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Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences
(formerly Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program)

UC Irvine's Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine provides training in Environmental Health Sciences, culminating with the award of the doctor of philosophy degree in one of two tracks, Environmental Toxicology and Exposure Sciences and Environmental Epidemiology, or the master of science degree.

The Environmental Health Sciences program grew out of the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, which has trained PhD and MS students and postdoctoral scholars for more than 35 years at UC Irvine. The Environmental Health Sciences program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary and appropriate to teach and/or conduct basic and applied research programs in inhalation/pulmonary toxicology, biochemical neurotoxicology, reproductive and developmental toxicology, exposure modeling, exposure assessment, chemical pathology, toxicokinetics, radiation toxicology, molecular carcinogenesis, environmental epidemiology, and risk assessment.

Environmental Toxicology involves the scientific study of the entry, distribution, biotransformation and mechanism of the action of chemical agents that are harmful to the body. The graduate program interprets environmental toxicology as the study of the effects and mechanisms of action of hazardous chemicals in food, air, water and soil in the home, the workplace and the community. It considers experimentally and theoretically such diverse research problems as:

  • New scientific approaches to toxicological evaluation of environmental chemicals such as air and water pollutants, food additives, industrial wastes and agricultural adjuvants at the molecular, cellular and organism levels;
  • Mechanisms of action in chemical toxicity;
  • The molecular pathology of tissue injury in acute and chronic toxicity.

Exposure Sciences involves the study of human exposures to environmental contaminants in different media such as air, water, and food and via multiple routes including inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Environmental Epidemiology examines the effects of exposure to environmental pollutants and other factors on health outcomes. Research in the Exposure Sciences and Environmental Epidemiology Track includes:

  • New approaches to the evaluation of human exposures to environmental chemicals, including exposure modeling and biomonitoring.
  • Modeling individual level exposures to environmental pollutants and examining associations of these exposures with health and disease outcomes.
  • Exposure to physical and psychosocial work environment hazards and health outcomes

The UC Irvine EHS program is a participant in UC Irvine's NIH-funded GPS-BIOMED program for graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical sciences. GPS-BIOMED is designed to better prepare trainees for a variety of careers in the biomedical research workforce. More information about GPS-BIOMED can be found at: http://gps.bio.uci.edu/.

The application deadline is Jan. 15, 2018. However, applicants wishing to be considered for all funding possibilities must submit their applications by December 15, 2017.

 

For more information, please click on the drop-down drawers directly below:

Entrance Requirements »

General requirements for admission to graduate study are given in the UCI General Catalogue in the section "Research and Graduate Studies"  The catalogue is on-line and can be read at: http://www.editor.uci.edu/editor/catalogue.

Information about applying to UC Irvine Graduate Programs is also available on the Graduate Division website: https://www.grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/index.php

Additional entrance requirements for graduate students in Environmental Health Sciences are listed below. In cases where students with deficiencies in certain areas are admitted into the graduate program, those deficiencies will be made up during the first year of residence in the program. The student will be notified of any apparent deficiency at the time of acceptance into the graduate program.

Entrance Requirements for Students Applying to the Environmental Health Sciences Graduate Program

Subject Suggested college level courses to fulfill requirements
Biology One year of general biology; one quarter of molecular biology or biochemistry is strongly recommended
Mathematics One year of calculus and/or statistics
Chemistry One year of chemistry; organic chemistry is strongly recommended for environmental toxicology track

 

How to Apply »


To apply to the UC Irvine EHS PhD program, you must submit applications via both SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application System) and the UC Irvine Graduate Division. Letters of recommendation are submitted through SOPHAS only. Official, original transcripts from all schools attended after high school must be sent to SOPHAS and to the EHS Graduate Program. To apply to the UC Irvine EHS MS program, you only need to submit one application, via the UCI Graduate Division:

Links to SOPHAS information about UC Irvine Environmental Health Sciences PhD program applications:

