The mission of La Merrill laboratory is to understand the mechanistic basis of environmental causes of endocrine diseases: obesity, diabetes, and breast cancer. Endocrine diseases are increasingly common worldwide and contribute to the leading causes of death worldwide, which are cardiovascular disease and cancer.
We consider susceptibility to endocrine disease that may result from genetic and epigenetic predispositions as well as vulnerability to environmental insults, especially during the exquisitely sensitive developmental period. The La Merrill lab investigates the epigenetic and gene regulatory mechanisms by which endocrine diseases develop in response to environmental pollution, aptly named endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
The La Merrill laboratory conducts cellular, whole animal and human epidemiological studies to integrate human observations with mechanistic investigations. We believe this research approach will ultimately lead to improved disease prevention through primary prevention of exposure and secondarily through lifestyle- and pharmaceutical- interventions.