OSU Toxicology Program Awards First Graduate Fellowships

The Oklahoma State University Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program has awarded its first graduate fellowships to five doctoral students, each of whom will receive an annual stipend of $2,500 for research projects in toxicology, the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms.

Recipients of the first fellowships include Manushree Bharadwaj, Nagpur, India; Patrick Cusaac, Waynesville, N.C.; Christopher Goodchild, Tulsa, Okla.; Shane Morrison, Kawkawlin, Mich.; and Adam Simpson of Sparta, Wis.

A requirement of the fellowship is work toward or completion of a graduate certificate in interdisciplinary toxicology, which allows students to study the basic concepts and principals in toxicology and requires courses from at least three different participating OSU colleges or departments. The certificate provides students with training in environmental and public health issues involving chemical toxicity.

“The program gives us a great perspective from different backgrounds,” said Morrison, a zoology doctoral candidate and president of the newly formed Graduate Society for Interdisciplinary Toxicology. “I’m a chemist at heart and I really like the idea of being able to describe the chemistry going on in the background.”

Now in its second year, the OSU Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program has received extramural research support and finished the development of the graduate certificate and the graduate fellowship programs.

“The ITP has achieved a number of initial benchmarks and is enjoying some momentum,” said program director Dr. Carey Pope, Regents Professor of Toxicology and Sitlington Chair in Toxicology in the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Pope is assisted by co-directors Dr. Loren Smith, Regents Professor and head of the Department of Zoology, and Dr. David Wallace, professor of pharmacology in the OSU Center for Health Sciences.

“From the beginning, we all realized the importance of having different viewpoints from multiple departments and colleges as the program was being developed,” said Pope.

The program is also working to establish a fellowship program for undergraduate researchers and recently submitted a training grant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would include undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training opportunities.