Hi, my name is Tod (with one “d”) Harper Jr, and I am recent transplant to Corvallis from Galveston, Texas.

While in Texas I earned a B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University @ Galveston and a PhD. in Pharmacology & Toxicology from The University of Texas Medical Branch. My dissertation project in the laboratory of Dr. Cornelis Elferink focused on identifying physiological functions of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.

Tod enjoying his lobster!
Tod enjoying his lobster!

As a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon State University in Dr. David William’s laboratory (Project 1),  I am investigating the early mechanisms involved in cancer initiation after in utero exposure to the environmental contaminants. In addition, I am investigating how maternal consumption of dietary phytochemicals can protect the developing fetus from environmental insults in the womb.

When I am not in the laboratory I can most likely be found camping, trail running, eating oysters by the dozen, and/or enjoying one of Oregon’s fine craft brews!


Greta Frey,  MPH student in Environmental and Occupation Health and Safety,   OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Greta Frey, MPH student in Environmental and Occupation Health and Safety,
OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences

My name is Greta Frey. I grew up in Boise, Idaho and completed my undergraduate work at OSU in Public Health. I am a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz of Siletz, Oregon and the Aleut Corporation of Anchorage, Alaska. I was the Diabetes Program Assistant for the Siletz Community Health Clinic.

I had the opportunity to do research at the University of Utah through the National Institute of Health’s Native American Research Internship. I was the research assistant for the Lung Health Research Center where we were investigating the immediate relationship of ambient air quality and signs of inflammation and oxidative stress in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Environmental health research in a clinical setting (University of Utah) truly changed my perspective of public health.

I am interested in the relationship between air quality, the health of our environment and what preventative efforts can be contributed to remain a vital and healthy community.

I love to mountain bike, backpack, explore new places, and whitewater kayak. I look forward to meeting you.

(Adapted from story from Eddy Hall, NIEHS)

SRP Training Core Co-leader Stacey Harper has received the 2014 Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award.

Stacey Harper
Stacey Harper

The Savery award is presented each year to a faculty member of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences to recognize outstanding contributions through teaching, research, international, and/or extended education activities. Harper will receive the award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque, at a faculty and staff luncheon Oct. 8.

Harper has been an outstanding role model for graduate students.  She was brought into the SRP Center as a leader when the Training Core was established in 2013.  She has been an assistant professor of nanotoxicology in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (EMT) and the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering since 2009.  Prior to joining the faculty at OSU, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental Health Sciences Center, where she was mentored by Robyn Tanguay, Ph.D (SRP Project 3 Leader and Center Research Coordinator).

Harper takes an integrative approach to studying the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology. Her lab uses rapid assays to determine the toxic potential of nanomaterials, investigative tools to evaluate nanomaterial physiochemical properties, and informatics to identify the specific features of a nanomaterial that govern its environmental behavior and biological interactions.

In addition to her most recent honor, Harper was the 2012 recipient of the L.L. Stewart Faculty Scholars Award, which recognizes an outstanding faculty member at OSU with $30,000 in additional research support. Harper also received an Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2011.

Earlier this summer, Harper received an NSF grant for nanomaterials research that begin next week.

Read more about Stacey Harper on her spotlight: Nanotechnology’s Gatekeeper within the Environmental Health Sciences Center web site.

By Sara Mishamandani

The familiar rubbery wristbands that have promoted various causes in recent decades are now being used to archive a person’s chemical exposure during a given period of time.   (Photo courtesy of Kim Anderson)
The familiar rubbery wristbands that have promoted various causes in recent decades are now being used to archive a person’s chemical exposure during a given period of time. (Photo courtesy of Kim Anderson)

As the environmental health science field strives to better understand the complexity of personal chemical exposures, NIEHS-funded researchers at the Oregon State University (OSU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) led by Kim Anderson, Ph.D., have developed a simple wristband and extraction method that can test exposure to 1,200 chemicals.

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Our Center is multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional. In partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL), and other stakeholders and collaborators, we are developing new technologies to identify and quantitate known and novel polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found at many of the nation’s Superfund sites and assess the risk they pose for human health.

Women@Energy: Dr. Katrina Waters  Photo credit: energy.gov
Women@Energy: Dr. Katrina Waters
Photo credit: energy.gov

The research projects in our Center collect large amounts of molecular and chemical data. This data includes measuring PAH mixtures in environmental samples, determining toxicity of PAH mixtures, and the mechanism(s) of action for these toxic endpoints.

Our Biostatistics and Modeling Core, lead by Dr. Katrina Waters, greatly enhances our Center by providing expert statistical and bioinformatics data analysis support and software solutions for data management and interpretation.

Katrina Waters recently became the Deputy Director for the Biological Sciences Division at the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL). Her expertise is in computational biology, and she works collaboratively with all of the research projects and co-authors with them.

This multidisciplinary training of toxicology students and fellows at OSU and PNNL is a unique strength of our program. Our SRP Trainees have benefited greatly from the PNNL partnership.  Students have gone to the lab in Richland, WA to be trained in Bioinformatics, Statistics and Study Design. More training workshops are being scheduled for this summer and fall.

Waters presented at SOT’s FutureTox II: In Vitro Data and In Silico Models for Predictive Toxicology on January 16, 2014. Her talk was entitled Computational Tools for Integration of High Throughout Screening (HTS) Data. She utilized examples from the collaboration with Robyn Tanguay and his zebrafish assay for toxicity testing (Project 3).

Susan Tilton
Susan Tilton works with Dr. Katrina Waters and the OSU SRP Biostatistics and Modeling Core Group

Dr. Susan Tilton, also from PNNL,  presented at FutureTox as well. The title of her presentation was ‘Pathway-based prediction of tumor outcome for environmental PAH mixtures’.  In this study, they developed a mechanism-based approach for prediction of tumor outcome after dermal exposure to PAHs and environmental PAH mixtures.  Their model was successfully utilized to distinguish early regulatory events during initiation linked to tumor outcome and shows the utility of short-term initiation studies in predicting the carcinogenic potential of PAHs and PAH mixtures.

“Dr. Waters and her group have proven to be of great value in not just the interpretation of extremely large and complicated data sets, but also in the “front-end” study design, which results in enrichment of the subsequent data obtained.”
Dr. David Williams, OSU SRP Center Director