David K. Pitts Ph.D.

David K. Pitts Ph.D.

Title

Associate Professor

Department

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Office Location

EACPHS, Room 3124

Phone

313-577-0819

Email

pitts@wayne.edu

David K. Pitts Ph.D.

Degrees and Certifications

Michigan State University
1975 Bachelor of Science
Psychology & Biology

Wayne State University
1977 Master of Science
Biology

Wayne State University
1985 Doctor of Philosophy
Pharmacology

Positions and Employment

  • Associate Professor
, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
, Wayne State University (1996-Present)
  • Assistant Professor
, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 
College of Pharmacy & Allied Health Professions
, Wayne State University (1990-1996)

Primary Research Interest

• Environmental toxicology and mixture toxicology
• Impact of water contaminants on environmental health and human health
• Development of bioassay systems for evaluating water quality
• Regulatory role of neurotransmitter systems associated with the behavior and physiology of aquatic organisms (e.g., Daphnia, the waterflea)

Widespread anthropogenic contamination of water is a global problem of increasing concern. Combined with climate change and a crash in biodiversity, chemical contamination of water resources threatens environmental health and human health and contributes to food and water insecurity. Water contaminants that are not routinely monitored or regulated are commonly referred to as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Many chemicals commonly used by society can be found in surface and ground water due to effluent discharge from wastewater treatment plants and urban and agricultural runoff. CECs include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, plasticizers, fire retardants, and other organic waste. A subcategory of CECs that have suspected or known effects on endocrine function at low concentrations have been termed endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). One very important factor that complicates the evaluation of water quality and the effects of water contaminants on biological systems is the fact that many water samples contain complex mixtures of chemicals at relatively low concentrations (e.g., ng/L). Our research effort is focused on evaluating the toxicity of individual CECs, mixtures of CECs, potential EDC activity of individual CECs and CEC mixtures, and the development of new bioassay systems. A critical component for developing the bioassay systems involves investigations that further our understanding of the physiology and behavior of aquatic organisms used as test subjects (e.g., Daphnia).