Current Students


Rita Strakovsky

Rita Strakovsky, PhD

is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. William Helferich in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Her current research is focused on the consequences of maternal nutrition as well as developmental exposures to several endocrine disruptors on metabolic syndrome-related outcomes in offspring, with a special consideration for gender-specific changes in gene expression and methylation.
Teresa Martin

Teresa Martin, PhD

is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. John Katzenellenbogen's laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. Her research is focused on determining the effect of botanical estrogens on the molecular conformations of the two estrogen receptor subtypes, ERα and ERß, and then to query the type of co-activators that become recruited by these complexes.
Julie Pollock

Julie Pollock, PhD

is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. John Katzenellenbogen’s laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. Her research focuses on the design and synthesis of small molecule selective nuclear receptor modulators. In particular, she is interested ligands that active a trans-repression pathway of estrogen receptor beta in immune cells as a mechanism to combat inflammatory diseases.
Juanmahel Davila

Juanmahel Davila, PhD

is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Indrani Bagchi in the Department of Comparative Biosciences. His research focuses in evaluating the consequences of pubertal Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and how it affects pregnancy outcome using murine model, as well as the molecular mechanisms of BPA action in the developing uterus.
Justin Pals

Justin Pals

is a predoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Plewa's lab in the Department of Crop Sciences. His research focuses on toxic disinfection byproducts, called DBPs, in drinking water. These DBPs are a result of the disinfection process and have been linked to colon and bladder cancer, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes. There are over 600 DBPs. The Plewa laboratory has engaged in a systematic evaluation of the toxicity of over 80 DBPs. Justin's research focus is on three haloacetic acid DBPs (iodoacetic acid, bromoacetic acid, and chloroacetic acid) and the mechanism(s) of their toxicity.
Alison Hantak

Alison Hantak

is a predoctoral fellow working with Dr. Milan Bagchi in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her research interest focuses on molecular cues within the uterus involved in the events of early pregnancy. Her current research is looking at the effect of low doses of the estrogenic compound bisphenol A (BPA) on uterine epithelial proliferation and hyperplasia. She will also look at expression of Hand2 (heart and neural crest derivatives expressed 2), a progesterone regulated factor in the endometrium, in response to BPA exposure.
Matthew Biehl

Matthew Biehl

is a predoctoral MD/PhD student in the lab of Dr. Lori Raetzman in the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. His current research is focused on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that modulate the development of the hypothalamus. Some extrinsic factors such as bisphenol A (BPA) and other endocrine disruptors are thought to be linked with obesity later in life. His interest lies in the effect of prenatal exposure to such chemicals on the birth of the neurons which regulate feeding.
Kirsten Eckstrum

Kirsten Eckstrum

is a predoctoral fellow training in Dr. Lori Raetzman’s laboratory in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her research focuses on identifying the mechanism by which endocrine disrupting chemicals affect the proliferation of pituitary progenitor cells and the differentiation of the gonadotrope lineage during the critical postnatal window.