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Exposure Science Option

Students Apply to this program either through the Graduate Program of Environmental Science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, or the Graduate School of Biomedical Science at Rutgers University, Piscataway.
For further information contact one of the Option Coordinators:

Robert Laumbach, Associate Professor
732-445-0123 X628
  Gediminas "Gedi" Mainelis, Professor
Program Faculty Program Curriculum Ph.D. Course Checklist (Word file)

Program Faculty

Emily Barrett, Ph.D.
SPH website
Research Interest: Dr. Emily S. Barrett is a perinatal environmental epidemiologist and Director of the Maternal-Child Environmental Health Lab. Through ongoing pregnancy cohort studies located across the U.S., she studies how early life exposure to environmental chemicals and psychosocial stressors impact the course of pregnancy and children’s development. She is particularly interested in prenatal exposures to everyday chemicals such as phthalates that are widely found in consumer products and disrupt hormone activity.
Emily Barrett
Memo Cedeño Laurent, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interest: Dr. Cedeño Laurent research focuses on solutions to provide healthy indoor and outdoor environments through climate mitigation and adaptation actions. His current projects include studying the mechanistic pathways by which acute exposure to particulate air pollution impacts cognitive function.
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Philip Demokritou, Ph.D.
SPH website
Research Interest: Dr. Demokritou’s research interests are primarily in the areas of nano-aerosol science and technology with an emphasis on the interactions of particles with biological and environmental systems and elucidation of  health effects. His particle research spans across the exposure-disease continuum and includes the development of personal monitoring (PM) systems for use in exposure assessment and epidemiological studies, and methods for the physico-chemical and biological  characterization of particles. His current research focuses on interactions of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) with biological systems, assessing the nano-bio interface  and the role of ENM structure on bioactivity both in terms of nanosafety research and biomedical applications and includes . development of in-vitro screening approaches for nano-specific effects (DNA damage, epigenetics, translocation of ENMs across biological barriers, etc), “safer-by-design” approaches for families of ENMs, development of advanced tools and framework approaches for in-vitro/in-vivo dosimetry, life cycle specific risk assessment studies for nano-enabled products (NEPs).  and fate of ENMs in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT).  Before joining Rutgers,  he was a Professor at TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University for 25 years. He is also a founding co-editor in chief of NanoImpact (Elsevier), and co-founder of DIETRICS.
Philip Demokritou
Nancy Fiedler, Ph.D
SPH website
Research Interest: My research interests include psychological and neurobehavioral health effects of exposure to neurotoxicants among adults and children. My current international research involves a birth cohort study to evaluate the neurodevelopmental effects of organophosphate exposures on children from birth through age 3.
Nancy Fiedler
Judith Graber, Ph.D
Associate Professor
Research Interest: Dr. Graber's research explores the intersection and synergistic impacts of occupational exposures and behavioral risk factors that are inherent to work. Her current work is focused on cancer risk and prevention among US volunteer firefighters. She also works to understand the community and health impacts of persistent environmental pollutants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as forever chemicals.
Judith Graber
Georgios Kelesidis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interest: The research of Dr. Kelesidis focuses on the climate and public health impact of carbonaceous aerosols. To this end, he has developed advanced computational algorithms to simulate in detail the morphology, optical properties and climate forcing of organic and black carbon (soot) nanoparticles. In addition, his recent research involves the design of novel platforms for the controlled, high-throughput aerosol synthesis of carbonaceous nanoparticles that emulate real world emissions. This enables the detailed physicochemical and toxicological characterization of such pollutants and facilitates the accurate estimation and mitigation of their contribution to global warming. The aerosol-based platforms developed here are also used for the design of functional nanomaterials with superior performance in energy, sensor and biomedical applications.
Howard Kipen, M.D., M.P.H.
Research Interest: Dr. Kipen is broadly interested in the health effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution.  His current work focuses on mechanisms to explain the acute cognitive impairment demonstrated to follow 2 hour exposures to carbon dioxide.
Howard Kipen
Robert Laumbach, M.D., M.P.H., C.I.H.
Associate Professor
Research Interest: Community-engaged research on cumulative health impacts of exposures to multiple chemical and nonchemical environmental stressors.  Prevention of adverse effects of air and water pollutants on health across the lifespan.
Robert Laumbach
Norah Mackendrick, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Interest: The relationship between exposure to environmental agents and human behavior, socio-economic status, neighborhood, and gender.
Norah Mackendrick
Gediminas (Gedi) Mainelis, Ph.D.
Research Interest: Exposure assessment to biological and non-biological airborne particles, air pollution, exposure and health effects of nanoparticles.
Gediminas (Gedi) Mainelis
Zorimar Rivera-Núñez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interest: Dr. Rivera-Núñez’s research focuses on the utility of biomarkers identifying windows of chemical exposure and susceptibility, the impact of these chemicals in fetal and child growth, and the endocrine and placental mechanisms behind these associations.
Zorimar Rivera-Núñez
Derek Shendell, Ph.D.
Research Interest: Dr. Derek Shendell is Professor, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health & Justice, Rutgers School of Public Health; and, Principal Investigator/Director, NJ Safe Schools Program (NJSS). He also serves as Concentration (major) Leader, Environmental Health Sciences for MPH students. His teams work to “bridge” field-based scientific research, school surveys, injury surveillance, and educational trainings with evaluation research in a multidisciplinary fashion. NJSS informs policy and practice reduce environmental exposures and adverse health and safety effects.
Derek Shendell
Mary Whelan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interest: Land processes affect the composition of the atmosphere and vice versa. For example, ozone is produced downstream of anthropogenic ozone precursors, affecting plant functioning far from the location of emissions and in turn affecting the production of VOCs and the uptake of carbon. My lab focuses on untangling landscape level processes that affect trace gas fluxes.
Mary Whelan

