I arrived at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus in the fall of 1998. I began doing undergraduate research, under the guidance of Dr. Michael Plewa, in the spring of 2000. I received a competitive SURE award for my undergraduate research from the Environmental Council while working toward a senior thesis. When I received my B.S. degree, in Animal Sciences, I was presented with the O. Bentley Award for the best undergraduate research in the College of ACES.
In 2004, I took my M.S. degree in Environmental Toxicology. I am currently a lead teaching assistant in charge of ACES 100 in the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences. I also was a teaching assistant for Plant and Animal Genetics and Tomorrow’s Environment in the Department of Crop Sciences. After my first semester of teaching I was recognized by my students in the University’s list of instructors rated as excellent by their students. As a result of this recognition, I received the Department of Crop Sciences graduate teaching assistant award in 2005.
Currently, I am in my third year of my PhD studies. For my doctoral research I am working on a project that has brought national attention to our laboratory. I am involved in building a comparative toxicity database of drinking water disinfection by-products of U.S. EPA identified priority compounds. Drinking water disinfection by-products (DBPs) are an unintended consequence of chemical disinfection and are formed during water treatment when a disinfectant reacts with organic matter and/or bromide that are naturally present in the water. My dissertation focuses on the toxicity of nitrogen containing DBPs (N-DBPs). To date, our laboratory has generated the largest quantitative, comparative toxicity database on DBPs in the world. This work serves as a cornerstone for future toxicity, exposure and epidemiological studies.
Rundell M.S., Berhow M.A., Vaughn S.F., Muellner M.G., Wagner E.D., Plewa M.J. 2006. Isolation of antioxidants and suppressors of genomic oxidative stress damage from the by-products of commercial corn ethanol production. (In Preparation)
Muellner M.G., Wagner E.D., McCalla K., Richardson S.D., Woo Y.T., Plewa M.J. 2006. Haloacetonitriles vs. regulated haloacetic acids: are nitrogen containing DBPs more toxic? (Submitted, August 2006).
Muellner M.G., E.D. Wagner, S.D. Richardson, M.J. Plewa 2006. Comparative Mammalian Cell Toxicology of Haloacetonitrile and Haloacetamide DBPs. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Veterinary Medicine, Careers in Toxicology Open House.
Muellner M.G., E.D. Wagner, S.D. Richardson, M.J. Plewa 2006. Comparative Mammalian Cell Toxicology of Haloacetonitrile and Haloacetamide DBPs. Gordon Research Conference, Mount Holyoke
Muellner M.G., E.D. Wagner, M.J. Plewa. 2005. Analysis of new propenoic acid drinking water disinfection by-products for genomic dna damage. Proceeding of the UIUC Environmental Horizons Conference, p.28.
Rundell M.S., M.G. Muellner, M. Berhow, S. Vaughn, E.D. Wagner, M.J. Plewa. 2005. Isolation of antioxidants and repression of genomic dna oxidative stress induced by chemical fractions of the by-products of corn-generated fuel ethanol. Proceeding of the UIUC Environmental Horizons Conference, p.30.
Muellner M.G. 2004. Isolation of antimutagens and antioxidants from commercial agricultural waste products and development of a microplate antioxidant assay. MS Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Muellner M.G., M.S. Rundell, S.F. Vaughn, M.A. Berhow, E.D. Wagner, M.J. Plewa. 2004. Development of FTC antioxidant microplate assay and the isolation of antioxidants from agricultural by-products. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Volume 44, Number 3, p.216.
Rundell M.S., M.G. Muellner, E.D. Wagner, M.J. Plewa. 2004. Chronic antioxidant treatment and repression of FAPY sites in genomic DNA of mammalian cells. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Volume 44, Number 3, p.223.
Muellner M.G, M.S. Rundell, E.D. Wagner and M.J. Plewa. 2003. Development of the FTC antioxidant microplate assay and the isolation of antioxidants from agricultural by-products. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Volume 41, Number 3, p.194.
Rundell M.S., M.G. Muellner, E.D. Wagner, M.J. Plewa, M.A. Berhow, S.F. Vaughn. 2003. Isolation of antigenotoxic components and antioxidants from commercial corn processing by-products. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Volume 41, Number 3, p.201.
Muellner, M.G., M.S. Rundell, E.D. Wagner and M.J. Plewa. 2002. Isolation of antimutagens from corn processing waste products and development of TCA antioxidant microplate assay. Proceeding of the UIUC Environmental Horizons Conference, p.38.
Rundell, M.S., M. Muellner, M. Berhow, S. Vaughn, E.D. Wagner and M.J. Plewa. 2001. Antimutagenicity and tumor-suppressive properties of commercial corn processing by-products. 32nd Annual Environmental Mutagen Society Meeting in San Diego, CA. Volume 37, Supplement 32, p.184.
AWARDS & HONORS
• Graduate student travel and presentation award; Gordon Research Conference, 2006
• Department of Crop Sciences outstanding teaching assistant award, 2005
• University of Illinois list of teachers ranked as excellent/outstanding by students, 2004
• Graduate College conference travel grant, 2004
• Alumni award for graduate student travel, 2003
• Orville G. Bentley Award for best undergraduate research, 2002
• Special Undergraduate Research Experience award, 2001