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Luke Iwanowicz


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Short Biography

Dr. Iwanowicz is a research biologist at the USGS, Leetown Science Center, National Fish Health Research Laboratory in Leetown, WV. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, his Master of Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and his PhD from his Alma mater in 2008. His dissertation research focused on the application of resident fishes as sentinels of aquatic ecosystem health.  This research included the investigation of immunomodulatory and endocrine disrupting effects of legacy chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyl mixtures on fishes, and identified an association with disease susceptibility. His research also investigated the roles estrogens, estrogen receptors as immunoregulators in fish, which led to his first book chapter in a fish immunology series.  

His research involves investigations into the presence and biological effects of endocrine disrupting compounds and associated fish health issues in the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes Drainages in addition to National Wildlife Refuges and National Parks. This research includes the application of advanced next generation sequencing approaches to identify molecular biomarkers of immune and endocrine modulation in non-model species (resident fishes). It also includes the application of transgenic bacterial, yeast and mammalian cell bioassays to assess the presence of biologically active compounds in environmental matrices. This research requires the development and application of molecular tools that are used in conjunction with well established physiological biomarkers. Other research involves the identification of novel fish pathogens and sleuthing for pathogens in environmental matrices using molecular tools.

Dr. Iwanowicz is involved with a number of committee and team activities in the USGS Ecosystems and Environmental Health mission areas. He is also an active member of the American Fisheries Society - Fish Health Section for which he currently serves as chair of the Awards Committee. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, and a member of the American Society of Microbiology, International Society of Fish and Shellfish Immunology, International Society for Transgenic Technologies, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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Iwanowicz, L.R and C.A. Ottinger (2009) Estrogens, Estrogen Receptors and Their Role as Immunoregulators in Fish.  In Fish Defenses, Volume 1: Immunology. Eds. G. Zaccone, J. Meseguer, A. Garcia-Ayala, and B.G. Kapoor. Science Publishers, Enfield, NH, USA. Pp. 277-322.

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

The Role of Environment and Wildlife in Human Health

Highlighted Projects

Contact Information

Luke Iwanowicz
11649 Leetown Road
Kearneysville, WV 25430
304-724-4435 - Fax
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