Michael Petriello, PhD student
(Fall 2013) University of Kentucky
Michael Petriello is a fourth year toxicology PhD student working with Bernhard Hennig at the University of Kentucky (UK). You may have seen him give a fascinating presentation about mechanisms of PCB toxicity at this year's annual meeting!
Petriello is investigating the molecular mechanisms of PCB-induced cardiovascular disease and how bioactive nutrients, such as those found in green tea, can limit toxicant-induced oxidative stress, inflammation, and disease. Petriello and his colleagues in the Hennig laboratory have recently shown that green tea polyphenols such as EGCG can limit PCB-induced oxidative stress and vascular cell toxicity by upregulating the cellular antioxidant response. They hypothesize that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can better prepare us for toxicant exposure by priming our antioxidant defense.
As a result of this research, Petriello earned a prestigious two-year predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association to identify bioactive food metabolites that may prevent inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Petriello recently received a travel award to attend the SETAC annual meeting that was held in November. He gave an oral presentation on successful nutritional modulation of PCB toxicity in a session chaired by Anna Hoover, Heather Henry, and other SRP and EPA staff. To learn more about his research, check out his recent papers on the influence of nutrition in PCB-induced inflammation and howa green tea diet decreases PCB-induced oxidative stress.
In his spare time, Petriello enjoys hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities with his wife and two dogs. Although he claims he can't sing a bit, he is a talented musician and enjoys playing the cello, piano, and baritone horn. Most of all, he loves watching sports and rooting for all of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.