Environmental Toxicology PhD Track:
https://sophas.org/program-finder/?program=5147


Exposure Sciences PhD Track:
https://sophas.org/program-finder/?program=5146


Link to UC Irvine Graduate Application Website:
https://www.grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/index.php

Faculty Research »

Ulrike Luderer, MD, PhD, MPH
— Director, Environmental Health Sciences Graduate Program

Luderer's research on reproductive and developmental toxicology is currently focused on understanding the role(s) of oxidative stress and antioxidants in ovarian toxicity, ovarian aging and ovarian cancer. A second area of focus is developmental toxicology of the reproductive system, specifically the developmental basis of premature ovarian failure and ovarian cancer.

Dean B. Baker, MD — Professor Emeritus

Scott M. Bartell, PhD

Bartell's research in exposure sciences and risk assessment focuses on probabilistic models and statistical methods for exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology and risk decision analysis.

Bruce Blumberg, PhD

Dr. Blumberg's research focuses on the role of nuclear hormone receptors in development, physiology and disease and how these may be disrupted by hormonally active compounds in the diet and environment. Particular research interests are the effects of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals (obesogens) on the development of obesity and on the role of highly chlorinated chemicals such as PCBs and PBDEs on the development of the immune system and on lymphoma.

Stephen C. Bondy, PhD

Bondy's research in molecular neurotoxicology focuses on the potential role of toxic agents in the promotion of brain aging and neurological disease. Studies include evaluation of agents that accelerate or retard the aging process. Endpoints range from behavioral tests to assay of gene expression. In addition, the properties of aluminum that relate to neurotoxicity and its possible contribution to Alzheimer's disease are being investigated.

Vincent J. Caiozzo, PhD

Caiozzo's expertise is in structure and function of muscle with an emphasis on exercise physiology. He has a special interest in the role of environmental toxicants in modulating physiological responses in human muscle.

Jefferson Y. Chan, MD, PhD

Chan's research in chemical pathology focuses on the oxidative stress response in cells exposed to toxic xenobiotics.

BongKyoo Choi, ScD, MPH

Choi’s research is focused on occupational epidemiology, occupational health psychology (work stress), work and obesity in firefighters and transit operators, ambulatory monitoring of heart rate and heart rate variability, and workplace health promotion.

Derek Dunn-Rankin, PhD

Dunn-Rankin's major research focus is on laser and optical diagnostics in practical systems, optical particle sizing, droplet formation and vaporization and their application to human exposures.

Rufus D. Edwards, PhD

Edwards' research in exposure sciences and risk assessment focuses on air pollution, particles, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases and environmental epidemiology in the developing world and European cities.

Chenyang (Sunny) Jiang, PhD

Jiang's research focus is in coastal water quality microbiology and the application of molecular techniques to detect human pathogenic bacteria and viruses in aquatic environments.

Virginia Kimonis, MD

Kimonis is a Clinical Geneticist-Scientist with a strong interest in the genetics of neuromuscular diseases. Her laboratory focuses on the genetic causes of muscle disease. She is particularly interested in inherited muscle disorders that occur in combination with diseases of bone.

Masashi Kitazawa, PhD

Kitazawa’s primary research emphasis centers on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the impact of neuroinflammation elicited endogenously by disruption of normal immune responses by aging or by exogenous environmental factors, such as chronic exposure to environmental chemicals and toxicants. By using multiple experimental platforms including transgenic mouse models of the disease, primary cultures and established cell culture models, and organotypic slices, my laboratory is investigating key cellular signaling cascades in microglia and astrocytes that are dysregulated in early phase of AD.

Michael T. Kleinman, PhD — Co-director, Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory

Kleinman's research focuses on the mechanisms of cardiopulmonary injury following inhalation of toxic compounds. His laboratory uses state-of-the-art methods to evaluate the roles of free radicals and oxidative stress in sensitive human volunteers and laboratory animals. In vitro methods are used to evaluate specific mechanisms. Other interests include analytical and atmospheric chemistry, environmental sampling and analysis, and the application of mathematical and statistical methods to environmental and occupational assessments of exposure and risk.

