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.