University Catalog 2023-2024

Toxicology

The Toxicology Program provides course work and research training to prepare prospective toxicologists and environmental health scientists for careers in academia, government, and industry. Research in the program spans an array of topics ranging from the molecular to population level consequences of toxicant exposure. Areas of research excellence within the program include elucidating relationships among cell signaling processes and stressor-induced disease and toxicity, establishing mechanisms of system-specific toxicity, using physiological and genomic approaches to understand differences in species and individual susceptibility to environmental contaminants, and unraveling gene-environment interactions. Some specific research areas include: apoptosis, endocrine disruption, trace metal bioaccumulation and detoxification, oxidative stress/gene regulation/cell toxicity, asthma and lung fibrosis, cancer and mutagenesis, ecotoxicology, developmental abnormalities, chemical exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology. Some examples of the types of environmental agents that are being investigated include chemical carcinogens, trace metals, pesticides, particulates metals, endocrine disruptors, nanoparticles and UVB radiation.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students should have a strong background in the biological and physical sciences with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum Quantitative GRE score in the 70th percentile. GRE subject tests are not required. International students whose primary language is not English must submit TOEFL scores.  A written statement should describe the applicants academic and career goals as well as their area of interest. All applications are reviewed by an admissions committee. Students are encouraged to submit applications no later than December 15 for Fall admission.

Master of Science Degree Requirements

The M.S. is a research-oriented degree requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours and a written thesis. At least 20 credit hours must be graduate-level courses and a core curriculum is required.

Master of Toxicology Degree Requirements

The MTOX degree is a non-research degree designed for those interested in pursuing non-research careers in toxicology and environmental health science, and/or working professionals seeking to further their education and advance their careers. To accommodate working professionals the MTOX degree can be pursued on a part-time basis. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required, with at least 14 credit hours in toxicology courses.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program is designed to train students to become independent scholars capable of conducting unsupervised and original research. Students enroll in a core curriculum similar to that of the M.S. degree and additional courses as determined by his/her advisory committee. Normally a total of 72 credit hours is required, with the majority of these credits being dissertation research. Students must pass both a written and oral preliminary exam prior to advancing to Ph.D. candidacy. A doctoral dissertation presenting the students original research is written and defended in a final oral examination.

Student Financial Support

Financial assistance is available for qualified applicants through traineeships, fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships.

Other Relevant Information

Students pursuing either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree may elect to specialize in General Toxicology, Environmental Toxicology, or Molecular and Cellular Toxicology. More details can be obtained on the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology web site.

Faculty

Full Professors

  • Ronald E. Baynes
  • Scott Belcher
  • James C. Bonner
  • Matthew Breen
  • David Buchwalter
  • William Gregory Cope
  • Sue Fenton
  • Jane A. Hoppin
  • Cathrine Hoyo
  • Detlef R. Knappe
  • Seth William Kullman
  • Carolyn Jane Mattingly
  • Nanette Nascone-Yoder
  • Elizabeth Guthrie Nichols
  • Jun Ninomiya-Tsuji
  • Emilie Francesca Rissman
  • Richard M. Roe
  • Yogesh Saini
  • Robert Charles Smart
  • Yoshiaki Tsuji
  • Hong Wang
  • Fred Andrew Wright
  • Jeffrey A. Yoder

Associate Professors

  • David Lawrence Aylor
  • Michael Anthony Cowley
  • Shobhan Gaddameedhi
  • Kurt Marsden
  • Antonio Planchart
  • Yihui Zhou

Assistant Professors

  • Eric Robert Brooks
  • Natalia Duque-Wilckens
  • Jonathan Hall
  • Nadine Kotlarz
  • Maria L. Rodgers

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • David Allen Skaar
  • Elizabeth E. A. Thompson

Adjunct Professors

  • Heather Patisaul
  • David Reif

Adjunct Associate Professor

  • John S. House

Emeritus Faculty

  • Gerald LeBlanc

Courses

TOX 501/TOX 401  Principles of Toxicology  (4 credit hours)  

Introduce students to the basic principles of toxicology. Will cover the history and scope of the field; absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of toxicants; types and mechanisms of toxic action; carcinogenesis; environmental toxicology as well as human and ecological risk assessment.

Prerequisite: CH 220 or CH 221 or CH 225; BIO 181 or ZO 160

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 515  Environmental Toxicology  (4 credit hours)  

Evaluation of the nature, distribution and significance of microchemical contamination. Emphasis on current, relevant problems.

