Research in the Spotlight

On January 24th and 25th, our research concerning the potential human health effects of sea spray aerosol exposure was picked up by the Belgian and Dutch media. Dr. Jana Asselman and PhD student Emmanuel Van Acker explained our latest findings which are published in the open access journal Scientific Reports. In short, we found that sea air, collected near the waterline, induced a downregulation of PCSK9 and some genes related with the mTOR pathway in lung cells lines. These results are very interesting since this gene and this pathway are potential targets for treatments against LDL cholesterol and cancer, respectively.

We are glad to announce that our recent ES&T paper entitled ‘Deciphering the combined effects of environmental stressors on gene transcription : a conceptual approach’ was selected by the jury as the best toxicology paper of 2018 by the Norwegian Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology (NSFT). Congratulations to all the researchers involved!


 

We are happy to announce that Stijn Willemse, who performed his master dissertation at our Lab, has won the ArcelorMittal Indaver Thesis Award “Environmental Science and Technology”. This award was given for the 24th time to outstanding Master students who wrote a thesis on an environmental topic. Stijn, Master of Bio-science engineering in Environmental technology, wrote his thesis on “Genetic barcoding of marine zooplankton communities in the North Sea using the MinIon Sequencer" with VLIZ as copromotor. We wish him all the best in his future career. Congratulations Stijn!

 

We are happy to announce that Emmanuel Van Acker, Academic Assistant at our Lab, has won the second runner up prize for best student poster presentation at the 53rd European Marine Biology Symposium. This award was given for his poster "Human exposure to to algal toxins via sea spray aerosols". Congratulations Emmanuel!
This week, 6 GhEnToxLab members will be presenting their research at the 28th SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy from 13-17 May 2018. There we will highlight our research in a total of 3 platforms and 7 posters. To keep track of us during the conference, a comprehensive list of our activities is provided below. 
The VLIZ Marine Science Day (21st of March 2018) has become an established event for all marine and coastal scientists in Flanders/Belgium and its neighbouring regions. This years edition of this event was held at the MEC Staf Versluys with over 370 participants. We look back to VMSD with some pictures.

To celebrate Science Day 2017 on Sunday, 26th November, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) demonstrated the variety of marine research at the Marine Station Ostend (MSO). During this year’s Science Day, our colleague Emmanuel introduced his research to the general public. Emmanuel investigates whether exposure to biogenic compounds in sea sprays has an influence on human health. 

We are happy to announce that Sam Baelus, who performed her master dissertation at our Lab, has won the ArcelorMittal Indaver Thesis Award “Environmental Science and Technology”. This award was given for the 23rd time to outstanding Master students who wrote a thesis on an environmental topic. Sam, Master of Bio-science engineering in Environmental technology, wrote her thesis on the “Characterization of phycotoxins in sea spray aerosols". Here a new method was proposed to measure background concentration of algal toxins and other biogenic chemicals in the sea air. These compounds are considered, within the biogenics hypothesis, as the health promoting substances in sea air. We wish her all the best in her future career. Congratulations Sam!

This week, 10 GhEnToxLab members will be presenting their research at the 27th SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Brussels, Belgium from 07-11 May 2017. There we will highlight our research in a total of 5 platforms, 5 posters and 1 poster corner. To keep track of us during the conference, a comprehensive list of our activities is provided below. Not only do we present a lot of our work, many GhEnToxLab members are part of the local organising committee and professor De Schamphelaere is the chair of the scientific committee of the conference.

Fleece clothing made its way to our wardrobe in the 90s. Since then wearing fleece has been appreciated to be easy, warm and comfortable. Fleece is however made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the same material as plastic bottles. Despite its green image, since plastic bottles are sometimes recycled to fleece clothing, wearing fleece is not that eco-friendly as you would expect. The Standard and Knack interviewed Prof. Janssen to explain the issue of microplastic pollution originating from fleece clothing and its ecological consequences.

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