On behalf of the Faculty, Students, Staff and Alumni of the Department of EMT here at OSU, I would like to welcome you to our departmental website.  Thank you very much for your interest in our programs, and please feel welcome to visit or contact us at if we might be of assistance.

The dual mission of EMT is to:

1) Educate students in the toxicological sciences and environmental chemistry.

2) Conduct research on the actions of chemicals in humans and other organisms, environmental chemistry (including exposure assessment), and risk assessment.

Our EMT programs offer a unique and exciting synthesis of the fields of Biology (including Molecular Toxicology) and Chemistry (including Environmental Chemistry), which positions EMT to focus on creating, disseminating and applying new biomedical and biophysical knowledge to enhance the treatment and prevention of human disease, and to ensure the protection of the environment and public health.  This integrated approach, combining both the biological and physical sciences, provides exciting training and research opportunities for graduate students and supports our state-of- the-art and internationally competitive research programs.  EMT offers a highly collegial and exceptionally collaborative, research and training environment dedicated to the success and advancement of all EMT students, faculty and staff.

The current EMT department has a long and illustrious history, having evolved extensively over the years since 1883 when our very first faculty member was hired into the original Dept. of Agricultural Chemistry here at OSU.  Over the past 125 years, our department changed and adapted to the ever evolving fields of agricultural sciences and toxicology, and in 1998 was reorganized and renamed EMT to more clearly communicate the breadth, depth and research and training emphases of our current programs.  Our seventeen faculty members have diverse research programs collectively aimed at understanding environmental hazards and their impacts on biological systems in order to protect human health and the environment while complimenting and supporting our toxicology training programs offering  Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Toxicology and an undergraduate minor.

Oregon State University is home to approximately 25,700 undergraduate and 4,600 graduate students and is ranked as a ‘very high research activity”  (RU/VH) institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  Located in Corvallis, a community of 53,000 people situated in the Willamette Valley between Portland and Eugene, our major attractions and quality of life enhancements include our ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, forests, high desert, the rugged Cascade and Coast Ranges, and the urban amenities of the adjacent Portland and Eugene metropolitan areas.  OSU has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, multiculturalism and community, and we in EMT constantly strive to build and sustain a welcoming and supportive campus environment for the members of our department.

Our graduate and undergraduate training programs in the field of Toxicology, are closely aligned with the research expertise of our faculty and focus on two major areas:

1) Molecular and Mechanistic Toxicology: The mechanisms of toxic responses at the molecular, cellular and whole animal levels, with an emphasis on pathways by which environmental chemicals cause toxicity and disease, by perturbing critical cell signaling pathways or inducing DNA mutations and aberrations which then result in cancer and other environmental diseases.

2) Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology: Concomitantly, our programs also focus on how  molecular interactions and macroscopic transport phenomena determine the spatial and temporal distribution of chemicals (transport and fate of chemicals in ecosystems and the environment), and the resultant ‘bioavailability’ of these chemicals, and thus  ultimately the exposure (doses) of these chemicals to humans and other organisms.

This synthesis of approaches provides a unique inter- and multi-disciplinary training program that integrates current advances in chemistry, toxicology, and ecology, thus providing an exciting and competitive training environment for our students.

EMT is an academic unit within the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS), whose mission includes the four major areas of instruction, research,  extension, and service, with an emphasis on supporting and sustaining the human and natural  resources of the state of Oregon for the health and well being of Oregonians as well as the economic development of the state.  In support of the overarching CAS mission, EMT currently supports an unusually diverse mission and array of stakeholders in our OSU and state-wide communities.  These extension activities further support our undergraduate, graduate and post graduate training programs by providing additional internationally competitive research programs while simultaneously providing important services to the citizens of our State of Oregon.

Our EMT extension activities include (but are not limited to):

  • The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) provides objective, science-based information about pesticides and pesticide-related topics to the public and unique training opportunities for our students.
  • The Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship (FSES) Program provides the chemical and toxicological information from pesticide residue studies to support registration of minor-use pesticides as well as a major research program committed to providing the highest quality analytical laboratory research support for food quality assurance, environmental integrity preservation, enhancement of agricultural production, and recognition and dissemination of new knowledge.
  • The Integrated Plant Protection Center (IPPC) conducts research and outreach  to implement integrated pest management (IPM) practices designed to establish economically sustainable pest management practices with lower costs to human health and to the environment wherever these are needed in  state, national and international venues.

Dr. Larry Curtis
Department Head
Dept. of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology