Michal Galus has been a graduate student in my lab for the last 5 years, working on his PhD. He completed his BSc degree at McMaster in Biology and got his first taste of toxicology in the lab of Dr. Grant McClelland working on metal toxicology in zebrafish. He entered my to start his MSc and helped launch a new research program; the impacts of human pharmaceuticals on fish. Much of Michal’s research has focused on four drug; acetaminophen (common analgesic), carbamazepine (anti-epileptic and mood stabilizer), gemfibrozil (lipid regulator), and venlafaxine (anti-depressant). The research started with one question in mind: Do low concentrations of human drugs cause negative effects in fish?
in the wild, human drugs are entering the aquatic environment through our waste water treatment plant discharge. Contrary to what many might think, the direct use and excretion of drugs and their metabolites into sewage, is the major source. These compounds are emerging as contaminants of concern because studies, like those that Michal has completed during his PhD, are showing that chronic exposure to low concentrations decrease reproduction, disrupt normal development, and cause cellular changes in major organs such as the kidneys.
Michal successfully defended his PhD on August 29 and is now completing final edits on his dissertation. Congratulations Mike on a job well done!