The Environmental Toxicology Center was established in 1971 as an outgrowth of the longstanding interest of many UW-Madison faculty members in problems related to the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals in the environment. “Molecular” was added to the center’s name in 1999 to recognize the health-based research side, and it is now known as the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center. (METC)
Chris Bradfield, Professor of Oncology, has been the Director of the METC since 2006. Bill Hickey, Professor of Soil Science, is the Associate Director since 2005. Approximately 75 faculty throughout campus are affiliated with the Center, providing access to facilities and research in a variety of disciplines. Their focus is on achieving the highest standards in biochemistry, carcinogenesis, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, neurobiology, proteomics, and xenobiotic fate and metabolism research. These faculty are eligible to guide graduate students working toward an interdisciplinary M.S. degree or Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Environmental Toxicology.
The Center is supported by the School of Medicine, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Schools of Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School. This broad base of support reflects the recognition that research and problem resolution in molecular and environmental toxicology requires application of skills and resources from many disciplines. Training is extended beyond single laboratories. Students are provided with extensive opportunity for collaboration and constructive feedback by faculty, student peers, and postdoctoral trainees.
The Center is now in its 37th year of funding predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in toxicology, through a training grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (T32 ES007015, Christopher Bradfield, PI). Since 1984 the Center has also hosted a Summer Research Opportunity Program for undergraduates with an interest in toxicology whose ethnicities are under-represented in biomedical research. This is currently funded by an R25 grant from NIEHS (R25 ES020720, Chris Bradfield, PI). It was previously funded by NIEHS training grant T35 ES07295, PI Colin Jefcoate and later Charles Czuprynski.
There are approximately 35 fulltime graduate students enrolled in the program at any given time. Three postdoctoral trainees and eight predoctoral trainees are supported by the NIH NIEHS training grant. The rest are supported with extramural research funds, fellowships, state, or institutional funds, or other training grants thru their advisor.