Center for PFAS Research Faculty Spotlight: Angela Wilson

Dr. Angela Wilson's research highlights insights about the potential impact of PFAS on human, animal, and plant health, their transport and absorption in soils, water, and air, and potential mitigation strategies.

Headshot of Dr. Angela WilsonDr. Angela Wilson is a John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Her group investigates several different aspects of PFAS interactions using a variety of computational chemistry approaches to gain molecular-level insight about (1) their potential impact on human, animal, and plant health; (2) their transport and absorption in the environment in soils, water, and air; (3) the impact of current replacement compounds; and (4) possible mitigation strategies. Among their recent work, they have investigated several human protein receptors to which long-chain and short-chain replacement PFAS compounds bind. It is this binding that can lead to the overaction of the protein; the overaction of the specific nuclear receptors is linked to potential endocrine disruption, oxidative stress, hepatic steatosis, and adverse drug interactions. (see, e.g., “Binding of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) to the Human Pregnane X Receptor”, Thanh Lai, Yigitcan Eken, and Angela K. Wilson, Env. Sci & Tech. 54, 24, 15986-15996 (2020).)

Dr. Wilson and her team’s computational studies span a broad range of PFAS research, and, thus, they collaborate with many other investigators in the MSU PFAS Center. They are engaged in studies with Cheryl Murphy and Tom Loch, both from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Wilson’s team partners with Hui Li of the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences for their soils and water transport research. Replacement coatings and potential mitigation strategies have been targeted with colleagues from the School of Packaging and the College of Engineering. Their work provides numerous ways to interact with other members of the PFAS Center.

In 2018, Dr. Angela Wilson had the honor of being inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Other honorees through the years have included Diana Ross, Serena Williams, Aretha Franklin, Lily Tomlin, Gilda Radner, Betty Ford, Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth. Earlier this year, Dr. Wilson became the President-elect of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society with over 155,000 members.

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