Hongbo Ma, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health

Curriculum Vitae


PhD, Environmental Toxicology, The University of Georgia
MS, Environmental Health Sciences, University of South Carolina
MS, Marine Chemistry, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Science, China
BS, Applied Chemistry, Liaoning University of Petroleum and Chemical Technology, China


Research in Dr. Ma’s environmental toxicology laboratory centers on understanding toxicity effects and human health implications of environmental chemical contaminants using alternative animal models such as the nematode C. elegans and zebrafish. Tools and techniques from environmental chemistry, toxicology, and risk assessment are applied and integrated to tackle a broad range of environmental chemicals of human health concern, from conventional heavy metals to emerging pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and algal toxins. Current ongoing projects focus on the following four areas:

1) Identification and mechanistic understanding of neurodevelopmental toxicity of metals and metal mixtures using transgenic C. elegans and zebrafish;

2) Understanding the toxicological effects and human health implications of TiO2 in food additives using the C. elegans model;

3) Screening and characterization of toxicity effects of alternative antimicrobial agents used in personal care products using a worm and fish based model system;

4) Toxicity and risk characterization of several groups of newly identified cyanopeptides (anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins) using C. elegans as a model organism.

Dr. Ma’s teaching interests include environmental health sciences, environmental risk assessment, environmental toxicology, and MPH field practicum and Capstone project related to these areas.