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A critical review and validation of an immune response assay for amphibians  

Scott Glaberman, Assistant Professor/Associate Chair for Research, Environmental Science and Policy; Faculty Fellow, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC), received $30,000 from the U.S. Geological Survey for: "Critical Review and Validation of an Immune Response Assay for Amphibians." There is the potential to renew these funds up to $200,000 over five years. 

Amphibians, which includes frogs and salamanders, are undergoing a major global decline due to many factors, including multiple deadly diseases. There is a critical need to evaluate whether different amphibian species are able to fend off infection, but there are very few tools available to assess immunity in amphibians. This award funds research to improve the use of a particular type of immune test called the phytohemagglutinin assay or PHA to be able to sample amphibians in the wild and determine if they are at risk of disease. The project is especially focused on determining whether pollution can make amphibians even more vulnerable to disease. The project will fund research expenses and a promising graduate student, Lauren Hawley, who is passionate about improving amphibian conservation. 

This funding began in Sept. 2022 and will end in late Aug. 2027.