Seth W. Kullman

Director of Graduate Programs
Professor, Toxicology Program


The Kullman laboratory incorporates molecular, computational, and comparative/functional genomic approaches to examine gene environmental interactions. Studies focus on transcriptional profiling, coupling gene expression with pathology and conducting computational and laboratory-based methods to identify evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of xenobiotic-induced stress response. The goal of this approach is to generate a comprehensive understanding of how genetic and environmental factors interact and influence human and environmental health. Our laboratory uses small aquarium fish as our research model including medaka (Oryzias latipes ) and zebrafish (Danio rerio ). Both species of fish are increasingly used as vertebrate model systems in various fields of biology including toxicology and environmental biology. With their suitability for forward and reverse genetic manipulation, ease of handling, and transparent nature of embryos, these models are powerful complementary models for understanding the influence of gene function on disease-related processes in higher vertebrates A common theme in the lab is the role of nuclear receptors (NRs) and ligand activated transcription factors as targets of xenobiotic stress and toxicity. NR’s are ligand-dependent transcription factors that bind to small lipophilic signaling molecules resulting in the control and expression of target genes. They facilitate the cellular response to endogenous and exogenous ligands by coordinating complex transcriptional responses. Studies in our laboratories have demonstrated the role of several NR’s including PXR, VDR, PPAR and ER as xenobiotic targets resulting in both genomic and non-genomic transcriptional activation/repression.

Selected Publications

Dong W, Hinton DE, Kullman SW. 2012. TCDD disrupts hypural skeletogenesis during medaka embryonic development. Toxicological Sciences. 125(1):91-104.  Full text

Law SHW, Redelings BD, Kullman SW. 2012. Comparative genomics of duplicate g-glutamyl transferase genes in teleosts: medaka, zebrafish, Takifugu, Tetraodon and stickleback. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 318(1):35-49.  Full text

Ai  N, Ekins S, Hagey L, Reschly EJ, Kollitz EM, Kullman SW, Krasowski MK. 2011. The evolution of nuclear hormone receptor activation by bile salts: insights from the green-spotted pufferfish (Tetraodon nigriviridis). BMC Biochemistry. 12:5. Full text

Dong W, Matsumura F, Kullman SW. 2010. TCDD induced pericardial edema and relative COX-2 expression in medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos. Toxicological Sciences. 118:213-23. Full text

Howarth DL, Hagey LR, Law SHW, Ai N, Krasowski MD, Ekins S, Moore JT, Hinton DE, Kullman SW. 2010. Two farnesoid X receptor alpha isoforms in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) are differentially activated in vitro. Aquatic Toxicology. 98:245-55. Full text

Howarth, DL, Law SHW, Law JM, Kullman SW, Hinton DE. 2009. Exposure to the synthetic FXR agonist GW4064 causes alterations in gene expression and sublethal hepatotoxicity in larval medaka (Oryzias latipes). Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 243(1):111-121. Full text

Hinton DE, Hardman RC, Kullman SW, Law JM, Schmale MC, Walter RB, Winn RN, Yoder JA. 2009. Aquatic animal models of human disease: Selected papers and recommendations from the 4th Conference. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C Toxicology Pharmacology. 149:121-8. Full text

Padilla S, Cowden J, Hinton DE, Yuen B, Law SHW, Kullman SW, Johnson R, Hardman C, Flynn K, Au, DWT. 2009. Use of medaka in toxicity testing. Current Protocols in Toxicology. Supplement 39, Unit 1.10. Full text

Carney MW, Erwin K, Hardman RC, Yuen B, Volz DC, Hinton DE, Kullman SW. 2008. Differential developmental toxicity of naphthoic acid isomers in medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 57:255-66. Full text

Howarth DL, Law S, Barnes B, Hall JM, Hinton DE, Moore L, Maglich JM, Moore JT, Kullman SW. 2008. Parologus VDRs in teleosts: Transition of nuclear receptor function. Endocrinology. 149:2411-22. Full text

Volz DC, Kullman SW, Howarth DL, Hardman RC, Hinton DE. 2008. Protective response of the Ah receptor to ANIT-induced biliary epithelial cell toxicity in see-through medaka. Toxicological Sciences. 102:262-77. Full text

Hardman RC, Kullman SW, Yuen B, Hinton DE. 2008. Non invasive high resolution in vivo imaging of hepatotoxicity in STII medaka: α-napthylisothiocynate (ANIT) induced biliary toxicity. Aquatic Toxicology. 86:20–37. Full text

Hardman RC, Kullman SW, Hinton DE. 2008.  Non invasive in vivo investigation of hepatobiliary structure and function in STII medaka (Oryzias latipes): methodology and applications. Comp Hepatol. 2008 Oct 6;7:7. Full text

Linden KG, Rosenfeldt EJ, Kullman SW. 2007. UV/H2O2 degradation of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in water evaluated via toxicity assays. Water Science & Technology. 55:313–319Full text

Hardman RC, Volz DC, Kullman SW, Hinton DE. 2007. An new in vivo look at vertebrate liver architecture: 3 dimensional reconstructions from medaka (Oryzias latipes). Anatomical Record. 290:770-82. Full text

Chen PJ, Kullman SW, Hinton DE, Linden KG. 2007. Comparisons of low- and medium- pressure UV lamps on the removal of bisphenol A estrogenic activity in water following direct photolysis and UV/H2O2 oxidation processes. Chemosphere. 68:1041-9. Full Text

Kashiwada S, Kameshiro M, Shiraishi H, Arizono K, Kullman SW, Hinton DE. 2007. Estrogenic modulation of CYP3A38, CYP3A40, and CYP19 in mature male medaka (Oryzias latipes). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C Toxicology Pharmacology. 145:370-8. Full text

Rosenfeldt EJ, Chen PJ, Kullman SW, Linden KG. 2007. Destruction of estrogenic activity in water using UV advanced oxidation. Science of the Total Environment. 377:105-113. Full text

Chen PJ, Linden KG, Rosenfeldt EJ, Kullman SW. 2006 Removal and bio-analytical analysis of endocrine disrupting compounds in water with UV and UV/H2O2 processes. Chemosphere. 65:1094-1102. Full text

Volz DC, Hinton DE, Law JM, Kullman SW. 2006. Dynamic gene expression changes precede dioxin-induced liver pathogenesis. Toxicological Sciences. 89:524-34. Full text

Hinton DE, Kullman SW, Bencic DC, Hardman RC, Chen PJ, Carney M, Volz DC. 2005. Resolving mechanisms of toxicity while pursuing ecotoxicological relevance. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 51:635-648. Full text

Volz DC, Bencic DC, Law JM, Hinton DE, Kullman SW. 2005. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) induces organ-specific differential gene expression in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Toxicological Sciences. 85:572–584. Full text