Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Jennifer Rettew McCall, Lecturer

McCallPh.D., Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 2010
M.B.A., University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, 2013
M.S., Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 2006
B.S., Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 2003
Friday Hall 2015 | (910) 962-3171 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915


My research interests involve drug discovery of marine natural products and biological effects/assay development for marine toxins. I work with the harmful algal species Karenia brevis, which is responsible for massive fish kills and marine animal mortalities during Florida red tides. K. brevis produces numerous neurotoxins, as well as a myriad of other compounds that have been found to have therapeutic properties. Some of these compounds have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which allows for potential use as therapies for infectious diseases and immune disorders. Research in our lab is divided into the following groups:

  • Compound isolation from K. brevis and bioassay testing to screen for biological activity
  • Cellular and molecular activity of marine natural products on a variety of cell types
  • Immune responses to marine toxins and natural products


  • McCall, J.R., Elliott, E.A., Bourdelais, A.J. (2014) A new cytotoxicity assay for brevetoxins using fluorescence microscopy. Marine Drugs. 12(9):4868-4882.
  • McCall, J.R., Goodman, A.J., Jacocks, H.M., Thompson, A.M., Baden, D.G., Bourdelais, A.J. (2014). Development of a fluorescence assay for the characterization of brevenal binding to rat brain synaptosomes. Journal of Natural Products. 77(9):2014-2020.
  • Goodman, A., McCall, J.R., Jacocks, H.M., Thompson, A., Baden, D.G., Abraham, W.M., Bourdelais, A.J. (2014). Structure activity relationship of brevenal hydrazide derivatives. Marine Drugs. 12(4):1839-1858.
  • McCall, J.R., Jacocks, H.M., Niven, S.C., Poli, M.A., Baden, D.G., Bourdelais, A.J. (2014). Development and utilization of a fluorescence-based receptor binding assay for site 5 voltage-sensitive sodium channels ligands brevetoxin and ciguatoxin. Journal of the AOAC. 97(2):307-315.
  • Bowen, R.S., Knab, A.M., Hamilton, A.T., McCall, J.R., Moore-Harrison, T.L., Lightfoot, J.T. (2012).Effects of supraphysiological doses of sex steroids on wheel running activity in mice.Journal of Steroids and Hormonal Science. 3(2):110
  • McCall, J.R., Jacocks, H.M., Baden, D.G., Bourdelais, A.J. (2012). Development of a competitive fluorescence-based synaptosome binding assay for brevetoxins. Harmful Algae. 19:85-91.
  • Rettew, J.A., McCall, S.H., and Marriott, I. (2010). GPR30/GPER-1 mediates rapid decreases in TLR4 expression on murine macrophages. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 328:87-92.
  • Rettew, J.A., Marriott, I., and Huet, Y.M. (2010). Gender based differences in the innate immune response to bacterial pathogens. In: Sex hormones and immunity to infection (SL Klein and CW Roberts, Eds). Springer, New York, NY. pp. 123-146
  • Rettew, J.A., Huet, Y.M., and Marriott, I. (2009). Estrogens augment cell surface TLR4 expression on murine macrophages and regulates sepsis susceptibility in vivo. Endocrinology 150: 3877-3884.
  • Rettew, J.A., Huet-Hudson, Y.M., and Marriott, I. (2008). Testosterone reduces macrophage expression of Toll-like receptor 4, a trigger for inflammation and innate immunity. Biology of Reproduction 78: 432-437.