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Current Students

students with mentors

The Toxicology Graduate Program at the University of Rochester recruits and matriculates the highest quality students from around the United States and from all parts of the world. They participate in a rigorous toxicology curriculum, attend national and international meetings, and contribute to cutting edge research.

Many of our students have published manuscripts in high profile international journals and present abstracts at a host of large and small scientific meetings. In addition, our students participate as members of the curriculum, admissions and colloquium committees, website, and annually present their ongoing research to fellow students and to the toxicology community as a whole.

With a long history as an internationally recognized center for research and training in toxicology, the genesis of toxicology at Rochester can be traced back to World War II when the Manhattan Project sponsored critical studies on health problems associated with atomic energy and weapons production.

Our program is one of the oldest and strongest research-oriented toxicology programs in the nation, and we are ranked among the top 5 toxicology graduate programs in the USA, according to the National Academy of Science’s NRC Assessment of Graduate Education, 2010. Trainees who come to Rochester work with a team of dedicated faculty, who are internationally recognized, well-funded, and deeply committed to education and mentoring.


Catherine Beamish
Catherine Beamish, MS

Research Interest:

Developmental toxicity of methylmercury and other heavy metals

Knickole Bergman
Knickole Bergman

Research Interest:

My passion for toxicology and biomedical research is vested in my interests in cell and molecular signaling, translational science, and my desire to improve the health of communities and reduce health disparities through the lens of scientific research. I am particularly interested in maternal health and child development.

Kristina Fenner
Kristina Fenner, PhD

Research Interest:

Studying the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells during viral infection 

Jithin George
Jithin George, BS

Research Interest:

The role of inhaled iron in neurodegenerative disease processes

Joseph Lucas
Joseph Lucas, MS

Research Interest:

Studying the effects of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid on lung barrier integrity and the development of asthma 

Sarah Morgan
Sarah Morgan, MS

Research Interest:

Investigating the bioactivity of microplastics and their adsorbed chemicals in an in vitro mammalian model. 

Ryan Owens
Ryan Owens, MS

Research Interest:

The relationship between the immune system and neuronal activity. 

Melanie Perkins
Melanie Perkins, MS

Research Interest:

Investigating the role of B cells in autoimmune disease

Elizabeth Plunk
Elizabeth Plunk, MS

Research Interest:

Investigating the effects of developmental exposures to environmentally relevant toxicants on glia and neurons

Nashae Prout
Nashae Prout

Research Interest:

Investigating the immune modulatory effects of environmental exposures.

Pablo Reina-Gonzalez
Pablo Reina-Gonzalez

Research Interest:

I’m interested in science policy and regulation. My future goals are to help protect vulnerable communities from environmental toxicants exposures.

Adelaide Weidner
Adelaide Weidner, MS

Research Interest:

Investigating ovarian insulin signaling and the role of dietary glycotoxins in polycystic ovary syndrome