Dr. Alexandra Noël
Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS)
The focus of our research is production and characterization of aerosols, composed of engineered nanoparticles, ultrafine or fine particles, as well as inhalation and developmental toxicology. We seek to investigate the fundamental mechanisms at the epigenetic, molecular and cellular levels that underlie the developmental origins of health and disease, with respect to respiratory effects caused by distinct emerging inhaled environmental pollutants. This includes the study of engineered nanoparticles, second-hand smoke, electronic cigarette vapor, hookah smoke, and a multi-pollutant approach to simulate real-life exposure scenarios. We use a multidisciplinary approach bridging inhalation toxicology, nanotoxicology, pathology and lung biology, as well as in utero exposure and lung disease models (asthma, emphysema, fibrosis and lung cancer), coupled with gene expression and DNA methylation analysis, allowing for an adequate exposure – effect continuum correlation. These studies also allow for the identification of the common toxicological pathways and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms related to the adverse pulmonary effects induced by these airborne contaminants.