Ann Marie DiLorenzo
- Science Hall 109
- 973 655-4396
- Not Available
- BA:Trinity College
- MS:New York University
- PhD:New York University
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Professor, Biology and Molecular Biology
Part-Time Employee, The Center for Career Services and Cooperative Education
The scope of my research interest is focused upon the study of the effects of induced stress on in vitro cell and organ culture systems as an indicator of the effects of stress on the human population. In whole animals, the ability to withstand and cope with environmental insult from xenotoxic agents has been seen to diminish with the added insult of either mental or physiological stress. Cells in culture give indications that “stress environments” interfere with the normal response of our genetic material to protect us in these conditions. All studies are done in vitro and eliminate the unnecessary use of whole animals in research.
Previous work focusing mainly on heavy metals is now being directed to the specific contaminants in the dust from the World Trade Center tragedy ( WTC ) which has been analyzed by the Rutgers team of Dr.Paul Lioy. I was able to justify a request to Dr. Lioy of the Environmental and Occupational Institute of Rutgers University, and he generously sent us this WTC dust sample in late 2007. This has brought a very relevant and practical application to student research projects. It has resulted in a publication in October, 2009. I plan to continue to expand our research to include more molecular and cytogenetic techniques. Studies of chromosomal damage are being measured by the Micronucleus test which shows small broken pieces of chromosomes as small darkly staining outside of the normal nucleus. Apoptosis Assays are employed to study DNA damage from heavy metals and WTC dust . Embryonic bone of chickens is also exposed to the WTC dust to study development in presence of these toxins.
- Tuesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
- Thursday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Teaching/Learning & Research Interests
I continue to strive to bring the strategies of problem- based learning to our students. To facilitate this goal I encourage the formation of student teams for research which mirror the diverse student population of our department. I strive to move research forward, and continue to bring out the potential of not only our finest students, but also those who struggle. My continued work with PRISM ( Professional Renewal in Science and Math) encourages teachers to revise and improve curriculum K-12. This interest in the strategies to improve Science Education allows me to continue to visit schools through the Adopt-A-Professor Program. My teaching and research will continue to use cooperative learning, inquiry and problem solving strategies to enable students of all levels to understand and appreciate the process of science.
Current Research Projects
Mutagenic Effects of Lead/ Cadmium as measured by Micronucleus Assay
Chromosomal damage is measured by the Micronucleus test which shows small broken pieces of chromosomes as small darkly staining particles outside of the normal nucleus. These studies of cytogenetic mutagenicity look at incorporation lead and/or cadmium as seen as damage to the chromosomes of replicating mammalian cells. Confluent monolayers of cells as well as biopsy cultures of mammalian or avian tissue are studied in vitro to show both cell proliferative changes as well as changes in DNA. I propose to form a research team interested in both environmental, psychological, and biological effects of these heavy metals.
Effects of xenobiotic agents on programmed cell death, Apoptosis.
Human fibroblasts and Chinese Hamster Ovary cells are grown in varying amounts of serum 10%, 5%, 2.5%, 1%. Levels of serum below 10% are generally considered to be increases in physiological stress. The mutagenic effects on the DNA of cells will be measured by the new molecular technique of Apoptosis detection by the addition of fluorescent tags to the fragmented ends of chromosomal DNA. Our earlier work on the effects of heavy metals has been expanded to now be able to study the effects of particulate matter from the tragic events of September 11, 2001 on human cells grown in vitro. Membrane integrity, apoptosis, toxicity, cell proliferation and evidence of molecular/cellular stress are being investigated.
Competitive incorporation calcium and lead into developing chick embryo bones
Embryonic bones of chick embryos are dissected and grown in vitro on organ culture grids under sterile conditions. In one week the bone undergoes many physiological changes resulting final differentiation and elongation. This is comparable to the differentiation and calcification of bone in human children. This project attempts to utilize this technique of bone growth in culture to further elucidate the competitive nature of lead in the calcium incorporation into bones. The effects of nutritional stress is measured by the ability of developing bone to incorporate calcium in the presence of lead competition.