Curriculum in Toxicology



Louise M. Ball, Metabolism and Genotoxicity of Environmental Xenobiotics

Thomas W. Bouldin, Neuropathology, Ocular Pathology and Neurotoxicology

Kim R. Brouwer, Pharmacokinetics, Hepatic Transport, Hepatobiliary Disposition, Biliary Excretion, Hepatotoxicity

Frank C. Church, Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Breast and Prostate Carcinogenesis, Macromolecular Structure-Function

William B. Coleman, Hepatocarcinogenesis, Tumor Suppressor Genes, Biology of Liver Stem Cells, Cancer Epigenetics

Channing J. Der, Ras Protein Superfamily, Signal Transduction and Oncogenesis

Mohanish P. Deshmukh, Molecular Mechanisms of Apoptosis in Neurons and Other Postmitotic Cells

Avram Gold, Structure-Reactivity Relationships in Metabolism and Mutagenicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Milan J. Hazucha, Health Effects of Air Pollutants, Human Studies, Mechanisms of Response

David J. Holbrook Jr., Biochemical Toxicology, Xenobiotic Metabolism

Ilona Jaspers, Cellular Mechanisms of Air Pollutant Toxicity

David G. Kaufman, DNA Replication, Chemical Carcinogenesis

William K. Kaufmann, DNA Metabolism in Radiation and Chemical Carcinogenesis

Nobuyo N. Maeda, Animal Models of Hyperlipidemia, Atherosclerosis and Cardiomyopathy

Terry Magnuson, Mammalian Genetics, Genomics and Development

A. Leslie Morrow, Neurotoxicology and Excitotoxicity of Alcohol

Leena A. Nylander-French, Development of Methods to Monitor and Assess Dermal Exposure to Chemical Carcinogens and Contact Sensitizers

David B. Peden, Translational and Clinical Research in Environmental Lung Disease

Charles M. Perou, Characterization and Classification of Human Breast Tumors into Subtypes of Biological and Clinical Importance

Daniel Pomp, Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits, Gene-Environment Interactions, Polygenic Mouse Models, Obesity

Dale A. Ramsden, V(D)J Recombination and DNA Double Strand Break Repair

Aziz Sancar, DNA Repair and Cancer, Structure and Function of DNA Repair Enzymes, Connection between the Circadian Clock and DNA Excision Repair

Norman E. Sharpless, Tumor Suppressor Genes, Genetics of Cancer and Aging

Miroslav Styblo, Metabolism and Biological Effects of Essential and Toxic Metals and Metalloids

James A. Swenberg, Carcinogenesis, DNA and Protein Adducts, Cell Proliferation, Risk Assessment

Nancy E. Thomas, Molecular Carcinogenesis, Environmental Toxicology, Molecular Epidemiology, Research Translation, Biomarkers

Alexander Tropsha, Molecular Modeling, Computer-Assisted Drug Design, Molecular Dynamics of Proteins, Protein Folding

Cyrus Vaziri, Cell Cycle Responses to Environmental Genotoxins (Benzo[a]pyrene, UV Radiation), DNA Replication and Repair, Genome Stability

Paul B. Watkins, Mechanistic Toxicology, Hepatotoxicology, Research Translation, Biomarkers

Bernard E. Weissman, Chromatin Remodeling and Epigenetic Alterations in Human Cancer

Elizabeth M. Wilson, Environmental Androgens and Antiandrogens, Androgen Receptor Regulation of Prostate Cancer

Associate Professors

Rebecca Fry, Metal-Induced Disease, Prenatal Origins of Disease, Epigenetics

David Neil Hayes, Lung Carcinogenesis, Research Translation, Biomarkers, Computational Toxicology

Jeffrey M. Macdonald, Metabolomics and Fluxomics Using NMR Spectroscopy and Imaging, Tissue Engineering

Scott H. Randell, Identification of Airway Epithelial Stem Cells, Airway Innate Immunity, Pathophysiology of Lung Diseases

W. Kimryn Rathmell, Genetics of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Philip C. Smith, Toxicokinetics and Xenobiotic Metabolism, Peptide Analysis and Disposition

