UW Today

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January 28, 2010

Expert on nerve-damaging environmental toxins to give Public Health Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Lucio G. Costa, UW professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, will deliver the School of Public Health’s Winter Quarter Distinguished Faculty Lecture. He will speak on “My (First) 30 Years in Neurotoxicology.”


The lecture will be presented at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, in T739 Health Sciences.


Costa’s laboratory studies the cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms of neurotoxity. He uses in vivo, in vitro and cell culture systems, as well as biochemical, molecular and imaging techniques to determine the role of neurotoxic substances in causing long-term changes in the nervous system.


His research interests include children’s health, food additives and contaminants, genetic susceptibility, in vitro toxicology, pesticides and children, alcohol, developmental neurotoxicity, and toxicology of polybrominated flame retardants.


After receiving his doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Milan, Costa accepted a postdoctoral position with the University of Texas in Houston. This was the beginning of his career in neurotoxicology. In Houston he studied the neurotoxic effects of organophosphorus insecticides on animals. Since he came to the UW in 1983, Costa has been investigating the mechanisms behind neurotoxic effects in the mature and in the developing nervous system, as well as the biomarkers of susceptibility.

The lecture is free and all are welcome.