Henry Lujan Jr., BS

GRADUATE RESEARCHER & Teaching Assistant

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Henry Lujan Jr., B.S.

Fourth-Year Ph.D. Candidate

Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2020

Henry_Lujan@baylor.edu

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Henry is a native Texan from El Paso and a Fourth-year graduate student in the Environmental Sciences PhD program at Baylor University. After receiving his B.S. in Biochemistry in 2016, he began his role as Graduate Researcher for The Sayes Group. His current projects include characterizing mitochondria and cellular energetics of different lung cell lines before and after exposure to a suite of environmentally relevant nanomaterials. Different cell lines consist of primary, transformed, cancerous, and asthma derived phenotypes. He is interested in the background characterization of different cell lines and delineating the morphological and biochemical differences between in vitro cell culture models. He is also elucidating the potential health risks associated with nanomaterial exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations and analyzing the immune response (i.e. cytokine upregulation or downregulation), their effects on biochemical pathway, and perturbations of mitochondrial health. In addition to his work with emerging environmental nano meter-scale contaminants and how they affect lung cells, Henry is also working on collaborative projects assessing toxicity of different disinfection byproducts in drinking water with DR. Liu and developing novel biosensors in collaboration with the 711th Human Performance wing at the Air Force Research Labs in Dayton, Ohio as an ORISE fellow under Dr. Saber Hussain.

Henry utilizes techniques to characterize cells at different levels of complexity (i.e. cell populations, whole cell, single cell, and pathway analysis). These include course technique such as microscopy (transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, bright field/dark-field microscopy), viability, and growth assays as well as fine technique such as ELISA, flow cytometry, Real-Time PCR, CRISPR gene knock out studies, and extracellular flux analysis.

Henry’s specialties include, but are not limited to, cell culture, aseptic technique, liposome synthesis, particle characterization techniques (e.g. zeta potential, dynamic light scattering), gene and protein expression in lung cells, assessment of mitochondrial health, and biological sample preparation for electron microscopy (resin embedding, trimming, and ultramicrotomy).

The fields of science that interest him the most are nanotoxicology, pulmonary toxicology, cancer biology, and human/environmental health. He plans to continue his research in mechanistic toxicology and study toxicological phenomena at the cellular level, as well as report on the outcomes of unexpected exposures to environmental contaminants. Henry is expected to graduate in 2020 and hopes to start a post-doc to obtain more experience before his transition into the workforce. Henry hopes to work for the government through the DoD, NIST, CDC, NIOSH, EPA, or a private organization.

Memberships

  • Past president of BU-SETAC

  • Member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) & Hispanic Organization of Toxicologist (HOT)

  • Graduate student representative of the Lone Star Society of Toxicology (LSSOT)

  • Member of the Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM)

  • Member of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

  • Member of the Baylor University Graduate Student Association (GSA)


Awards

  • Best Poster Presentation, Biology Division; Texas Society for Microscopy annual meeting (2019)

  • Travel award; Society of Toxicology (SOT), Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists (HOT) (2019)

  • Semifinalist; Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program, Department of Defense (DoD) (2019)

  • Travel award; Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM) (2019)

  • Fellowship; Department of Environmental Science, Graduate School Scholarship (2017- )

  • Travel award; Society of Risk Analysis (SRA) (2016)

  • Scholarship; Doris Kayser Stark (2015- )

Presentations

  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry South-Central Region (SETAC-SC) annual meeting. “Mitochondrial dysregulation: biometric sensing approach to determine adverse health effects after environmentally relevant exposures to engineered nanomaterials.” Poster presentation. Waco, TX (May 2019). Poster.

  • Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting. “Differential Mitochondrial Perturbations among Primary, Cancerous, and Asthmatic Lung Cells after Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials”. Poster presentation. Baltimore, MD (March 2019). Poster.

  • Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM) Annual Meeting. “Dysregulation and Morphological Changes of Mitochondria Within Lung Cells After Exposure to Engineered Aluminum Nanoparticles.” Poster presentation. San Antonio, TX (February 2019). Poster.

  • Lone Star Society of Toxicology (LS-SOT) Annual Meeting. “Zinc Oxide Mediated Adverse Effects: Dysregulation Of Mitochondrial Coupling Efficiency In Vitro.” Oral presentation. Austin, TX (September 2018). Platform.

  • Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting. “Cell Cycle Alterations After In Vitro Exposure to PEGylated Gold Particles in Cancerous vs. Non-Cancerous Lung Cells.” Poster presentation. San Antonio, TX (March 2018). Poster.

  • Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM) Annual Meeting. Synthesis, Characterization, and Preservation of submicron-sized liposomes as carriers for drug delivery. Oral presentation. Denton, TX (February 2018). Platform.

  • Lone Star Society of Toxicology (LS-SOT) Annual Meeting. “Comparing the Baseline Cellular Morphology & the Gene/Protein Expressions of Two Immortalized and Two Cancer-Derived Human Lung Cell Lines.” Poster presentation. Waco, TX (October 2017). Poster.

  • Inhaled Particles XII. “Comparing the Baseline Cellular Morphology & the Gene/Protein Expressions of Two Immortalized and Two Cancer-Derived Human Lung Cell Lines.” Poster presentation. Glasgow, UK (September 2017) 

  • Baylor Graduate Student Association (GSA) Research Showcase. “Toxicological Pathways Induced After Nanoparticle Exposure.” Poster presentation. Waco, TX (April 2017). Poster.

  • Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM) Annual Meeting. “The Role of Surface Chemistry on Intracellular Oxidant Generation after Exposure to Nanoparticle Mixtures”. Poster presentation. Waco, TX (February 2017). Poster.

  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting, Session Understanding Nanomaterial Health Risk Group. “An Initial Screening Level Risk Assessment Report of Copper, Silver, & Gold Nanoparticle-Enabled Products”. Oral presentation. San Diego, CA (December 2016). Platform.

Publications

  • Lujan H, WC Griffin, JH Taube, and CM Sayes. (2019). "Synthesis and characterization of nanometer-sized liposomes for encapsulation and microRNA transfer to breast cancer cells." International Journal of Nanomedicine 14 (2019): 5159.

  • Lujan H, MF Criscitiello, AS Hering, and CM Sayes. (2019). “Refining In Vitro Toxicity Models: Comparing Baseline Characteristics of Lung Cell-Types”. Toxicological Sciences 168(2), 302-314

  • Lujan H, B Zechmann, and CM Sayes. (2018). “Synthesis, Characterization, and Preservation of submicron-sized liposomes as carriers for drug delivery”. Texas Journal of Microscopy 49(1):9.

  • Lujan H and CM Sayes. (2017). “Cytotoxicological Pathways Induced after Nanoparticle Exposure: Studies of the ‘Nano-Bio’ Interface”. Toxicology Research 6:580-594. 

  • Sayes CM and H Lujan. (2017). “Characterizing the Nano-Bio Interface Using Microscopic Techniques: Imaging the Cell System Is Just as Important as Imaging the Nanoparticle System”.   Current Protocols in Chemical Biology 9(3):213-231.