Program Curriculum

This unique program, limited to Ph.D. students, offers a joint degree between two schools of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (RU): the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). Its purpose is to provide instruction and research experiences examining human contact with chemical, physical and biological agents or products, and the relationships of such contacts with human activity patterns.

Candidates must take

  • 32:832:595 Environmental Exposure Measurements & Assessment (3)
  • 16:115:556 (IDST-5000) Ethical Scientific Conduct (1)
  • 16:375:511 Journal Club in Exposure Science (1)

Effective September 2015, candidates must take 2 semesters of Journal Club in Exposure Science, but 3 semesters are strongly recommended. Postdoctoral Fellows in the program are strongly encouraged to take this course as well.

Candidates also must take at least 21 credits from the following courses, with at least one course being taken from each area. Substitutions may be allowed if approved in writing by the major advisor and option coordinator.


  • 16:375:508 Interpretational Epidemiology (3)
  • 16:832:520 Principles of Epidemiology (3)

Environmental Science

  • 16:375:523 Fate and Transport (3)
  • 16:375:541 Environmental Models (3)
  • 32:832:589 Advanced Environmental Hygiene Measurements (4)


  • 32:832:541 Toxicology (3)
  • 32:832:586 Environmental Risk Assessment (3)


  • 16:960:467 Applied Multivariant Analyses (3)
  • 16:960:590 Design of Experiments (3)
  • 16:970:527 Adv. Multivariant Methods: Environmental & Health Issues (3)

The following are suggested to complete the total course credit requirement.

  • 16:375:503 Analytical Techniques in Environmental Chemistry (3)
  • 16:375:507 Environmental Chemistry (3)
  • 16:375:509 Groundwater Pollution (3)
  • 16:375:510 Pollution Microbiology (3)
  • 16:375:512 Pollution Microbiology Lab (2)
  • 16:375:520 Techniques for Biomonitoring in Aquatic Systems (3)
  • 16:375:530 Hazardous Wastes Management (3)
  • 16:375:536 Air Sampling and Analysis Techniques (3)
  • 16:375:540 Atmospheric Chemistry (3)
  • 16:375:543 Micrometeorology (3)
  • 32:832:531 Environmental Health (3)
  • 16:832:582 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (3)
  • 32:832:592 Health Effects of Air Pollutants: Science and Policy (1)
  • 32:832:593 Advanced Principles of Occupational Health (3)
  • 11:375:403 Environmental and Public Health: Epidemiological Aspects (3)
  • 11:375:421 Principles of Air Pollution (3)
  • 11:375:425 Radioactivity and the Environment (3)
  • 11:375:434 Principles of Industrial Hygiene (3)
  • 11:670:412 Meteorological Instrumentation (3)