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Laboratoire de Biodiversité et Biotechnologies Microbiennes
LBBM - USR3579

Visiting professor Craig A. Downs


Dr. Craig Downs received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. He received a M.Sc. from Syracuse University. He was president of several biotechnology corporations, and was a founding member of several more companies, ranging from diagnostic platforms and immuno-therapeutics to dermatological technologies. He has sat on the board of director on a number of environmental, non-profit charitable organizations, including as Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory.

            Dr. Downs research interest range from plant physiology to cellular mechanisms for homeostasis.  He worked extensively as a biochemist on the small heat-shock proteins of mitochondria and chloroplasts.  He has published extensively on environmental forensics and ecotoxicology.  One of his first cases was the ecological and physiological recovery of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and has published a number of papers examining the ecotoxicology of crude oil and fuels on corals and other marine organisms.  He has also published a number of papers on the ecotoxicology of pesticides in marine species.  In industry, he developed diagnostic technologies for both human and non-human infectious agents, as well as a system array to examine cellular homeostasis in response to pharmaceuticals and pesticide toxicants.

            Dr. Downs has also been able to successfully advocate for social and political change regarding a number of chemicals, ranging from neonicotinoid pesticides, herbicides, and most recently, sun cream chemicals like oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and octinoxate.

            At the Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, Dr. Downs is working collaboratively with a number of multi-disciplinary principle investigators to examine the impact of chemicals used in the cosmetic industry on marine ecosystems, and hopefully innovate systems of creating safer and more effective cosmeceuticals.


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