Assistant Professors

Michelle L. Hernandez, Severe Asthma, Development of Novel Therapies against Neutrophilic Airway Inflammation

Folami Ideraabdullah, Epigenetics, Mouse Models

Samir Kelada, Mouse Models of Diversity, Ashthma, Ozone

Faculty Affiliates from Other Research Institutions

Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences

Edward L. LeCluyse, Cellular/Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Liver Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Expression

ICF International

MaryJane K. Selgrade, Immunotoxicology

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Trevor Archer, Molecular Carcinogenesis, Chromatin Structure, Control of Gene Transcription, Epigenetics

Linda S. Birnbaum, Chemical Disposition of Xenobiotics, Mechanistic Toxicology, Dose-Response and Risk Assessment

Michael DeVito, Development of Models for Cumulative Risk to Endocrine Disruptors

Suzanne Fenton, Environmental Effects on Mammary Gland Development and Function

Michael B. Fessler, Induction and Regulation of Innate Immune Response, Toll-like Receptor Signaling

G. Jean Harry, Developmental Neurotoxicology, Molecular Neuro/Immunotoxicology

Steven R. Kleeberger, Genetic Determinants of Environmental Lung Disease

Gregory S. Travlos, Hematology and Clinical Chemistry

Carmen J. Williams, Environmental Effects on Reproductive Biology and Early Mammalian Embryogenesis, Epigenetics, Endocrine Disruption

Humphrey Yao, Developmental Reproductive Biology

North Carolina Central University

Antonio Baines, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease and Drug Therapy

North Carolina State University

David C. Dorman, Experimental Neurotoxicology, Nasal Toxicology, Pharmacokinetics

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

David DeMarini, Mutagenesis, Environmental Protection, Complex Mixtures, Biomarkers

Daniel L. Costa, Cardiopulmonary and Inhalation Toxicology, Health Effects of Air Pollutants

Kevin M. Crofton, Understanding the Consequences of Endocrine Disruption on Neurodevelopment

Robert B. Devlin, Pulmonary Toxicology, Molecular Biology

David Díaz-Sánchez, Translation Research, Environmental Impacts on Human Health, Immunology, Genetic Susceptibility, Epigenetics

Aimen K. Farraj, Comparative Cardiovascular Effects of Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel Fuel Emissions

M. Ian Gilmour, Pulmonary Toxicology, Immunotoxicology

Mehdi A. Hazari, Neurophysiological Mechanisms Mediating Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction Due to Air Pollution Exposure

E. Sidney Hunter, Mechanisms of Developmental Toxicity, Oxidative Stress, Embryonic Stem Cells in Developmental Toxicity

Gary Klinefelter, Male Reproductive Toxicology

Urmila P. Kodavanti, Cardiovascular Diseases and Susceptibility, Air Pollutants, Cardiopulmonary Interactions, Molecular Mechanisms, Genetic and Environmental Factors

Robert Luebke, Modulation of Normal Immune Function by Environmental Agents, Alternative Methods for Screening/Testing Immunotoxicants

Michael C. Madden, Air Pollution Toxicology, Lung Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Michael G. Narotsky, Developmental Toxicology, Pregnancy Maintenance and Parturition

Stephanie Padilla, Behavioral Toxicology and Neurotoxicology

John M. Rogers, Developmental Toxicology, Teratology, Developmental Biology, Embryology, Nutrition

James M. Samet, Inflammatory Responses to Pollutant Inhalation, Cytokines, Eicosanoids

Washington State University

Mary F. Paine, Drug Xenobiotic Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug Xenobiotic Interactions


Ram (T. V.) Ramabhadran, Neurotoxicological Effects of Environmental Pollutants, Cellular Stress Pathways

