Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Kristen Johnson


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are substances in the environment, food sources, personal care products, and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of the body’s endocrine system. Most humans are exposed to some amount of these chemicals from many different sources, such as the air we breathe, food we eat, and the water we drink. EDCs can also permeate through the skin. The endocrine system is important because it works with other systems in the body to ensure healthy development and function throughout life. EDCs interfere with the way our body’s hormones work. Some EDCs can mimic natural hormones and trick our body, while others can block natural hormones from doing their job. Also, EDCs can upregulate or downregulate levels of hormones in our bodies and can change how sensitive we are to different hormones. For most EDCs, the mechanism in which they function is by binding to steroid hormone receptors such as progesterone receptor and androgen receptor. Disrupting the actions of endogenous hormones may induce abnormal reproduction, stimulation of cancer growth, and dysfunction of the neuronal and immune system.

Research was conducted on the EDCs Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DHEP) to investigate their potential impact on cell stress response, as well as their cytotoxicity levels. Cytotoxicity concentration levels will be investigated through Trypan Blue and Alamar Blue Assay. To examine cell stress and toxic response at the molecular level, RT-qPCR will be used to explore various gene sets in response to EDC treatment below toxic levels. Research on EDCs is still relatively new, there are still questions that have yet to be asked and answers that have yet to be given.