Anna Rushin

Anna Rushin
Mentor: Dr. Christopher Martyniuk
College of Veterinary Medicine
"My interest in research stems from my desire to understand the world around me. I am passionate about helping others, and I feel this is the best way I can do so. I love learning about the subtle changes in the cell chemistry and communication that have a large impact on function. I feel that healthcare is evolving toward being more personalized. This is a daunting task, and I want to contribute as much as I can with my research."


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Interdisciplinary Studies



Research Interests

  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Development
  • Immunology

Academic Awards

  • Florida Bright Futures 2015-2016
  • Stephen C O’Connell Leadership Scholarship 2015
  • W.W. Massey, Sr. Presidential Scholarship 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Graham Civic Scholars Program
  • University of Florida Honors Program
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition Club


  • UF Health Shands Hospital

Hobbies and Interests

  • Health and Fitness
  • Cooking
  • Travel
  • Exploring

Research Description

The Organochlorine Pesticide Dieldrin Impairs Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Rat Dopaminergic N27 Cells
Animals within the environment are continuously exposed to organic chemicals (i.e. endocrine disrupting chemicals, pesticides and insecticides) because of their wide industrial and agricultural use. Information on the toxicity of aquatic pollutants is required in order to assess hazard and risk of chemical substances to aquatic organisms living in the water column. Chemicals that affect mitochondrial performance are many in the environment, and include pesticides, herbicides, industrial compounds and others. However, the mechanisms of how chemicals affect mitochondrial dysfunction are not well understood and there is a need to develop high throughput assays to quantify the effects of chemical impacts on mitochondrial bioenergetics. Measurements of respiration to determine mitochondrial function are increasingly used in toxicology and several fields of biomedical research. The ability to measure oxidative respiration can allow for a greater understanding of the root cause of mitochondrial dysfunction. The objectives are to determine the relative risk of pesticides in the environment to dopamine synthesizing cells, in order to understand how pesticides affect mitochondrial function. I also aim to determine the genomic mechanisms underlying mitochondrial toxicity. Dopamine is the focus because these cells are reduced in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.