The department offers three broad areas of specialization. Graduate programs are individualized; courses are selected in accordance with both the track requirements and the background and interests of the individual student.
ToxicologySpecific areas of research include: alterations of immune system function by environmental factors; the function and regulation of Phase I and Phase II enzymes in estrogen and xenobiotic metabolism in both in vivo and in vitro systems using the tools of cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology; the use of biomarkers of DNA damage to determine cancer risk from exposure to xenobiotics.
Environmental ChemistrySpecific areas of research include: laboratory and pilot-scale investigations of photochemical and adsorption processes in the aquatic environment; development and application of analytical methods for the detection of inorganic and organic contaminants in environmental media and human tissues; atmospheric processes leading to the development of acid rain, ozone depletion and smog.
Environmental and Occupational Health
The program provides a bridge between the disciplines of biology, microbiology, chemistry, physics, and the behavioral sciences and the problems and issues addressing the prevention and control of environmentally provoked disease. Emphasis is on the development and application of a scientific approach to defining the health effects of exposure of individuals or populations to hazardous materials and situations or environmentally caused disease, and integrating the results of each assessment with social, economic, political, and engineering concerns to reach a decision.