CBE Seminar: Multiorgan Model Systems for Elucidating Mechanisms of Operational Stressors

ISEB 1200
Saber Hussain, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Wright State School of Medicine
Senior Toxicologist, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


Abstract:  Advancements in human multiorgan model system development have allowed simplification of organ complexity while maintaining physiological accuracy, making it a good platform to study the mechanisms and impacts of various stressors on cellular function. Stressors found in airmen operational environments (e.g. extreme physical exertion, high temperatures, excessive G-Force, pressure changes, low oxygen environments or exposure to aerosolized chemical or particle contaminants) can lead to changes on a molecular and biochemical level within the body, impacting cognition, vision, hearing, fatigue and potentially hindering performance. Currently, these key research areas are being investigated:
1.Reconstruct the lung surfactant model in vitro using alveolar cells capable of producing lung surfactant to determine the risk levels of multiple stress scenarios to predict and prevent decays in pulmonary function.
2. Measure changes in mitochondrial structure and function in response to different operational stressors to develop a physiological biometric profile to predict metabolic changes, prevent performance degradation and increase resiliency.
3. Study cellular communication through weak photon emission endogenously produced by mammalian cells that might serve as an indicator of stress that can be detected noninvasively. Utilize state-of-the-art spectroscopy to increase the “biophoton” signal to characterize the emission properties and identify the reaction mechanism that produces the emission endogenously.
Bio: Saber Hussain is the senior toxicologist at the Airmen Bioscience Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Wright State School of Medicine, Dayton, OH. Hussain’s current research focuses on development of a multiorgan system model that will identify the impact of stressors on pilots during a mission. Stressors can include physical exertion, high temperatures, G-forces, pressure changes, low oxygen levels and exposure to chemical contaminants. These stressors can lead to alterations on a molecular and biochemical level in the body, impacting cognition, vision, hearing, fatigue and potentially hindering performance. Hussain's specific research is related to stress-induced mitochondrial health and organ-level effects, quantum dynamics of electron transfer in mitochondria, and biological and physical interaction of nanoscale particles with lung surfactant (LS). Hussain has mentored over 100 students during the past 20 years, many of whom have become scientists/professors, serving the Air Force in a military capacity or as civilians. His research has resulted in author/co-authorship of 150 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters, and more than 200 technical abstracts. He is editorial member of several toxicology journals. He is a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. He serves as an expert reviewer for several government and private organizations. Hussain has been the recipient of numerous scientific awards and has established a strong collaborative network with over 25 organizations of national and international repute.

Hosts: Assistant Professors Herdeline Ardoña and Quinton Smith 

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