Prerequisite: Two years of biology

TOX 558/FS 558/NTR 558  Food Toxicology  (3 credit hours)  

This course evaluates the weight of evidence from peer-reviewed scientific literature relating the presence of chemical or biological toxins, whether naturally occurring or man-made in the food system to health outcomes. Toxicological data are viewed in the context of processing effects, global food and supplement regulations, as well as commercial marketing claims and sustainability. Key concepts include dose-response, phase I and phase I metabolism, signal transduction, and the use of advanced technologies such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Students will work in teams to develop and write a critical review manuscript suitable for publication.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or advanced undergraduate students enrolled in Food Science, Nutrition, or Toxicology majors.

Typically offered in Fall only

TOX 595  Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  
TOX 601  Toxicology Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

TOX 620  Special Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Topics include responsibility in science, environmental fate of chemicals, developmental toxicology, lab rotations, journal club and wildlife toxicology.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 660  Free Radicals In Toxicology  (1 credit hours)  

Introduction to the field of free radicals and their role in toxicology and health; chemical and physical properties of partially reduced oxygen intermediates and the natural biological defense mechanisms.

Prerequisite: BCH 451 and TOX 710

Typically offered in Fall only

TOX 688  Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration  (1 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 689  Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration  (3 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 690  Master's Exam  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students in non thesis master's programs who have completed all other requirements of the degree except preparing for and taking the final master's exam.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

TOX 699  Master's Thesis Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their theses.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring and Summer

TOX 701  Fundamentals of Toxicology  (3 credit hours)  

The basis of toxic action at cellular and molecular levels covering the absorption, distribution, elimination and metabolism of toxicants; toxic action (acute toxicity, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, organ toxicity, etc.); chemical classes of toxicants; and toxicity testing.

Prerequisite: BCH 451, Senior standing or Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall only

TOX 704  Chemical Risk Assessment  (1 credit hours)  

Concepts and vocabulary of risk assessment. Risk assessment models and techniques used in cancer and non-cancer risk assessment and strategies for successful risk communications. Case studies of risk assessment and issues of current interest. Utilization of background in toxicology and statistics to examine a critical end-point in toxicological science, the quantitative risk assessment.

Prerequisite: TOX 701, a ST course

TOX 710  Molecular and Biochemical Toxicology  (3 credit hours)  

Fundamental understanding of biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms through which xenobiotics alter cellular homeostasis, produce toxicity and alter organ function. Current biochemical, molecular and cellular experimental approaches for study of biochemical mechanisms of toxicity.

Prerequisite: BCH 451; TOX 701

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 715  Environmental Toxicology  (3 credit hours)  

Evaluation of fundamental processes relating fate and effects of chemicals in the environment. Emphasis on effects of pollutants on non-human species, environmental risk assessment and historically relevant incidents of environmental contaminants.

Prerequisite: Two years of biology

Typically offered in Fall only

TOX 725/CS 725/HS 725/SSC 725  Pesticide Chemistry  (1 credit hours)  

Chemical properties of pesticides including hydration and solvation, ionization, volatilization, lipophilicity, molecular structure and size, and reactivity and classification according to chemical description, mode of action or ionizability. Taughtduring the first 5 weeks of semester. Drop date is last day of 3rd week of the minicourse.

Prerequisite: (CH 201 or CH 203) and (CH 221 or CH 225)

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 727/CS 727/HS 727/SSC 727  Pesticide Behavior and Fate In the Environment  (2 credit hours)  

Sorption/desorption, soil reactivity, movement, volatilization, bioavailability, degradation and stability of pesticides in the environment. Taught during the last 10 weeks of semester. Drop date is last day of 3rd week of the minicourse.

Prerequisite: CS(HS,SSC,TOX) 725,SSC 200

Typically offered in Spring only

TOX 795  Special Topics in Toxicology  (1-6 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

TOX 801  Toxicology Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

TOX 820  Special Problems In Toxicology  (1-6 credit hours)  

Topics include responsibility in science, environmental fate of chemicals, developmental toxicology, lab rotations, Journal Club, and wildlife toxicology.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

TOX 860  Free Radicals in Toxicology  (1 credit hours)  

Introduction to the field of free radicals and their role in toxicology and health; chemical and physical properties of partially reduced oxygen intermediates and the natural biological defense mechanisms.

Prerequisite: BCH 451 and TOX 710

Typically offered in Fall only

TOX 890  Doctoral Preliminary Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/or oral preliminary exams.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

TOX 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Summer only

TOX 899  Doctoral Dissertation Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer