Environmental Toxicology Curriculum

Registration Information:

Schedule of Classes

Core Curriculum

Students enrolled in the graduate program are expected to complete a core set of courses in toxicology. The objectives of the core curriculum are to provide specific education in the environmental, organismal and sub-organismal aspects of toxicology, and to develop research skills and critical faculties in the area of environmental toxicology. The following courses constitute the core curriculum in toxicology and are required of all enrolled M.S. and Ph.D. students.  More detailed information can be found on the UCR General Course Catalog.

ENTX 200 Fate and Transport of Chemicals in the Environment

Identification of toxicants and their sources in the environment; equilibrium partitioning of chemicals in the environment (between air, water, soil, sediment, and biota) using physico-chemical properties; transport and chemical transformations of chemical compounds in air, water, and soil media. Case studies of fate and transport of selected toxic chemicals.


ENTX 201 Principles of Toxicology

The structure-activity and dose-response relationships of environmental toxicants; their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; and evaluation of their toxicity and factors that influence toxicity. Quantitative methods in measuring acute and chronic toxicity.


ENTX 201L Laboratory Rotation

Introduction to research techniques in biochemicaland chemical toxicology. Students will spend time in a laboratory to familiarize themselves with research topics and techniques. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC). Course is repeatable.


ENTX 202 Mechanisms of Toxicity

Biochemical and physiological mechanisms underlying the toxicity of environmental toxicants. The interaction of toxicants with subcellular components and macromolecules with emphasis on mechanism of action, in particular neurotoxicity of pesticides, chemical carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, and teratogenicity.


ENTX 270 Seminar in Environmental Toxicology

Lectures by visiting scholars and staff on current research topics in Environmental Toxicology. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC). May be repeated for credit.

Elective Courses in Toxicology and Depth Requirement

Each student enrolled in the Program is expected to attain advanced knowledge in an area of specialization related to his/her research problem. The specific training of each student is determined largely by his/her choice of courses which will be selected in consultation with the major professor and/or the Guidance Committee, and with the approval of the graduate advisor. A number of courses specifically developed for the toxicology program will provide advanced training in selected topics in toxicology. These include:

ENTX 101 Fundamental Toxicology

Fundamental concepts relating to the adverse effects of chemical agents. Topics covered include dose-response relationships, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, mechanisms of toxicity, and the effects of selected environmental toxicants on various organ systems. Characterization and assessment of risks are also covered.

ENTX 135 Chemistry of the Clean and Polluted Atmosphere

Structure of the troposphere and stratosphere; formation of atmospheric ozone; tropospheric NOx chemistry; methane oxidation cycle; phase distributions of chemicals; wet and dry deposition; chemistry of volatile organic compounds; formation of photochemical air pollution; modeling of air pollution and control strategies; stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming.

ENTX 136 Chemistry of Natural Waters

Introduction to processes controlling the chemical composition of natural waters. Topics include chemical equilibria, acid-base and coordination chemistry, oxidation-reduction reactions, precipitation-dissolution, air-water exchange, and use of equilibrium and kinetic models for describing marine nutrient, trace metal, and sediment chemistry.

ENTX 150 Cancer Biology

The origin, development, and treatment of cancer are explored with emphasis on molecular mechanisms. Topics such as oncogenes, tumor suppressors, cell cycle and differentiation, AIDS, heredity and environmental factors in the development of cancer are covered.

ENTX 154 Risk Assessment

An introduction to the basic principles and methods by which health risks associated with exposure to chemical and physical agents are determined. Topics include hazard identification, dose response and exposure assessments, as well as risk characterization and management.

ENTX 200L Analysis and Identification of Environmental Toxicants

Provides laboratory experience in specialized methods of identification and analysis of toxic organic compounds in gaseous, aqueous, and soil media. Methods of sample collection and extraction are presented. Students utilize both gas and liquid chromatographic techniques. Toxicant analysis by gas chromatography (GC), GC/mass spectrometry, and GC/Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is emphasized.

ENTX 205 Biotransformation of Organic Chemicals (4 Units)

Explores the catalytic activities and regulatory pathways of Phase I (e.g. cytochromes P450) and Phase II (e.g. UDPGT) enzymes involved in organic chemical biotransformation.  Demonstrates the contribution of biotransformation in toxicology.

ENTX 208 Ecotoxicology (4 Units)

Introduction to the impacts of chemicals upon ecological systems.  Examination of the fate and effects of environmental chemicals in various hierarchies of biological organization in order to carry out precise and accurate assessments of ecological risk.

ENTX 211 Environmental and Molecular Carcinogenesis

Molecular genetics of human cell response to environmental carcinogens. Discussion of DNA repair, mutagenensis, oncogenes, and tumor suppressors. Following presentation of introductory material, emphasis will be placed on student discussion of recent literature.

ENTX 216 Biodegradation of Xenobiotic Chemicals

The importance of microorganisms in metabolizing synthetic organic chemicals. Ecology, physiology, growth, isolation, and identification of degradative bacteria. Studies of catabolic pathways: metabolites, enzymes, genes, and environmental factors. Bioremediation processes and environmentally related problems.

ENTX 245 Chemistry and Physics of Aerosols

Fundamentals of chemical and physical processes controlling behavior and properties of airborne particles. Topics include particle mechanics; electrical, optical, and thermodynamic properties; nucleation; surface and aqueous-phase chemistry; gas-particle partitioning; sampling; size and chemical analysis; atmospheric aerosols; and environmental effects.

ENTX 257 Graduate Seminar in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology

Lectures by visiting scholars on current research in cell, molecular, and developmental biology.

ENTX 290 Directed Studies

Literature or research topics under direction of the staff. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC). May be repeated for credit.

ENTX 297 Directed Research

Directed research performed towards the development of a dissertation problem or other research performed under the direction of staff. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC). May be repeated for credit.

ENTX 299 Research for Thesis Dissertation

Research performed under the direction of a faculty member towards a thesis or dissertation. May be repeated for credit. Graded Satisfactory (S) or No Credit (NC).

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