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Research: Antidepressants affecting freshwater fish

Friday, December 5, 2008

Photo of Meghan McGee with 3M sponsors

Meghan McGee, center, with her 3M travel sponsors, from left: Susan Beach, environmental specialist, Thomas Hatfield, environmental research specialist, Cliffton Jacoby, senior research specialist, and Stefanie Giese Bogdan, technical manager.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Meghan McGee is gaining national attention for her research on how trace amounts of antidepressant medication are affecting freshwater fish.

The Watertown, Wis, graduate student presented her findings at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North American Conference (SETAC) in Tampa, Fla.  Her findings were the subject of a story in ScienceNews, an award-winning biweekly news magazine that has more than a million readers.

The trip to the national conference had been funded by 3M, which learned of McGee’s research when she won the Best Student Presentation Award at the regional SETAC meeting in Duluth earlier in the year.

McGee earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences in 2007 and is earning her graduate degree in cellular and molecular biology. She is a research assistant in the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory at St. Cloud State, where she works with Associate Professor Heiko Schoenfuss, who has himself garnered attention for his work on waterway contaminants.

Schoenfuss has been studying the impact of contaminants in the nation’s waterways with support from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a $600,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.  Newsweek magazine featured Schoenfuss’s research in a June 2007 story that addressed his work and carried photos of him and St. Cloud State students who’ve participated in his research.

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