Charles E. Lambert, PhD

Lambert's research is in industrial and regulatory toxicology, pharmaceutical toxicology as it relates to impurities and degradants, green chemistry and life cycle evaluations, risk assessment and risk communication.

Charles L. Limoli, PhD

Limoli studies the mechanisms by which cells perpetuate genomic instability in response to radiation and environmental toxicants and the role of oxidative stress in these processes. He also explores how DNA damage and oxidative stress may drive the progression of normal multipotent cells in the central nervous system to brain tumor stem cell.

Oladele A. Ogunseitan, PhD — Chair, Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention

Ogunseitan's research is focused on microbial diversity and ecology, environmental pollution, industrial ecology, health and development.

Kathryn E. Osann, PhD

Osann's specialty is in cancer epidemiology and applied biostastics.

Robert F. Phalen, PhD — Co-director, Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory

Phalen's research focus is on the aerodynamics of particle deposition in the developing lung and in the adult lung. Another area of interest is in the assessment of lung defense mechanisms using radio-labeled aerosol inhalation challenges. His lab uses quantitative morphometry to study the mechanism of interference with organogenesis and possible long-term consequences for chronic lung disease due to toxic inhalation exposure. Additional studies include evaluating the tolerance of animals to air pollution mixtures as a mechanism that may protect humans against ambient pollutants.

John Leslie Redpath, PhD — Professor Emeritus


Ronald C. Shank, PhD 
— Professor Emeritus


Veronica Vieira, DSc

Vieira has an extensive knowledge of GIS, groundwater modeling, cluster detection methods, and on persistent environmental contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, a perfluorinated compound (PFC) involved in the manufacturing of Teflon), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a common class of flame retardants). Components of her work include improving methods for geocoding rural addresses using GIS and examining the relationship between PFOA exposures and health outcomes.  Vieira's research also includes method development for spatial epidemiology such as disease mapping, cluster detection, and space-time interactions.

Jun Wu, PhD

Wu's research focus is on air pollution exposure assessment and air pollution epidemiology.

Course Descriptions »


Graduate Courses in Environmental Health Sciences

201 Case Studies in Environmental Toxicology (4) S.  Analysis of real problems involving toxic chemicals and the human food, air, water supplies, occupational exposures, and lifestyles. Formal problems will be considered by small groups of students and discussed by the class. Prerequisite: EHS 206A-B, or consent of instructor. (Staff)

202 Principles of Environmental Toxicology (4) F.  Key principles of toxicology will be discussed: quantitative dose-response relationship; toxicant-target interactions; complete in vivo metabolism of xenobiotics by mammalian systems; integration of organ responses to toxic agents. (Kitazawa)

204 Neurotoxicology (4) W.  The effects of various harmful chemicals upon nervous system function. Emphasis given to the molecular events underlying neurological damage and to the relation of such processes to basic mechanisms of neurobiology. (Bondy)

206A-B Target Organ Toxicology (4,4) W,S.  Analysis of the responses occurring in individual organs of man and animals exposed to environmental chemicals at toxic levels; distinctive structural and functional features of ten organ systems are presented in terms of phenomena, mechanisms of action, and methods of study. Same as Public Health 277. (Luderer, Bondy and staff)

212 Inhalation Toxicology (4) S, odd years.  The principles and practice of laboratory inhalation toxicology. Topics include aerosols, gases, respiratory tract structure and function, lung defenses, aerosol deposition exposure techniques, characterization of exposure atmospheres, experimental designs, animal models, research ethics, and regulations and guidelines. (Phalen)

220 Industrial Toxicology (4) S, odd years.  Analysis of responsibilities toxicologists have in industry, including product safety generating material safety, data sheets, animal testing, ecotoxicological testing, risk/hazard communication, and assisting industrial hygienists and occupational physicians; emphasis on interdisciplinary nature of industrial toxicology and communication skills. Prerequisite: EHS 206A-B or consent of the instructor. Same as Public Health 278. (Lambert)

