Sabina Halappanavar, PhD

Research Scientist

Genotoxic, cardiopulmonary and developmental effects of engineered nanomaterials

Health Canada

Current research and/or projects

Validation of the applicability of high-content molecular biology tools, such as genomics (transcriptomics, proteomics, secretomics and metabonomics) in hazard identification, risk calculation and deriving regulatory oversights for human risk of exposure to environmental chemicals including engineered nanomaterials.

Research and/or project statements

  • Microarray-Directed Classification of Complex Environmental Mixtures and Identification of markers (bio) Indicative of Exposure and Disease-Related Effects.
  • Use of genomics (gene expression and proteomics) data to derive qualitative and quantitative explanation for additive, synergistic or antagonistic behaviour of chemicals in complex environmental mixtures and matrices.
  • Microarray-based determination of nanoparticle-associated toxicity: influence of physicochemical characteristics.
  • Use of genomics (gene expression and proteomics) data to mechanistically understand the genotoxic, developmental and cardiopulmonary effects of exposures to engineered nanomaterials.
  • Understanding the role of microRNAs in particle-induced inflammation.

Education and awards

Ph.D (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biology, University Laval, Ste-Foy, Quebec), Cellular and Molecular Biology

MSc (Faculty of Medicine, University Laval, Ste-Foy, Quebec), Experimental Medicine

BSc (Bangalore University, India), Health Sciences

Key publications

Petra Jackson, Karin S. Hougaard, Ulla Vogel ,Andrew Williams, Carole L. Yauk, Håkan Wallin, Sabina Halappanavar. (2011, in press). Exposure of pregnant mice to carbon black by instillation: effect on dams and offspring. Mutation Research, Special Edition on nano-genotoxicology.

Petra Jackson, Sabina Halappanavar, Andrew Williams, Carole L. Yauk, Karin S. Hougaard, Ulla Vogel , Håkan Wallin. (2011) Maternal inhalation of surface-coated nanosized titanium dioxide (UV-Titan): Effects in prenatally exposed offspring on hepatic DNA damage and gene expression. (2011, in press) Nanotoxicology.

Halappanavar S, Jackson P, Williams A, Jensen KA, Hougaard KS, Vogel U, Yauk CL, Wallin H. (2011) Pulmonary response to surface-coated nanotitanium dioxide particles includes induction of acute phase response genes, inflammatory cascades, and changes in microRNAs: A toxicogenomic study. Environ Mol Mutagen. Jul;52(6):425-39

Halappanavar S, Wu D, Williams A, Kuo B, Godschalk RW, Van Schooten FJ, Yauk CL.  (2011) Pulmonary gene and microRNA expression changes in mice exposed to benzo(a)pyrene by oral gavage. Toxicology. Jul 29;285(3):133-41

Saber, A.T., Halappanavar, S., Folkmann, J.K., Bornholdt, J., Boisen, A.M.Z., Møller, P., Williams, A., Yauk, C., Vogel, U., Loft, S., Wallin, H. (2009) Lack of acute phase response in the livers of mice exposed to diesel exhaust particles or carbon black by inhalation. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 6:12.

Halappanavar, S., Russell, M., Stampfli, M., Williams, A., Yauk, C.L. (2009) Induction of the interleukin 6/ signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway in the lungs of mice sub-chronically exposed to mainstream tobacco smoke. BMC Medical Genomics. 2:56.

Halappanavar, S, Stampfli, MR, Berndt-Weis, L, Williams, A, Douglas, GR, Yauk CL. (2008) Toxicogenomic Analysis of Mainstream Tobacco Smoke-Exposed Mice Reveals Repression of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 Gene in Heart. Inhalation Toxicology 16:1.



Genomics Laboratory

Mechanistic Studies Division

Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau

Environment and Radiation Health Science Directorate