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Professor of Biology and Medical Sciences Discusses Environmental Effects on Lupus

Updated: May 23, 2023

On July 21, 2021, Dr. Courtney McGinnis, Quinnipiac University Professor and YGTK Board Member, addressed Quinnipiac Pre-Medical students about the linkages between the Environment and Lupus. The discussion focused on the links that stress and toxic exposures have on people suffering from Lupus. As in previous classes, the students were engaged.

This being the last class for this cohort of students, Dr. McGinnis masterfully weaved in questions to test what the students had learned over the six week curriculum. It became evident the Students had retained what they heard in the previous 5 sessions as they answered her questions with confidence and precision. This set up a brilliant and deep discussion about the environment and Lupus.

Dr. MGinnis explained that most researchers believe environmental elements can trigger Lupus, from ultraviolet light to silica dust in agricultural and industrial settings.

Pesticides and their adverse impacts quickly became a focus of the conversation with students asking questions about volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in groundwater and how and where they come from. The conversation allowed the students to better understand how environmental sustainability can have a positive impact on people with auto immune diseases like Lupus.

This understanding for the students became an ah ha moment for them. Further cementing for them why the You Got This, Kid! Leadership Foundation strives every day to not only create stronger leaders and to come one step closer to a Lupus cure, but also for environmental sustainability.

Dr. McGinnis ended the session explaining to then where we go from here and discussing the importance of support for patients and environmental sustainability. The students ended with a thank you for the entire program (check out student thank you blog post coming in a few days).

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