Frances Shaffo

photo: Frances Shaffo

Graduate Student

Louisville, KY

2012 BS in Biochemistry and Environmental Science, Tufts University

Personal Scientific Statement
I am interested in how environmental contaminants affect the development and function of the peripheral nervous system. My dissertation research is aimed at understanding the effects of organophosphorus pesticides on neuronal plasticity in the lung, and what implications these may have in the pathogenesis of asthma. According to the American Lung Association, asthma affects over 17 million Americans annually, and is the leading chronic illness in children in the US. The commercial and residential use of organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) has increased drastically over the past few decades, and epidemiological data has linked OP exposure to symptoms of asthma in adults and children. I hope my research will broaden our understanding of the role OPs in asthma, and potentially provide a basis for reassessment of exposure limits for OPs in sensitive populations such as children and adolescents. In my spare time, I love traveling, exploring the great outdoors, baking cakes, and salsa dancing.