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Austin M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Cornell University

Expertise

Toxicology, Endocrinology, Microscopy, Food Science,

Bio

Hello there! My name is Austin Martini and I am a 5th year Ph.D student at Cornell University. I am a Trans-Disciplinary Toxicologist focusing on chemicals that humans are ubiquitously exposed too (Bisphenols, Phthalates, Parabens etc). I am incredibly familiar with the Zebrafish & Yeast models, as well as cutting edge genomics and microscopy. On a more personal level I am a goofball who is incredibly genuine about things that excite me! In my personal life I am passionate about: coffee, cooking, working out, video games. On a more professional side I have a huge internal motivation for mentoring. I think that scientific communication at the moment is pushing people away from science because of how hard it is to get into science. If a person who has never read a scientific paper would want to learn about COVID-19, they would first have to pay for access to the paper. Once receiving the paper attempting to decipher all of the scientific jargon makes the information unapproachable. I want a way to make science more approachable, attractive, and enjoyable which is what I hope to put forward through my mentorship style.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

OH MY GOD BECKY LOOK AT THOSE CHEMICALS

Despite one's best effort to live clean & natural there is no avoiding exposure to chemical additives found in consumer products. A percentage of these chemicals have been linked to health related risks (for example BPA, DEHP) and while consumer products are transitioning into reducing chemical load there are still hundreds of chemicals in use. While it is impossible to avoid industrial chemicals entirely, lifestyle choices make a significant impact on your daily chemical intake. This project can give quantitative data of industrial chemicals in a human body before actively changing lifestyle and after changing lifestyle.

Innocent until proven guilty

In industry chemicals majority of chemicals get Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) testing which treats the chemical as safe at a certain concentration. What this testing fails to recognize is low-dose response or chronic exposure. A perfect sample of this is BPA which was "safe" when released then studies started showing effects at low concentrations. Because of the new data BPA got "proven" to be guilty and industries started phasing out BPA for different Bisphenols alternatives. Now this is not just Bisphenols but any commonly used This can be proven qualitatively and quantitatively, and in this project will be investigating chemical level changes with the american people.

Neuro-Endo-Toxicology....um what?

Neuro-Endo-Toxicology is my research expertise and I think has been criminally overlooked in science class. Neuro-Endo pathways are some of the most delicate and transformative in terms of body regulation and composition. Now when toxins are introduced into this system things get really out of wack and I think that is really interesting to investigate. This project mostly revolves around the first session talking about what pathway (Neuro-Endo) is interesting to you then start investigating toxins that have played rolls in disruption. From there we flesh out either a paper, poster or project that excites YOU.

Coding skills

ImageJ, Matlab, R

Languages I know

American Sign Language

Teaching experience

Undergraduate (paid 1/2 college tuition from tutoring money) -I did supplemental instruction (paid tutor by the school, free night classes for students in high failure rate classes) -ONLY tutor recommended by the nursing program at UNCW to help first years achieve the 4.0 GPA to be accepted into the program -Did a lot of private tutoring during college Graduate -Did 3 separate TA ships teaching 100+ students -GRASSHOPR: a program which links Cornell graduate students to underprivileged schools around Ithaca NY. I created/taught a high school biology class for 4 lecture series about toxicology.

Credentials

Work experience

Environmental Defence Fund (2020 - 2020)
Beauty Justice Intern
Duke University | Superfund Research Center (2015 - 2015)
Summer Intern

Education

University of North Carolina Wilmington
BS Bachelor of Science (2016)
Biology, Minor(s) in Chemistry & Neuroscience
Cornell University
MS Master of Science (2019)
Neuro-Endo-Toxicology
Cornell University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Food Science & Technology

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