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Dr. Louis Guillette

Dr. Michael SweatLouis J. Guillette, Jr., Ph.D.

Director of Marine Biomedicine & Environmental Sciences Center
Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Endowed Chair, Marine Genomics, S.C. Center of Economic Excellence

... if the environment isn’t healthy for a baby alligator or a baby dolphin, it probably isn’t healthy for us
as well.

Guillette, a reproductive endocrinologist and developmental geneticist, studies how chemicals and contaminants interact with the environment in ways that impact human health.

“My main specialty is reproductive biology in its broadest sense, everything from the evolution of the reproduction system to the practical sense of how things we do every day affect our fertility and ability to have healthy children.”

He and his colleagues study what environmental contaminants - including chemicals and products used daily that may not even be thought of as being contaminants - constitute a health risk. Guillette’s work often has him out in the field, whether doing research on crocodiles in South Africa or local alligators. In his wildlife biology research for the past 20 years, Guillette has found links between environmental contaminants and infertility and reproductive issues in alligator populations from Florida to South Carolina.

Guillette holds dual appointments, allowing him to work closely with MUSC physicians as well as scientists and researchers at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. The lab is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-administered facility, with activities governed by the five partner organizations that include MUSC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

It’s the perfect partnership, said Guillette.

“People don’t appreciate how much wildlife and the things living around us can tell us about the health of the environment and actually tell us something about our own health. As we like to say, if the environment isn’t healthy for a baby alligator or a baby dolphin, it probably isn’t healthy for us as well.”

Guillette also has an active program in mentoring research, working with graduate and undergraduate students interested in biology and environmental issues.

Website: Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences

Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences

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