BS, Molecular Environmental Biology, UC Berkeley, 2007
MS, Environmental Health Scinces, UC Berkeley, 2011
Martyn Smith and Luoping Zhang
My broad research interest is in biomarkers of environmental exposure. We have very little understanding today of what exposures lead to chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. I focus on how we can use molecular indicators in human blood to show how certain human exposures can lead to differences in risk of chronic illnesses within a population. Specifically, I am looking at the relationship between small RNA transcripts, called microRNA, found in blood and onset of diabetes. In the era of “big data” analysis, I have found that it is also important to work on method development a priori for sensitive and reliable detection of these blood biomarkers.
Daniels, S.I., Sillé, F. C. M., Goldbaum, A., Yee, B., Key, E., Zhang, L., Smith, M.T., and Reuben Thomas (2014) “Determining Sources of Variability and Suitable Methods for Measuring Blood miRNAs to Improve Power in Experimental Designs.” Accepted to Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
Why I chose the Berkeley EHS program
I chose Cal EHS because of the fantastic opportunity to work on cutting-edge research with distinguished professors and mentors in a department that emphasizes the applied biological sciences. Here I am able to explore a variety of multi-disciplinary aspects of environmental health as well, and engage with students in related fields including engineering, green chemistry and molecular biology. There are also a myriad of resources at our fingertips on this campus, from use of state-of-the-art instrumentation to excellent courses on data analysis and interpretation. I knew that an education in EHS would help me expand my skillset as a scientist while allowing me to work with the intention of creating a positive impact in the scope of public health.