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Welcome to the Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine

Message from Dr. Jaspers

Ilona Jaspers, PhD

Welcome to the Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our mission is to provide a cutting edge research and mentoring environment to train students and postdoctoral fellows in environmental health and toxicology. Our trainees are engaged in original research projects addressing important toxicological and environmental health issues, preparing them for independent careers in academia, government, or industry. Using in silico, in vitro, in vivo, as well as human translational research approaches the goal of our trainees’ research is to elucidate the pathogenesis of exposure to toxic agents.

Our interdisciplinary training program involves faculty from numerous Departments and Divisions in the School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and School of Pharmacy. In addition, the Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine is unique in its interactions with investigators at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who play key roles in the training of our Toxicology students and postdocs. As a consequence, the breadth of resources available through our program uniquely prepares our trainees for the next steps in their career paths.


Dr. Ilona Jaspers,
Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Upcoming Events

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CiTEM Trainees Honored

In addition to publishing over 20 first-author papers, our CiTEM trainees have received 20 poster and travel Awards, are the winners of NC Impact Awards in 2019 and 2020 (Bevin Blake and Yael-Natalie Escobar), winners of the NIEHS 3-minute thesis competition (Bevin Blake), were inducted into the UNC Frank Porter Graham Honor Society (Elise Hickman), received the Arthur Furst Award for Best Student Paper at the American College of Toxicology (Kelsey Behrens), received the American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship (Nick Buglak), and have leadership roles in several different UNC graduate student organizations, such as the Science Policy Advocacy Group (SPAG). Congratulations to all of the CiTEM Trainees!

NC Award Recipients

Two members of the Curriculum in Toxicology receive the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor given by the state of North Carolina.

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, and Dr. Aziz Sancar, Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC-CH and the recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, are the 2016 North Carolina Award Winners in Science. The North Carolina Award is the highest civilian award bestowed by the state of North Carolina and is awarded in the fields of science, literature, fine arts, and public service. It is sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize of North Carolina” and has been awarded since 1964. Please join me in congratulating these two outstanding members of the Curriculum in Toxicology for this exceptional achievement.

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  • Faculty Member Phillip Clapp is Featured in Press Briefing on Mask Fitting

    Phil Clapp Collaborative research between CEMALB and EPA investigators shows that double masking can provide additional protection for the wearer. However, improving fit with the outer mask is key. Read More here:  

  • Recent Graduate Yael-Natalie Escobar Awarded APS Fellowship

    Yael-Natalie Escobar It is becoming increasingly apparent that science is a major component of many issues, topics, and decisions with which Congress must grapple. The American Physiological Society (APS) sponsors an early career advocacy fellowship to engage researchers in “advocacy activities and provide them with skills to become long-term advocates for scientific research.” Yael-Natalie Escobar, … Continued

  • Longtime Faculty Dr. David Holbrook passes away

    Dr. David Holbrook It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Dr. David Holbrook. He died peacefully on May 3rd, 2020 at the age of 87. He was a critical component in the development of our training program in 1979 and stayed involved until 2019, dedicating 40 years of his life to … Continued

  • Dr. Samantha Faber

    Dr. Samantha Faber awarded SOT 2019 Colgate-Palmolive Postdoc Fellowship Award in In-Vitro Toxicology

      Postdoctoral Trainee Dr. Samantha Faber, PhD has been awarded the Society of Toxicology 2019 Colgate-Palmolive Postdoc Fellowship Award in In-Vitro Toxicology.   Her project title  is “Beyond the Barrier; A Readily Adoptable In Vitro Model for Exploring the Effects of Inhaled Toxicants beyond the Epithelium”.  Please see below for a short summary of the grant … Continued

  • Dr. Haiyan Tong, PhD

    Dr. Haiyan Tong’s Research featured in New York Times article

    November 2017 Dr. Haiyan Tong, PhD Does Eating Right Protect You From Air Pollution? Exposure to air pollution contributes importantly to excess morbidity and mortality. “Clean Air Act” has saved millions of lives by improving air quality, there are still millions of people in the U.S. who live in areas where particulate air pollution levels … Continued

  • Mimi Huang

    Mimi Huang and Kim Stratford awarded F31 Fellowships

      Mimi Huang Kim Stratford Please join us in congratulating Mimi Huang and Kim Stratford in receiving F31 Awards through NIEHS. Mimi works under the mentorship of Dr. Mirek Styblo and is investigating the underlying mechanisms of arsenic-associated diabetes and how nutritional interventions may modify arsenic toxicity. Mimi is a fourth year Toxicology graduate student … Continued

  • Liz Mutter-Rottmayer

    Liz Muttter-Rottmayer awarded PhRMA Foundation fellowship

      Liz Mutter-Rottmayer Liz Mutter-Rottmayer was recently awarded the PhRMA Foundation’s competitive pre-doctoral fellowship in Pharmacology/Toxicology. With the help of her mentor, Dr. Cyrus Vaziri, Liz is currently conducting research to uncover how mechanisms of DNA repair may alter environmental susceptibility as well as the efficacy of chemotherapeutic genotoxins, thus contributing to carcinogenesis. This fellowship … Continued