Vasundra Bahl, a PhD student in the Environmental Toxicology Program, has received a 2 year pre-doctoral fellowship to support her studies on thirdhand smoke (THS). Vasundra is interested in how THS affects the health of humans and is using several in vitro models, including stem cells, to evaluate the toxicity of whole THS as well as specific chemicals in THS. She has developed methods for extracting chemicals from THS and in collaboration with labs at UCSF has identified the chemicals and their relative abundances as THS ages. She is performing cytotoxicity studies using mouse neural stem cells, human embryonic stem cells, and human dermal fibroblasts. Stem cells are of interest as they are often more sensitive to environmental chemicals than fully differentiated cells in adults, and the models she is using can provide indications on how prenatal development is affected by THS exposure. Vasu has presented her work at local and national meetings, and she is the author on several papers dealing with tobacco-related research. Vasu is mentored by Dr. Prue Talbot, Director of The Stem Cell Center and member of the Department of cell Biology and Neuroscience.
Publications by Vasu Bahl: