Faculty Profile

Sean Harris

Sean M. Harris, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Harris's research aims to advance our understanding of how environmental toxicants contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and preeclampsia. His research uses a combination of approaches including transcriptomics, metabolomics, primary tissue models and computational/data mining methods to investigate molecular mechanisms of toxicant effects on the placenta and fetal membranes. Dr. Harris also investigates extracellular vesicles as a source for circulating biomarkers of toxicant effects on the placenta.

  • PhD, University of Washington, 2015
  • BS, Western Michigan University, 2007

Research Interests:
Female reproductive toxicology, immunotoxicology during pregnancy, toxicant-pathogen interactive effects in pregnancy, computational/data-mining approaches in toxicology, extracellular vesicle biology

Research Projects:
Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) Program-Project 2: Toxicant-Stimulated Disruption of Gestational Tissues with Implications for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: https://web.northeastern.edu/protect/ 

Through a pilot grant from the Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD), Dr. Harris is investigating the impact of chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g. trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene) on the placenta. This project uses primary placenta tissue models and an integrated transcriptomics/proteomics approach.

Harris SM, Bakulski KM, Dou J, Houskamp E, Scheeres EC, Schellenboom E, Harlow O, Loch-Caruso R, Boldenow E. The trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-l-cysteine inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation transcriptomic pathways and cytokine secretion in a macrophage cell model. Toxicol In Vitro. 2022 Oct;84:105429. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2022.105429. Epub 2022 Jul 8. PubMed PMID: 35811015. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887233322001278?via%3Dihub 

Harris SM, Colacino J, Buxton M, Croxton L, Nguyen V, Loch-Caruso R, Bakulski KM. A Data Mining Approach Reveals Chemicals Detected at Higher Levels in Non-Hispanic Black Women Target Preterm Birth Genes and Pathways. Reprod Sci. 2022 Jul;29(7):2001-2012. doi: 10.1007/s43032-022-00870-w. Epub 2022 Feb 2. PubMed PMID: 35107823; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9288534. Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43032-022-00870-w 

Harris SM, Jin Y, Loch-Caruso R, Padilla IY, Meeker J, Bakulski KM. (2020) Identification of environmental chemicals targeting miscarriage genes and pathways using the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database. Environmental Research. 184, May, 2020, 109259 PMCID: PMC7103533. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935120301511?via%3Dihub 

Elkin E, Bridges D, Harris S, Loch-Caruso R. Exposure to the trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine causes compensatory changes to macronutrient utilization and energy metabolism in placental HTR-8/SVneo cells. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2020 Jan 17 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.9b00356 PMCID: PMC7299793. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7299793/ 

Elkin ER, Harris SM, Loch-Caruso R. Trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-l-cysteine induces lipid peroxidation-associated apoptosis via the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways in a first-trimester placental cell line. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2018 Jan 1;338:30-42. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2017.11.006. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PubMed PMID: 29129777; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5741094. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741094/ 

Park HR, Harris S, Boldenow E, McEachin R, Sartor M, Chames M and Loch-Caruso R. Group B streptococcus activates transcriptomic pathways related to premature birth in human extraplacental membranes in vitro. Biology of Reproduction. 2018, 98(3):396-407 (co-first authors) PMCID: PMC6248496. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6248496/ 

A full list of Dr. Harris's publications can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/sean.harris.1/bibliography/public/ 

Email: harrsemi@umich.edu 
Office: 764-3188
Address: 6645 SPH I
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu