The research area of our laboratory is that of Molecular Toxicology. Our research centers on the study of human variability in chemical detoxication, an area termed 'toxicogenomics.'

Dr. Curtis Omiecinski

Dr. Curtis Omiecinski

Detoxication pathways under investigation include the cytochrome P450 oxidation and epoxide hydrolase metabolism systems.

We are working to characterize genetic differences within enzymes and within their respective regulatory networks that dictate interindividual responses to drug and chemical exposure.

The regulatory pathways involved include certain members of the nuclear receptor superfamily, such as the constitutive androstane receptor, or CAR. These 'xenobiotic' receptors function to sense the chemical environment in cells and then adjust the levels of biotransformation activity to accommodate specific exposure situations.

The receptor control circuits exhibit diversity within cells, tissues and among individuals, in part due to the use of alternative RNA splicing mechanisms - an area of research focus of the laboratory. Transgenic mouse, primary cell culture and stem cell models are used in these investigations.