The Curriculum

The Curriculum in Toxicology administers a degree program leading to the award of the Ph.D. in toxicology. The curriculum is an interdisciplinary program, and its faculty is drawn from various administrative units of the schools of medicine, pharmacy, and public health. The training faculty also includes scientists at government laboratories on campus or in the Research Triangle Park (e.g., EPA, NIEHS). The research interests of the faculty include most areas of toxicology, with particular emphasis on understanding the links between the environment and health risks, the mode of action of toxicants and disease pathogenesis and how emerging knowledge could be translated into prevention strategies, new therapeutic interventions, and an improved scientific basis for risk assessment. The main areas of research concentration are molecular carcinogenesis, mechanistic toxicology, neurotoxicology, cardiopulmonary toxicology, hepatic toxicology, computational toxicology, developmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, drug and xenobiotic metabolism, and ethanol toxicology. Multidisciplinary efforts are directed at environmental toxicology, systems biology, animal models of human diseases, translational research, and biomarkers. The faculty generally does not conduct research in the areas of aquatic toxicology, forensic toxicology, the ecological aspects of toxicology, or studies in invertebrate systems. The research activities of the Curriculum in Toxicology are conducted in the laboratory facilities assigned to each faculty member by a participating administrative unit.


Students with interest in the Ph.D. degree in toxicology must apply for Graduate School admission through the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program. Applications are considered from students who have received or expect to receive a B.S./B.A. or an M.S. degree in a scientific discipline. A desirable background for pre-doctoral studies in toxicology includes courses in biological sciences (including histology and animal physiology), in chemistry (including analytical and organic), and in mathematics through calculus, although all of these are not absolutely essential. A strong course in general biochemistry accelerates the student's progress. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of undergraduate (and graduate) academic performance, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation. Students are accepted on the basis of their achievement and potential. Prior research experience is strongly considered in the assessment of qualifications for admission.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

The selection of graduate courses is influenced by the student's prior academic background. The academic courses that are considered appropriate for graduate training in toxicology include biochemistry, biostatistics, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology, and two elective courses in the specific areas of the doctoral research. In addition, each pre-doctoral student is expected to participate in other training activities – i.e., student-centered seminars and scientific meetings while developing the doctoral dissertation project. Attendance and participation in the Curriculum in Toxicology seminar series is required during the entire training period.

A major requirement for the Ph.D. degree is a doctoral dissertation based on the development of the student's research project. Written and oral examinations are required in the fields of general toxicology and the student's research concentration.

Financial Aid

The curriculum seeks to fund pre-doctoral students each year. All applicants are considered for financial aid awards.

Courses for Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Students


423 Developmental Toxicology and Teratology (CBIO 423) (2). See CBIO 423 for description.

442 Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology (BIOC 442, ENVR 442) (3). See ENVR 442 for description.

Courses for Graduate Students


702 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology (PHCO 702) (3). See PHCO 702 for description.

707 Advanced Toxicology (ENVR 707, PHCO 707) (3). Prerequisite, PHCO 702. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Cellular and physiological basis of toxicity of environmental chemicals, with emphasis on inhalation toxicology, developmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, radiation toxicology, renal toxicology, and neurotoxicology. Three lecture hours per week.

721 Toxicology Seminar II (1). Student-conducted presentations and discussions of recent advances in toxicology; emphasis on critical evaluation of published investigations and on organization and oral delivery of presentations. One hour per week.

722 Toxicology Seminar III (ENVR 722) (1). Presentations by outside invited speakers, local faculty, advanced graduate students, and postdoctoral trainees. Topics will cover all areas of research in toxicology. One hour per week.

760 Toxicokinetics (3). A quantitative examination of the time course of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and biologic effects of agents of toxicologic interest. Three lecture hours per week.

792 Seminar in Carcinogenesis (PATH 792) (2). See PATH 792 for description.

821 Scientific Writing (1). Doctoral candidacy in toxicology required. Workshops on scientific writing with special emphasis on fellowship applications and the doctoral research proposal. Students work on several written assignments and are expected to complete a draft of their proposals by the end of the semester.

901 Research in Toxicology (3). May be repeated. Students register in this course as they formulate their doctoral research projects.

992 Master's (Non-Thesis) (3). Prerequisites, TOXC 442 and TOXC 707. Students acquire practical experience through and internship program at a non-academic institution where knowledge in toxicology is applied toward its mission. They subsequently prepare a capstone monograph (thesis substitute) that reports on their individualized experience, a requirement for the MPS in Toxicology.

993 Master's Research and Thesis (3). May be repeated. Hours and credits to be arranged.

994 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (3). May be repeated. Hours and credits to be arranged.