John M. Clark
Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts
Ph.D.: Michigan State University
Postdoctoral Training: Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass.
Honors: Rohm & Haas Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, ESA, Eastern Branch, 1997
My research program addresses a number of issues broadly defined as pesticide toxicology. In our attempts to evaluate the toxic action of pesticides on target organisms, we have elucidated many fundamental physiological processes and recently began the study of these interactions at the molecular level. Given the effectiveness and widespread use of pesticides, it was probably naive not to have envisioned the environmental concerns that the use of these chemicals has caused. Nevertheless, the negative aspects of pesticides and their use have resulted in a much more complete and rigorous understanding of how they locate and bind target molecules, their environmental fate and degradation, and problems associated with extensive overuse, such as resistance. Thus, the most enduring contribution of pesticides such as DDT and the cyclodienes may be in providing well-studied models to assess the advantages or disadvantages of new molecular biotechnologies as they become available for use in pesticide science.
The focus of my research effort is on the efficacious and environmentally sound use of pesticides. Specifically, my research team is interested in the molecular mechanisms of pesticide action on target and non-target organisms, xenobiotic metabolism of pesticides and molecular mechanisms of pesticide resistance. We examine the effects of pesticides in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate systems and currently use molecular biological techniques to detect mutations.