicants that pose a threat to human health and the environment. A major part of our work has focused on investigating mechanisms of pulmonary toxicity caused by engineered nanomaterials (ENMs); tiny particles or fibers designed at the atomic scale that are increasingly used in a variety of consumer products. New efforts are also aimed at determining the pulmonary toxicity of emerging perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) used in non-stick consumer products, that have contaminated air and water. Of particular interest is determining the toxic potential of ENMs or PFAS in susceptible populations and individuals with pre-existing disease, especially asthma. Our research, funded by The National Insitute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and The National Science Foundation (NSF), is integrated with national and international consortia of other scientists to collectively understand the health risks associated with emerging nanotechnology. Our goal is to conduct research at NC State University, as well as collaborating with other countries through the International Collaboration on Nanotube Safety (ICONS), to provide fundamental information for the prevention of future disease that might occur from emerging technologies. Our research also provides basic knowledge on mechanisms of fatal or debilitating environmental lung diseases to further progress for treatment and therapy.

L-R: Dana Sheinhaus, Ho Young Lee, Dorothy You, Jamie Bonner, Lexie Just