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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Smeekens, Johanna
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Our research focuses on investigating factors that contribute to the development of food allergy, with an emphasis on how we can manipulate these factors towards preventative and therapeutic strategies. Specifically, we aim to understand the role of environmental exposures, particularly early in life, in non-oral sensitization to foods that lead to allergy. We are also especially interested in testing novel therapeutics for food allergy that can induce tolerance, after allergy is already established. We utilize a combination of human samples and mouse models to address these goals.

Ferguson, Kelly
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Toxicology, Translational Medicine

The Perinatal and Early Life Epidemiology Group conducts research on how maternal exposure to chemicals impacts pregnancy and the development of the fetus and child. We also investigate biological mechanisms of action — such as inflammation, oxidative stress, and endocrine disruption — that connect chemical exposures to adverse birth outcomes. Dr. Ferguson accepts BBSP students for rotations, but would need to co-mentor a student with another faculty member if a student wants to join her lab.

Moran, Timothy
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology, Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Our research focuses on how environmental exposures impact the development of allergic diseases including asthma and food allergy. We are specifically interested in how exposure to environmental pollutants and immunostimulatory molecules (adjuvants) influence allergic sensitization. The goals of our laboratory are to: (1) define the key environmental adjuvants within the indoor exposome that promote allergic sensitization; (2) characterize the molecular mechanisms by which environmental adjuvants and pollutants condition lung antigen presenting cells to induce allergic immune responses; and (3) identify biomarkers of environmental adjuvant exposure that are associated with increased risk for allergic sensitization in children. Through these research endeavors, we hope to identify potential therapeutic targets for environment-mediated allergic diseases, as well as environmental interventions to mitigate the risk for allergic disease development.

Rebuli, Meghan E.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Research in my lab focuses on investigating sex specific effects of air pollutants and new and emerging tobacco products on respiratory immune health. Specifically, the Rebuli lab is examining how the interaction of sex (genetic and hormonal) and toxicant exposure can alter respiratory health. As the majority of research has been historically conducted in men, male animals, or male-derived cell culture models, there is a paucity of information on female respiratory health and sex differences in the effects of toxicant exposure. We are working to fill this knowledge gap by better understanding the role of genetic and hormonal sex on respiratory health. This is particularly important in understanding the development of sex-biased diseases, where men or women are more susceptible to disease development after environmental exposures, such viral infection, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are interested in toxicants such as ozone, wood smoke, cigarette smoke, and e-cigarette aerosols. We investigate effects at both the individual and population level by using clinical (observational clinical studies and prospective exposure trials) and translational (in vitro and ex vivo cell culture) models of the respiratory immune system.

Rizvi, Imran
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Drug Delivery, Molecular Biology, Nanomedicine, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Dr. Rizvi’s expertise is in imaging and therapeutic applications of light, bioengineered 3D models and animal models for cancer, and targeted drug delivery for inhibition of molecular survival pathways in tumors. His K99/R00 (NCI) develops photodynamic therapy (PDT)-based combinations against molecular pathways that are altered by fluid stress in ovarian cancer. He has co-authored 46 peer-reviewed publications and 5 book chapters with a focus on PDT, biomedical optics, and molecular targeting in cancer.

Chorley, Brian
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Systems Biology, Toxicology

The long-term goal of my research is to incorporate ‘omic (genomic, epigenomic, proteomic, etc.) measurements into environmental human health hazard identification, prioritization and risk assessment using a quantitative and interpretable biological systems framework. Thus, short-term goals have been to develop the molecular tools to investigate key biological events, and measurable biomarkers linked to those events, related to important disease processes that are impacted by environmental chemical exposures, such as liver and lung toxicity.  We have focused recent efforts on early-in-life genomic and epigenetic alterations and linkages to latent adverse outcome susceptibility due to commons exposures, genetics, and pre-existing conditions. Our laboratory uses cutting edge techniques such as gene editing tools including CRISPR-based methods; next generation nucleic acid-based sequencing to probe the genome and epigenome; advance, high-throughput microscopy; targeted RNA, DNA, and non-coding RNA measurements such as digital drop PCR and Fireplex; and advanced in vitro models.

Williams, Carmen J.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Developmental Biology, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Reproductive biology of early mammalian embryogenesis including gametogenesis, fertilization, and preimplantation embryo development. Effects of environmental disrupting chemicals on female reproductive tract development and function, with a focus on epigenetic alterations.

Tong, Haiyan
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cardiovascular Biology, Cell Signaling, Physiology, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Research in my laboratory focuses on the cardiovascular effects of air pollution and other environmental pollutants in human, animal, and in vitro models, as well as the dietary interventional strategies to mitigate the adverse health effects of air pollution exposure. We are currently conducting two clinical studies to investigate the cardiopulmonary effects of air pollution exposure, and to determine whether dietary omega-3 fatty acids can mitigate the air pollution-induced health effects in human volunteers. These studies provide good training opportunities for students who are interested in training in clinical and translational toxicology research.

Gilmour, M. Ian
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Chemical Biology, Immunology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Toxicology, Translational Medicine

Dr M Ian Gilmour is a Principal Investigator at the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), U.S Environmental Protection Agency in RTP.    He received an Honors degree in microbiology from the University of Glasgow, and a doctorate in aerosol science and mucosal immunology from the University of Bristol in 1988.  After post-doctoral work at the John Hopkins School of Public Health and the U.S. EPA, he became a Research Associate in the Center for Environmental Medicine at the University of North Carolina. In 1998 he joined the EPA fellowship program and in 2000 became a permanent staff member.  He holds adjunct faculty positions with the UNC School of Public Health and the Curriculum in Toxicology, and at NC State Veterinary School.  He has published over 80 research articles in the field of pulmonary immunobiology where his research focuses on the interaction between air pollutant exposure and the development of infectious and allergic lung disease.

Fry, Rebecca
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Genetics, Systems Biology, Toxicology

The lab focuses on understanding how environmental exposures are associated with human disease with a particular focus on genomic and epigenomic perturbations. Using environmental toxicogenomics and systems biology approaches, we aim to identify key molecular pathways that associate environmental exposure with diseases. A current focus in the lab is to study prenatal exposure to various types of metals including arsenic, cadmium, and lead. We aim to understand molecular mechanisms by which such early exposures are associated with long-term health effects in humans. For example, we are examining DNA methylation (epigenetic) profiles in humans exposed to metals during the prenatal period. This research will enable the identification of gene and epigenetic biomarkers of metal exposure. The identified genes can serve as targets for study to unravel potential molecular bases for metal-induced disease. Ultimately, we aim to identify mechanisms of metal -induced disease and the basis for inter-individual disease susceptibility.