The Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology


The Laboratory uses novel cell culture models and state-of-the-art molecular and toxicological techniques to investigate the effects of metals and particulates on humans and marine animals.

In addition, the laboratory uses advanced molecular epidemiological techniques to study gene-environment interactions and to assess individual susceptibility to disease.

The Laboratory is under the direction of Dr. John Pierce Wise, Sr. and includes professional staff, students (graduate, undergraduate and high-school), and volunteers


Our Mission

The Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology conducts state-of-the-art research aimed at understanding how environmental toxicants affect the health of humans and marine animals.

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This mission is accomplished through the pursuit of the following general objectives:

  • Conduct innovative and multidisciplinary research in toxicology and molecular epidemiology to further our understanding of disease in humans and marine organisms, particularly as they relate to cancer, asthma and reproductive/developmental effects.

  • Discover the mechanisms used by metals to turn normal cells into tumor cells, particularly as they relate to genomic instability and DNA repair.

  • Establish new cell culture models from lung, skin, testis and ovary to investigate how metals and particulates cause cancer, asthma and reproductive/developmental effects in humans and marine organisms.

  • Study and compare contaminant-induced DNA damage and repair in models of humans and marine organisms.

  • Determine how environmental contaminant exposure may affect the recovery of critically endangered species including marine mammals, turtles and birds.

  • Investigate how marine pollution may impact the health of marine invertebrates such as lobsters, oysters, and corals.

  • Create a national resource and repository of marine cell lines and tissues.