Photo of Azam Tayabali

Azam Tayabali

Adjunct Research Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (Ottawa), Ph.D. (Carleton)
Office:Environmental Health Centre, Health Canada,
Tunney’s Pasture,
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9

Current Research

Health Canada is responsible for assessing the risks associated with both new and existing substances.  My lab studies the toxicity of two broad types of substances.  (1) Microorganisms: Several different microorganisms are used in industrial, commercial, and environmental applications, but they are often related to problematic clinical strains and could pose a hazard to humans.  Their relatedness to clinical strains is studied by testing for expression of virulence attributes such as toxins and mycotoxins, biofilm formation, and resistance to antibiotics.  We use several cytotoxicity assays, and assess immune signaling (elicitation of inflammation, proliferation, and chemoattractant signals) and defence strategies (phagocytosis assays and macrophage-induced killing assays).   Exposures to mice are used to evaluate the potential for inflammatory and systemic acute phase responses, as well as repeated exposures to test for potential to cause hypersensitivity and acquired immune responses.  (2)
Nanomaterials: The prevalence of nanomaterials in consumer products has generated much interest in developing reliable methods to characterize and evaluate the toxicity of nanomaterials.  My laboratory focusses on understanding the properties of nanomaterials (cadmium telluride quantum dots, nanosilver and nano-zinc oxide) that influence toxicity and the cellular and tissue-level responses that follow.

Selected Publications

Zhang, Y., Nguyen, K.C., Caldwell, D., Fine, J.H., Lefebvre, D.E., and Tayabali, A.F. (2017) Immune Responses during Single and Repeated Murine Endotracheal Exposures of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles used in Sunscreen Formulations. NanoImpact 7:54-65.

Tayabali, A.F., Coleman, G., Crosthwait, J., Nguyen, K.C., and Shwed, P. (2017) Composition and Pathogenic Potential of a Microbial Bioremediation Product Used for Crude Oil Degradation. PLoS One 12(2): e0171911

Nguyen, K.C., Richards. L., Rippstein, P., Massarsky, A., Moon, T.W., and Tayabali, A.F. (2016) Toxicological Evaluation of Representative Silver Nanoparticles in Macrophages and Epithelial Cells. Toxicol in vitro.

Tayabali, A.F., Coleman, G., Nguyen, K.C. (2015) Virulence Attributes and Host Response Assays for Determining Pathogenic Potential of Pseudomonas Strains Used in Biotechnology. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0143604. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0143604

Nguyen, K.C., Tayabali, A.F., Willmore, W.G. (2015) Mitochondrial toxicity of cadmium telluride quantum dot nanoparticles in mammalian hepatocytes. Toxicological Sciences.  146(1):31-42