Since the term ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals’ (EDCs) was coined in the early 90’s, there have been calls for further research to improve our understanding of how EDCs impact both human and environmental health. The presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in many everyday items such as clothing, food and cosmetics, makes our continuous exposure to them difficult to prevent. EDCs have not only been shown to effect fertility but may also result in transgenerational health risks, therefore research which leads to an even greater understanding of how these chemicals impact our health and cause disease is of utmost importance.
Yuling Xie (Cher) began her research into EDCs during her postgraduate studies in Professor Lisa Connolly’s research group at Queen’s University Belfast, where she revealed how EDCs damage human health and the environment before switching her focus during her PhD to the metabolic effects of EDCs where she gained vast experience in assay development and optimisation.
Cher has worked on developing high throughput test methods to identify chemicals with endocrine disrupting potential. Alongside her colleagues in the FREIA (Female Reproductive toxicity of EDCs: a human evidence-based screening and Identification Approach) project, Cher has expanded the knowledge of how EDCs impact female reproductive function. In addition to developing the high throughput test, Cher has also explored potential protective approaches to EDC exposure through the integration of nutritional studies to gain insight into how dietary intervention may help to counteract the negative effects of EDCs on our health.