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Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses | Ohio Sea Grant

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Freshwater Science: Health Impacts of Algal Toxins in the Context of Chronic Illnesses

March 31, 2022 – New research from Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Lab and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative

NOTE This event occurs in the past
  • Time:Mar 31 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm, 2022
  • Event Organizer:Christina Dierkes | Contact Host
  • Event Category:Webinars | Show Similar

Algal toxins affect the liver, gastrointestinal system and kidneys, and may have a more severe effect in the context of pre-existing conditions.

Dr. David Kennedy and Dr. Steven Haller at The University of Toledo, with funding from Ohio Sea Grant and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, are examining these effects to help provide new guidelines for safe exposure levels to algal toxins for people with chronic illnesses. They also aim to develop new tests that can measure toxin exposure at very low levels, which can suppress common liver injury markers in some patients, and to create therapies to treat the organ damage caused by algal toxins.

The webinar is free, but registration is required to receive log-in information.

About the Speakers

David Kennedy
David Kennedy Department of Medicine, The University of Toledo

Our lab studies how interrelated organ systems such as heart, kidney and liver regulate cellular damage (particularly inflammation and fibrosis) and repair during the course of chronic ailments such as heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease. We are particularly interested in developing new preventative and therapeutic strategies to help people suffering from these diseases through establishing novel biomarkers and molecular diagnostics to assist risk stratification as well as identifying new drugs and drug targets and enhancing endogenous counter-regulatory mechanisms. Given our community’s ties to and dependence on the Great Lakes as a source of clean water for drinking, recreation, fishing and agriculture, our laboratory also places a special emphasis on discovering new diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies targeting cellular damage caused by environmental stressors that impair our land-water-food nexus.


Steven Haller
Steven Haller Department of Medicine, The University of Toledo

The overall goal of my laboratory is to interrogate the molecular mechanisms leading to the development and progression of end stage renal disease. We are focusing our efforts on the mechanisms by which activation of the CD40 receptor within the kidney leads to progressive inflammation and fibrosis with the ultimate goal of providing a therapeutic approach to inhibit the development of end stage renal disease. In addition to investigating the molecular mechanisms leading to end stage renal disease, my lab is also focused on the health effects of cyanotoxin exposure in pre-existing disease states. Importantly, as harmful algal blooms are on the rise globally and across the state of Ohio, the cyanotoxins they generate pose potentially serious health concerns to humans and animals, especially in vulnerable at-risk populations.

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