264 Environmental Health Sciences I: Introduction to Environmental Health Science (4). Convergence of agents (chemical, physical, biological, or psychosocial) in the environment can emerge as diseases influenced by social, political, and economic factors, allowing them to become rooted in society. How these agents from various spheres come together and impact human health. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Public Health 264/ Environmental Health, Science, and Policy E224/Epidemiology 264. (Wu)

269 Air Pollution, Climate, and Health (4). Emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere, physical and meteorological processes that affect transport, and influence on global warming. Concepts of how and where people are most exposed, and how exposures and health effects differ in developed and developing regions. Same as Epidemiology 270/Public Health 269 and Environmental Health, Science, and Policy E247. (Edwards)

270 Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants (4). Introduces founders of conceptual thought that environmental contaminants can impact health. Theory and principles of exposure assessment, the continuum from emissions of a contaminant into the environment to evidence of health effects in a population. Same as Epidemiology 270/Environmental Health, Science, and Policy E248/Public Health 270. (Edwards)

275 Exposure Modeling and Risk Assessment (4) even years. This course surveys the general principles, basic mathematical methods, and practices of environmental modeling and human health risk assessment.  Topics include advection-dispersion models for contaminants in air and water, uptake by plants and animals, dose-response modeling, risk management, and risk perception. Although the emphasis is on environmental toxicants, infectious disease transmission models are are briefly introduced.  Students conduct an original risk assessment as a final group project. Same as Public Health 275 (Bartell).

290 Independent Study in Environmental Health Sciences (4) F,W,S.  With consent from a faculty member who will supervise the program, a student may receive credit for individual study in some area of toxicology, culminating in the completion of a scholarly paper on the subject. May be repeated for credit. (Staff)

294: Occupational Health Psychology (4) S. Introduction to psychosocial work environment that affects the health and productivity of workers. Work stress models, exposure assessment of work stressors and instruments, health effects of work stressors (e.g., cardiovascular responses), and the management and prevention of work stress will be reviewed and discussed. (Choi)

203: Psychosocial Occupational Epidemiology (4) W. Critical review of the internal and external validity of epidemiological studies on psychosocial work environment and diverse health outcomes. Students are required to submit critical reviews on assigned papers. (Choi)

297 Advanced Topics in Occupational Toxicology (2) F,W,S.  Discussions with clinical and research faculty in environmental toxicology and occupational medical on current toxicology problems in the workplace and critical review of current publications in the field. Journal club/seminar format. (Boomus).

298 Environmental Health Sciences Seminar (2) F,W,S.  Presentation and discussion of current research problems and issues by students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and guests, covering the broad research and policy areas of environmental toxicology. (Luderer)

299 Research Problems (1 to 12) F,W,S.  Research work for the M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. (Staff)



Graduate Courses in Epidemiology

200 Principles of Epidemiology (4). Presents descriptive and experimental approaches to the recognition of the causal association of disease in the general population, as these approaches apply to populations using different student designs and models from the literature. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

204 Biostatistics (4). Designed to help students develop an appreciation
for the statistician's view of the research process, emphasizing biomedical research. Instills an understanding of how statistical models are used to yield insights about the data that form evidence-based understanding of the world around us. Same as Public Health 204.

205 Environmental Epidemiology (4). Concentrates on epidemiological approaches to the assessment of community environmental hazards; issues involved in environmental exposure estimation; interdisciplinary approaches to environmental epidemiology, including the use of biomarkers of exposures and susceptibility; epidemiological studies within the context of risk assessment. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

269 Air Pollution, Climate, and Health (4). Emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere, physical and meteorological processes that affect transport, and influence on global warming. Concepts of how and where people are most exposed, and how exposures and health effects differ in developed and developing regions. Same as Public Health 269 and Environmental Health, Science, and Policy E247/Environmental Health Sciences 269.

