About The Course
Welcome Message

Welcome to the CoursePlus Web site for PUBLIC HEALTH TOXICOLOGY (187.610.01), a course offered by the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Welcome to Public Health Toxicolgy.  Virtually each day you can read in the paper about the effects of various chemicals in the environment and in the diet on human health. Most of the articles speak of adverse effects observed in recent scientific investigations. However, it is often very difficult to critically evaluate the real potential significance of this information. In this course, you will learn the basic principles that govern how chemicals interact with cells and organisms to cause adverse effects and what the critical determinants are that determine whether or not an adverse effect might occur. This will provide you with new tools to help interpret the barrage of information presented to you in the lay press and should be helpful in your professional activities. We sincerely hope you enjoy this course and find the information useful. We also appreciate your input and suggestions as to how to improve the course, so please be sure to complete the course evaluation and don't hesitate provide us with any constructive comments or suggestions you may have by e-mail or in person. Thank you.

Course Description

Students examine basic concepts of toxicology as they apply to the effects of environmental agents, e.g. chemicals, metals, on public health. We discuss the distribution, cellular penetration, metabolic conversion, and elimination of toxic agents, as well as the fundamental laws governing the interaction of foreign chemicals with biological systems. Students focus on the application of these concepts to the understanding and prevention of morbidity and mortality resulting from environmental exposures to toxic substances through a case study format.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the chemical properties and the biological processes which modulate the toxicokinetics of chemical agents of public health importance.
  • Explain the significance of biotransformation reactions as a determinant of the toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic activities of chemicals.
  • Describe molecular, cellular and pathophysiological responses resulting from exposure to chemical agents relevant to human health.
  • Identify underlying susceptibility factors which contribute to the ability of chemicals to elicit bioeffects which contribute to human disease.
  • Explain the science underlying testing for the ability of chemicals to elicit adverse human health effects.
  • Put into perspective the role of toxicology in the risk assessment process.

Course Time

Wed Fri   3:30 PM to 4:50 PM

Course Faculty

Background in chemistry (particularly organic chemistry) and biology useful.

Intended Audience

The course is intended for students in professional degree programs who wish to gain a broad understanding of the basic concepts and principles of toxicology. It also serves as an introductory course for those students in academic degree programs who are planning on following a course of more advanced study in the science of toxicology.

Grading Policy & Grading Restrictions

Grading Policy: Student evaluation is based on weekly on-line quizzes, two individual written assignments and one group written assignment completed using a Wiki, a midterm and final exam.

Grading Restrictions: Letter grade

Administrative Contact

Trush, Michael
E-mail: mtrush@jhsph.edu