Welcome to ETOX, the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program at UCR
Mission & Vision
The Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program offers an integrated interdisciplinary course of study leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. The program is designed to teach students the scientific principles of toxicology and it focuses primarily upon the biology, chemistry, and mechanisms by which xenobiotics and natural toxins interact with the biosphere, including humans. Studies on mechanisms of toxicity complement research directed towards understanding the movement of toxics through soil, water, and air and for the development of procedures to reduce pollution and clean up contaminated sites.
Dr. Linlin Zhao
"The flow of genetic information is critically dependent on the structure and integrity of DNA. DNA is challenged by reactive chemicals from endogenous and environmental sources, which produces a plethora of DNA modifications. Certain types of DNA modification play a role in genetic regulation, whereas others can be harmful to organismal health. The overarching goal of our research is to understand the chemical and molecular mechanisms by which DNA-binding proteins/enzymes interact with chemically modified DNA and maintain genomic stability. We combine biochemical, biophysical, computational, and cellular approaches to decipher the basis of DNA damage, replication, and repair in the context of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes."
Dr. Tara Nordgren is an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine, Division of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California Riverside. She received her Ph.D. and performed postdoctoral training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and is broadly trained in lung biology, immunology, lipid signaling, and toxicology. Dr. Nordgren's research interests involve identifying how environmental factors impact inflammation, injury, and repair in the lung. In particular, she is interested in identifying how agricultural dust exposures elicit lung inflammation, and is exploring the role of bioactive lipids derived from Omega-3 fatty acids in promoting inflammation resolution and tissue repair.
The premise of our research is to develop chemical probes that enable novel bioanalytical methods, especially at single-cell resolution. All of our projects are highly interdisciplinary and involve small molecule probes and cyclic peptides. We currently have three major focus areas. We implement chemical methods for assaying metabolites at the single-cell level. We establish non-genetic approaches to interrogate and interpret protein signaling dynamics at the single cell level. We design and construct topologically complex cyclic peptides for specific recognition of protein epitopes and small molecules. Particularly, we explore their potential applications in modulating protein-protein interactions.
Our group's research is focused on the understanding and application of aquatic chemical processes to improve water quality, design treatment processes and provide more reliable water supplies. We face great challenges on the availability of high-quality water resources. Aquatic chemistry plays a pivotal role in both the engineered and natural systems of water cycle. Our research focuses on the applications of aquatic chemistry principles in engineered applications such as water purification, wastewater reclamation, and to understand how various redox and interfacial chemical processes influence water quality and quantity. We integrate fundamental principles of surface chemistry, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics modeling with advanced analytical capacities to address these issues. In addition, we are active in outreach activities to raise public awareness on water issues. If you would like to learn more about us, please take a look at our website, check our research opportunity webpage and feel free to contact me for more information. We are always excited to hear from colleagues and potential students who share an interest in these interdisciplinary fields.