270 Human Exposure to Environmental Contaminants (4). Introduces founders of conceptual thought that environmental contaminants can impact health. Theory and principles of exposure assessment, the continuum from emissions of a contaminant into the environment to evidence of health effects in a population. Same as Environmental Health, Science, and Policy E248/Public Health 270/Environmental Health Sciences 270.



Graduate Courses in Public Health

206 Graduate Epidemiology in Public Health (4). Presents descriptive and experimental approaches to the recognition of the causal association of disease in the general population, applying these approaches to populations using different designs and models from the literature.

207A,B Public Health Statistics (4,4) W,S. Surveys statistical methods for public health. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability models, likelihood functions, estimation, and hypothesis testing for categorical and continuous date. Student learn to use statistical software to perform epidemiologic data analysis. Prerequisites: Public Health 206 or similar introductory epidemiology course and Mathematics 2A or similar introductory calculus course; graduate standing or consent of instructor.

276 Toxic Chemicals in the Environment (4). Industrial ecology of toxicants and their impacts on environmental quality and human health. Explores theoretical basis of toxicity thresholds and regulatory issues. Uses classic and contemporary research articles to understand the legacy of traditional toxicants, and to identify emerging threats. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Epidemiology 244.

264 Environmental Health Sciences I: Introduction to Environmental Health Science (4). Convergence of agents (chemical, physical, biological, or psychosocial) in the environment can emerge as diseases influenced by social, political, and economic factors, allowing them to become rooted in society. How these agents from various spheres come together and impact human health. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Epidemiology 264/Environmental Health Sciences 264.

265 Environmental Health Sciences II: Advanced Environmental Health Science (4). Explores the complex relationships among exposure processes and adverse health effects of environmental toxins focusing on specific chemicals, sources, transport media, exposure pathways, and human behaviors. Techniques of environmental sampling for exposure assessment are discussed. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Same as Epidemiology 265.

275 Exposure Modeling and Risk Assessment (4), alternating with 260. This course surveys the general principles, basic mathematical methods, and practices of environmental modeling and human health risk assessment.  Topics include advection-dispersion models for contaminants in air and water, uptake by plants and animals, dose-response modeling, risk management, and risk perception. Although the emphasis is on environmental toxicants, infectious disease transmission models are are briefly introduced.  Students conduct an original risk assessment as a final group project. Same as Environmental Health Sciences 275 (Bartell).

260 Human Exposure Modeling (4), alternating with 275.  The objective of this course is to understand the basic principles and learn different methods in estimating human exposure to environmental pollutants.  The course focuses on air pollution exposure but will also examine dermal and ingestion exposures.  The course will cover source emissions, spatial and temporal aspects of human exposures, air pollution exposure modeling, time-activity patterns, micro-environmental exposure assessment, the use of GIS tools and remote sensing data in exposure assessment, and the uncertainty and variability analysis. (Wu)

283 Geographic Information Systems for Public Health (4). Basic geographic, cartographic, and GIS concepts including computer representation of physical, political, statistical, and social aspects of space using vector and grid-based maps. Experience with extensive geographic base map files and databases (Vieira).


View our Seminar Schedule ›

View more information on the Master's Programs ›


View more information on the Doctoral Programs ›


View the Environmental Health Sciences Student Handbook ›

For Program Alumni


For questions and additional information on UC Irvine's graduate programs in Environmental Health Sciences, please contact:

Mr. Armando Villalpando
Student Affairs Officer, Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences
Afvillal@uci.edu
949-824-8848

For questions about academic aspects of the program, please contact:

Ulrike Luderer, MD, PhD, MPH
Director, Graduate Program in Environmental Health Sciences
uluderer@uci.edu

at

Environmental Health Sciences Graduate Program
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
Zotcode 1830
100 Theory, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92617

Telephone: 949-824-8848
Fax: 949-824-2345