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Toshihiro Shioda, MD, Ph.D., serves as Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and is a Member, MGH Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Shioda discusses his lab’s work in regard to cellular biology.

Shioda’s lab studies a wide variety of issues such as the various roles and actions of certain estrogens and antiestrogens pertaining to breast cancer in humans, pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomics of estrogens as well as xenobiotic environmental estrogenic substances, and the impact of environmental materials and bioactive food elements on fetuses during early development, just to name a few.

Shioda discusses primordial germ cells in detail, commonly referred to in the scientific community as simply, PGCs. As he states, PGCs are the basis for study for much of their lab research. By generating PGC-type models, the lab team members are able to study many areas related to cellular science. Shioda has published on multiple topics related to the field. The Harvard researcher is particularly interested in the various ways that primordial germ cells produced, and tested, within his lab are similar to typical, natural germ cells. Shioda talks about the possibilities for his team’s research, and how, notably, these types of cultured cells could provide a useful model in which to intensively study germline epimutations produced by an assortment of exposures.

Continuing, Shioda talks about chemotherapy and the effects on men and women. He details some of the papers they have published on their studies of epigenetics. Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable phenotype changes, changes that don’t require or pertain to alterations within the DNA sequence.

Shioda explains some of the difficulties researchers encounter. Specifically, in regard to fully comprehending germline exposure risks, there is a greater need for effectual, reliable models for important mechanical studies. Shioda and his research team utilize the most advanced tools related to stem cell biology as well as deep sequencing technology to produce germ cell models, with the intent of performing more toxicological tests that hopefully will provide answers to impact human health in a positive way, for cancer research and more.

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