Student Research

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health students at the master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels are actively involved in research that’s impacting public health locally, nationally, and internationally. The following are some of our outstanding student researchers.

CURRENT STUDENT RESEARCH

Kim Garrett is a graduate student researcher that works with mitochondrial poisons in the Peterson-Pearce lab. She studies the impacts of azide, phosphine, and cyanide on respiratory complex IV, cytochrome c oxidase. The goal of her research is to propose and test novel antidotes to these human toxicants based on their molecular mechanisms. She works mainly through spectrophotometric methods including electronic absorption spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). She researches toxicants and antidotes in vivo with an insect model using the larvae of the greater wax moth, G. mellonella, via an antidote screening technique developed by the Peterson-Pearce lab. Her publications include a study of gold(I) compounds as potential phosphine antidotes and an investigation of the binding mechanism of a cobalt-Schiff-based macrocycle to azide.

Devin Boyles is a virology research technician in Dr. Amy Hartman's lab in the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research. Her research focuses on rare disease outcomes of Rift Valley fever in rodent models such as neurological and congenital manifestations. She specializes in tissue processing, immunohistological/immunofluorescent staining, microscopic imaging, and image data analysis and has developed unique staining protocols for reproducible visualization of Rift Valley fever virus in rat and primate tissues. The Hartman lab also studies other Bunyaviruses such as La Crosse virus and Jamestown Canyon virus which are transmitted by mosquitoes in the United States and have recently been shown to cause miscarriages in white-tailed deer.

Maximize Past Student Research

Student Research News

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Public comments on RGGI move Pa. closer to slashing power plant carbon pollution 

Public comments on RGGI move Pa. closer to slashing power plant carbon pollution

EDF — Virtual public hearings show support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a proven cap-and-invest program that curbs climate pollution from the power sector. EOH's Bernard Goldstein testified, “Pollution trading actually began with acid rain, and would not have occurred without ... (01/27/2021)
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Lead in game meat a health risk for hunting families and food bank recipients 

Lead in game meat a health risk for hunting families and food bank recipients

THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - In an extensive podcast interview, MPH student Samantha Totoni (EOH '21) discusses the risks of lead shot in hunted meat.  Scientists have found concentrations of lead more than 100 times the limit in the meat of lead shot carcasses, which can be particularly dangerous if the ... (12/07/2020)
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Study shows how HIV and cancer drugs accelerate cellular aging 

Study shows how HIV and cancer drugs accelerate cellular aging

INSIDE LIVE CHANGING MEDICINE - Why do HIV patients tend to show premature signs of aging: cancer, cognitive diseases, osteoporosis? Is the virus itself is causing aging or the drugs being used to treat the virus? In a new study published in Nature Communications , doctoral student Samantha Sanfo... (10/26/2020)
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Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks  

Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS -  Food banks in the U.S. are on course for a preventable collision between record-setting food insecurity and lead-contaminated meat. Though hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to U.S. food banks, a lack of oversight could result in potentially hundreds of thousa... (10/15/2020)