Common Chemical Linked to Rare Birth Defect in Mice

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A chemical commonly used in consumer and agricultural products to boost the effectiveness of insecticides has been linked to a rare birth defect in mice. The chemical, piperonyl butoxide or PBO for short, is widely used as a “synergist” in household and agricultural insecticides to make the toxic effects of the insecticide longer lasting and to reduce the amount of actual insecticide in a product.
Despite its widespread and growing use, as well as its ubiquity in the environment, the chemical has been little studied. Now, a team led by Robert Lipinski, a professor of comparative biosciences in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine, reports that PBO interferes with the critical signaling pathway dubbed by scientists as sonic hedgehog, resulting in stunted forebrain development and signature facial abnormalities. The study is published this week (Oct. 23, 2019) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.  

Four UW Faculty Receive 2019 Hilldale Awards to Honor Research, Service

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For Linda Schuler, who has been a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine since its beginning, the award is more than a recognition of her contribution to research. “It’s incredibly humbling because I work with so many wonderful people and so many dedicated people — so yeah, it’s quite humbling,” Schuler said.
Linda Schuler

Schuler Receives 2019 Hilldale Award

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Linda Schuler, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), is among this year’s winners of a Hilldale Award. The Secretary of the Faculty annually recognizes four professors …

Woman researcher, Jayshree Samanta, stands at lab bench

New Faculty Focus: Jayshree Samanta

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What attracted you to UW–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine? Samanta: The world-class stem cell and neuroscience research community. What was your first visit to campus like? I was impressed with the collegiality of …