PhD Student, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Adviser: Kathleen Rein
Karenia brevis is a marine dinoflagellate that is endemic to the Gulf of Mexico across the Florida and Texas Gulf Coasts. This species is responsible for the Florida red tide blooms that occur almost every year. K. brevis produces brevetoxins (PbTx), which induce various neurological symptoms in humans upon consumption of tainted fish or shellfish, as well as respiratory distress, particularly in asthmatics, upon inhalational exposure when toxins are aerosolized in sea spray. My research interest focuses on the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying PbTx-2-induced inhibition of human thioredoxin reductase activity and activation of the voltage-gated sodium channel. I hope that my research will provide new valuable insights into the prevention and treatment of PbTx-2-related oxidative stress and inflammation.