Dr. Craig Marcus

On behalf of the Faculty, Students, Staff and Alumni of the  Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology here at OSU, I would like to welcome you to our Departmental website.  Thank you very much for your interest in our programs, and please feel welcome to visit or contact us at any time if we might be of assistance to you in any way. The dual mission of the EMT  Department is to:

1) Educate students in the toxicological sciences.

2) Conduct toxicology-based research on the effects of chemicals on humans and the environment.

Our EMT  programs offer a unique and exciting  synthesis of the  fields of Biology  (Molecular Toxicology) and Chemistry  (Environmental Chemistry), which positions EMT to focus on creating, disseminating and applying new biomedical and biophysical  knowledge to enhance the  treatment and prevention of human disease, and to ensure the protection of the environment and public health.  This integrated approach, combining both the biological and physical sciences, provides exciting training and research opportunities for graduate students and supports our state-of- the-art and internationally competitive research programs.  EMT offers a highly collegial and exceptionally collaborative, research and training environment dedicated to the success and advancement of all EMT students, faculty and staff.

The current EMT department has a long and illustrious history, having evolved extensively over the years since 1883 when our very first faculty member was hired into the original Dept.  Of Agricultural Chemistry here at OSU.  Over the past 125 years, our department changed and adapted to the ever evolving fields of agricultural sciences and toxicology, and in 1998 was reorganized and renamed Environmental and Molecular Toxicology to more clearly communicate the breadth, depth and research and training emphases of our current programs.  Our seventeen faculty members have diverse research  programs collectively aimed at understanding environmental hazards and their impacts on biological systems in order to protect human health and the environment while complimenting and supporting our Toxicology training programs offering  Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Toxicology and an undergraduate minor.

Oregon State University is home to approximately 15,700 undergraduate and 3,400 graduate  students and is ranked as a ‘very high research activity”  (RU/VH) institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  Located in Corvallis, a community of 53,000 people situated in the Willamette Valley between Portland and Eugene, our major attractions and quality of life enhancements include our ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, forests, high desert, the rugged  Cascade and Coast Ranges, and the urban amenities of the adjacent  Portland  and Eugene metropolitan areas.  OSU has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, multiculturalism and community, and  we in EMT constantly strive to build and sustain a welcoming  and supportive campus environment for the members of our department.

Our graduate and undergraduate training programs in the field of Toxicology, are closely aligned with the research expertise of our faculty and focus on two major areas:

1) Molecular and Mechanistic  Toxicology: The mechanisms of toxic responses at the molecular, cellular and whole animal levels, with an emphasis on pathways by which environmental chemicals  cause toxicity and disease, by perturbing critical cell signaling pathways or  inducing DNA mutations and aberrations  which then result in cancer and other environmental diseases.

2) Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology: Concomitantly, our programs also focus on how  molecular interactions and macroscopic transport phenomena determine the spatial and temporal distribution of chemicals (transport and fate of chemicals in ecosystems and the environment), and the resultant ‘bioavailability’ of these chemicals, and thus  ultimately the exposure (doses) of these chemicals to humans and other organisms.

This synthesis of  approaches provides a unique inter-  and multi-disciplinary training program that integrates current advances in chemistry, toxicology, and ecology, thus providing an exciting and competitive training environment for our students.

EMT is an academic unit within  the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS), whose mission includes the four major areas of  instruction, research,  extension, and service, with an emphasis on supporting and sustaining the human and natural  resources of the state of Oregon for the health and well being of Oregonians as well as the economic development of the state.  In support of the overarching CAS mission, EMT currently supports an unusually diverse mission and array of stakeholders in our OSU and state-wide communities.  These extension activities further support our undergraduate, graduate and post graduate training programs by providing additional internationally competitive research programs while simultaneously providing important services to the citizens of our State of Oregon.

Our EMT extension activities include (but are not limited to):

  • The  National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) and associated National Pesticide Medical Monitoring Program (NPMMP) which  provides objective, science-based information about pesticides and pesticide-related topics to the public and unique training opportunities for our students.
  • The Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship (FSES) Program provides the chemical and toxicological information from pesticide residue studies to support registration of minor-use pesticides as well as a major research program committed to providing the highest quality analytical laboratory research support for food quality assurance, environmental integrity preservation, enhancement of agricultural production, and recognition and dissemination of new knowledge.
  • The Integrated Plant Protection Center (IPPC) conducts research and outreach  to implement integrated pest management (IPM) practices designed to establish economically sustainable pest management practices with lower costs to human health and to the environment wherever these are needed in  state, national and international venues.

Craig Marcus,
Ph.D. Professor and Head,
Dept. of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology