Jonathan Freedman, Ph.D.


Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Research Tower A 1300 502–852–5348


Ph.D., Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1986)

Research Areas and Projects

Dr. Freedman’s research interests can be divided into two broad categories:  basic and applied.  The tools developed as part of the applied research program are used to advance basic research.  Likewise, mechanistic information derived through basic research projects is adapted and then developed into applied protocols.  The basic research program involves understanding how exposures to environmental factors contribute the development and/or exacerbation of human diseases. Our group is focused in the roles of transition metals (cadmium and zinc) and diet in the etiology of cancer, metabolic syndrome (e.g., type II diabetes) and Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are applying a systems biological approach; where interactions among phenotypes, genetics, transcriptomics and environmental factors at the molecular, cellular, organ and whole organism level are characterized in an integrated manner. This holistic approach allows us to develop novel models to delineate the mechanism(s) by which multiple factors come together to produce human disease. Our group utilizes model organisms (Caenorhabditis elegans and mice) and mammalian cell culture, as well as high-throughput screening technologies to explore the environmental contributions to these human diseases.

The applied research program is focused on the development of alternative organisms for in vivo toxicological testing. This project is part of the international effort to reduce, refine and replace mammalian species in toxicity testing. We utilize the technologies and statistical methods already developed in the laboratory for high-throughput toxicity testing using C. elegans to other biomedically-relevant model organisms; Daphnia, Drosophila, Zebrafish and Xenopus.


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