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ESR 8: Audrey Phan

Country of origin: France

Host institution: Masaryk University


About me

Audrey graduated in Biotechnology at Sup’biotech in Paris, France. Deeply interested in environmental issues, she became involved in Ecotoxicology during her master equivalent internship at Watchfrog, a start-up specialized in the detection of endocrine disruptors. Her research was focused on the optimization of a medaka embryo (anti)-androgenic assay, the first step for the validation into OECD guidelines. After graduation, she spent one and a half years at the Center for Fish and Wildlife Health of Bern University, Switzerland where she conducted an in vivo experiment comparing the 17α-Ethinylestradiol sensitivity between medaka and zebrafish.

Currently, Audrey is enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Her project will link retinoid and thyroid disruption with adverse effects during early development in zebrafish. She will explore the question with in vitro and zebrafish embryo model, as well as with omics approaches. One of the main goals is to develop an Adverse Outcome Pathway by identifying the related key event while extrapolating results at a higher biological level -- fish population.


Project title: Linking retinoid and thyroid hormone signaling disruption with adverse effects on early development
Objectives: Characterize the relation of endocrine disruption via interference with retinoid and thyroid hormone signaling with adverse effects of pollutants on early development of fish.
Explore the role of nuclear receptors RAR/RXR and TR signaling in the AOP of selected environmental toxicants and mixtures.
Link mechanistic changes in retinoid and thyroid hormone signaling with higher level adverse outcomes (developmental and embryonal toxicity, altered growth or behavior) by employing proteomics and targeted metabolomics and transcriptomics approaches.
Expected results:
Assessment of early developmental effects in aquatic vertebrates (fish) with key role of retinoid and thyroid hormone signaling; their increased occurrence leads to adverse outcomes to structure (ageing) and growth of populations.
AOP linking molecular modulations of retinoid and thyroid hormone signaling with biomarkers of key events and health outcomes in vivo at organismal - embryonal level.
Information on the predictability of adverse effects intensity from initiating events assessed by in vitro tools.
Place: Brno, Czech Republic
Planned secondments:
VUA, M17, 2 months – development and optimization of the methods for metabolomics and biomarker analyses
Du Pont, M27, 2 months – methodologies of bioanalyses and metabolomics in industry
Work packages: 3 - Linking molecular responses to effects at higher biological levels using adverse outcome pathways (AOPs)
4 - Predicting effects on ecosystem services through AOPs
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Klara Hilscherova, MU
Prof. Dr. Marja Lamoree, VUA
Dr. Rene Bjerregaard Madsen, IFF
Host institution and enrolment: Masaryk University

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