Laboratory of Aquatic Biomedicine

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Work in this laboratory centers on comparative immunopathology and molecular biology using marine invertebrates as experimental models. Examples of current research include determining the prevalence of leukemia in Mya arenaria (soft shell clam) in Massachusetts. Monoclonal antibodies to molluscan tumor cells and invertebrate viruses have been developed to detect disease-associated antigens at the cell surface. Immunochemistry and protein chemistry focus on determining whether cell surface antigens are preserved during phylogeny and if they serve unique functions in self, non-self recognition. Work in molecular biology is creating a clearer understanding of the comparative etiology and pathogenesis of tumors, particularly in environmentally impacted aquatic animals.