Jessica LaRocca is an environmental toxicologist interested in how exposures to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy can influence development before and after birth.
Jessica received her B.S. in environmental biochemistry at the University of Connecticut in 2008. There she graduated cum laude and as an honors scholar. She received her Ph.D. in Pathobiology at Brown University in 2012. Her graduate research focused on adult reproductive outcomes following in utero exposures to the toxicant, Bisphenol A (BPA). She also explored the role of the survival gene, Akt1, on mammary gland development and cancer. During her graduate work, Jessica received the Teratology Society’s James G. Wilson Presentation and James C. Bradford Memorial Poster Awards, and the Northeast Society of Toxicology Presentation Award.
As an Environmental Fellow, Jessica will be working with Karin Michels of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health to examine the relationship between epigenetic alterations in the placenta and exposure to toxicants during pregnancy. Her work will compare epigenetic alterations to genes related to steroidogenesis in the placenta to phenol and phthalate urine levels during pregnancy.