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Presentation Time: 10:40-11:00
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Rebecca Fry, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering
Program: 21st Century Environmental Health Scholars
Research Title: Exploring chemical targets within the Robust Placental Clock using the Comparative ToxicoGenomics Database

The Robust Placental Clock (RPC) is an epigenetic clock based on placental tissue DNA methylation found to be a highly accurate estimator of gestational age. Through its use of 558 individual CpG sites to enhance gestational age prediction, the Robust Placental Clock has been found to indicate a median error of less than one week. Due to its recent finding, however, the effects of chemical toxicants on the Robust Placental Clock have not yet been explored in-depth and literature on the topic itself is limited. By conducting a deep-dive of the Comparative ToxicoGenomics Database, the goal of this project is to build a “Robust Placental Clock Chemical-Gene interactions” database that explores the known effects of chemicals on the genes that are a part of the clock in an attempt to identify major gene targets of toxicants within existing literature that are also a part of the Robust Placental Clock. Through the identification of major gene targets within the clock, it is anticipated that the direction that future research should take in exploring the effects of chemical toxicants within the Robust Placental Clock will be elucidated.