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Alison Elder, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Fax: (585) 256-2631

Office: (585) 275-2324

Research Labs

Elder - Full CV

Lab: (585) 275-3821

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Research Network



Toxicology of Inhaled Ultrafine Particles and Engineered Nanomaterials Our laboratory has focused for several years on the toxicology of inhaled ultrafine particles (UFPs), the most numerous size fraction of particulate air pollution. Interests include the impacts of age, gaseous co-pollutant exposure, and health status on the response(s) to inhaled UFPs. We are also interested in determining the basis for potential adverse effects of inhaled particles in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. This research focus has naturally led to our work with engineered nanomaterials. The research commonalities between UFP and nanomaterials are numerous, including the kinetics of tissue distribution following exposure, mechanisms of response related to oxidative stress, particle-protein interactions, and the physicochemical characteristics of the particles that determine response. Our research aims are met by using a combination of animal and cell culture models as well as detailed particle characterization. In addition to looking for nanosized particles in tissues via chemical and microscopic means, responses are determined by measuring markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in the lung lining fluid, lung tissue, blood, circulating inflammatory cells, and extrapulmonary tissues (e.g. heart, liver, spleen, kidney, brain regions). We also have specific projects focused on cardiovascular stability and neurodegeneration following exposures to UFPs and nanomaterials.


Faculty Appointments


BS | Chatham College

PhD | Univ of Cal Irvine
Environmental Toxicology


Young Investigator Award, Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section, Society of Toxicology

Cornerstone Alumna Award in Environmental Medicine, Chatham University

1995 - 1996
Graduate Student Fellowship, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

College Chemistry Award, Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh

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Journal Articles

Shi M, de Mesy Bentley KL, Palui G, Mattoussi H, Elder A, Yang H. "The roles of surface chemistry, dissolution rate, and delivered dose in the cytotoxicity of copper nanoparticles." Nanoscale.. 2017 Apr 6; 9(14):4739-4750.

Graham UM, Jacobs G, Yokel RA, Davis BH, Dozier AK, Birch ME, Tseng MT, Oberdörster G, Elder A, DeLouise L. "From Dose to Response: In Vivo Nanoparticle Processing and Potential Toxicity." Advances in experimental medicine and biology.. 2017 947:71-100.

McCarthy CE, Duffney PF, Gelein R, Thatcher TH, Elder A, Phipps RP, Sime PJ. "Dung biomass smoke activates inflammatory signaling pathways in human small airway epithelial cells." American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology.. 2016 Dec 1; 311(6):L1222-L1233. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Particles and the autonomic nervous system
Book Title: Particles and Cardiovascular Disease Mechanisms
Author List: Upadhyay S, Elder A, Cascio WE, Schulz H
Edited By: F.R. Cassee, N.L. Mills, D.E. Newby
Published By: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.2010 in Hoboken, NJ

Chapter Title: Human Health Risks of Engineered Nanomaterials
Book Title: Nanotechnology: Risks and Benefits
Author List: Elder A, Lynch I, Grieger K, Chan-Remillard S, Gatti A, Gnewuch H, Kenawy E, Korenstein R, Kuhlbusch T, Linker F, Matias S, Monteiro-Riviere N, Pinto V, Rudnitsky R, Savoleinen K, Shvedova A
Edited By: Linkov I, Steevens J
Published By: Springer2009 in Dordrecht

Chapter Title: Disposition of Nanoparticles as a Function of their Interactions with Biomolecules
Book Title: Nanotechnology: Risks and Benefits
Author List: Lynch I, Elder A
Edited By: Linkov I, Steevens J
Published By: Springer2009 in Dordrecht