About the Department

The mission of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences is to prevent adverse health effects related to environmental and occupational exposures through research, education, and service.  The “environment” is interpreted holistically and includes air, water, soil, social and cultural, economic, “built” environment, and environmental stress.  Our interests include regional, state, and global environmental issues affecting our community, the nation, and the world.  Through research we improve understanding of how harmful exposures affect health with the goal of developing strategies to prevent adverse effects and treat disease.  The Department’s research laboratories are exploring health effects of air pollution, manufactured nanoparticles, airborne particulates (including nanoparticles), hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, and tobacco products.  Broad research themes include mechanisms of cellular injury and repair, stem cell function, genotoxicity and carcinogenesis, fetal basis of adult disease, and environmental effects on microbiome and health.  Through teaching we educate future scientists and policy makers who broadly impact the field of environmental health.  Through service we support dissemination of knowledge, formulation of policy, and implementation of strategies to prevent adverse environmental health effects at national and local levels.

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences offers a PhD degree with a specialization in environmental health.

W. Paul McKinney, MD, Professor and Associate Dean, is acting chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

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