The Molecular Toxicology Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley gives in-depth training on the foundations of toxicology as well as modern-age approaches used to study the toxicological mechanisms associated with environmental and pharmaceutical chemicals.
Many complex human diseases cannot be explained by genetics alone, and likely have environmental or gene-environment causes. We are exposed to countless chemicals, many of which have been linked to adverse health effects, and most of which have not been characterized in terms of their toxicological potential or mechanisms. Indeed, many chemicals have been implicated as potential environmental drivers of a wide range of human pathologies, including cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and chronic inflammation, through either acting alone, or in combination with other chemical, genetic, or environmental factors. It is likely that there are many more chemicals in our environment that are potential drivers of disease but have gone unnoticed because they may act through yet unknown mechanisms or produce insidious phenotypes that may be difficult to detect. Identifying and eliminating these chemical drivers of disease is critical towards improving overall human health.
The Molecular Toxicology Ph.D. program is a cross-departmental graduate program that trains the next-generation of toxicologists to develop and apply innovative methodologies to identify chemical hazards and understand their toxicological mechanisms. The faculty within the Molecular Toxicology Ph.D. program have diverse backgrounds and research interests, ranging from understanding the fundamental mechanisms of biology and disease, to characterizing toxicological mechanisms of environmental or pharmaceutical chemicals, from developing new technologies to understand chemical toxicology, to epidemiologically correlating chemical exposure to human pathologies. They span several departments and schools, including the departments of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Plant and Microbial Biology, and the School of Public Health.
For specific information on coursework, teaching, and more, visit the Ph.D. program requirements page.