The Erasmus+ student will join the group of Dr. Cinta Porte (www.idaea.csic.es/research-group/environmental-toxicology), research professor at IDAEA -CSIC-. Our research activity is framed in the area of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, the main objective being to assess the impact of pollution and human pressure on aquatic ecosystems. Recently, we have successfully used JEG-3 human placenta cells to detect environmental toxics that can act as endocrine disruptors at a particularly sensitive stage, such as pregnancy and fetal development. The generation of reactive oxygen species and alterations of the cells lipidome are used as biomarkers of toxicity, since they will significantly reduce the functionality of the placenta. The student will join a project that aims to assess the toxicity of halobenzoquinones and halogenated benzoic acids, some disinfection by-products of water, for which there is almost no experimental information available, despite the fact that QSAR models predict toxicity up to 1000-times greater than that of much more investigated trihalomethanes.
The group has several national and international collaborations/projects, which will secure an international environment for the student. In terms of infrastructure, laboratories are well equipped and the Erasmus+ student will acquire fundamental knowledge of a variety of techniques, including cell culture, LC-HRMS and lipidomics.