About Dr. DeWitt

B.S. – Michigan State University through the Lyman Briggs College. Majors – Biology and Environmental Science.

Ph.D. – Indiana University-Bloomington in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs as well as the Neuroscience Program to complete degrees in Environmental Science and Neural Science with an emphasis on the neurodevelopmental toxicology of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins.

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See the graduate student cheering for toxicology?

Postdoctoral training –  School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Developmental cardiotoxicity in passerine birds exposed to PCBs.

Postdoctoral training – National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory through a cooperative training agreement with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Immunotoxicology of organotins found in PVC piping and immunotoxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a perfluoroalkyl substance used in the manufacture fluropolymers.

Joined faculty of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine in 2008.

What I do now: I’m trying to bring together my various areas of study by asking questions about how perturbations to the developing immune system lead to downstream effects on other systems such as the nervous system. We do “traditional” environmental toxicology using tools from developmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, and neurotoxicology to understand effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), pharmaceutical and personal care product pollutants (PPCPs), and other emerging aquatic contaminants. Our focus is on how exposure to these agents changes physiological processes, so while we are interested in the toxicants themselves, we also use them to better understand how living organisms function under normal situations and situations of stress induced by contaminant exposure. Most recently, we have been using our toxicological approaches to understand how early-life exposure to toxicants might be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, as well as neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. We have been grateful to receive funding from a variety of external sources, including the Department of Defense, Alzheimer’s North Carolina, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (who was funded by the Bureau of Land Management), and the Center for Human Health and the Environment at North Carolina State University. We also have received internal funding from the Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Disease Research, The Brody Brothers Endowment, the ECU Division of Research and Graduate Studies via an East-West Research Collaboration Award and an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Award, and from the Brody School of Medicine with an internal seed grant.

If you are hoping to become a graduate student in my lab, I do not accept graduate students into my lab directly. You need acceptance into our department’s doctoral program or to the MS in Biomedical Science program before you can do a rotation in my lab. If you are an undergraduate student at ECU who needs/wants laboratory experience, you may contact me directly. If you are looking for a postdoctoral position, none are available in my lab at this time.