The partnership between the Department of Health (DOH) and the University at Albany’s School of Public Health (SPH), provides a unique opportunity for graduate students working towards their MPH, DrPH, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees to be trained and mentored in the laboratories of the Wadsworth Center. Over the last three decades, Dr. Parsons has mentored 13 graduate students, (11 Ph.D. and 2 M.S.) who completed their degrees under his guidance in the Trace Elements Laboratory. Post-degree, Dr. Parsons’ students have gone on to enjoy rewarding careers in state government (NYS DEC and DOH), federal government (Los Alamos National Lab), in industry (General Electric, Thermo Scientific), and in academia (John’s Hopkins; UAlbany SPH; Niagara University). Trace Element Laboratory (TREL) alumni include former graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, along with visiting scientists.

Training the next generation of environmental health scientists is one of the key goals of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences (DEHS) at Wadsworth. Within DEHS, the Trace Elements Laboratory hosts students at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels for internships, rotations, and independent studies. TREL also participates in the Wadsworth Center’s Fellowship Program.

Recent projects have included:

     1) laser ablation of teeth for lead and manganese distribution;

     2) comparing microwave digestion techniques for a variety of biological matrices;

     3) the distribution of lead and calcium in the bony cores of goat horns;

     4) a comparison of mercury measurements in urine using different measurement strategies;

     5) the measurement of rare earth elements in human bones from patients that had received long-term parenteral nutrition.

In addition to hosting students, there are ample opportunities for junior staff to audit courses that are taught on-site such as EHS 525 Environmental Chemical Analysis, and some go on to participate in other SPH programs. Senior staff are encouraged to seek an appointment within the EHS department and teach classes, mentor students, and participate in department/school committees.

Parsons Academic Tree

Current Graduate Students:

  • Joseph Teson, Ph.D., Student, August 2022 – present
  • Deanna Luneau, Ph.D. Student, August 2021 – present
  • Charelle Trim, Ph.D. Student, August 2020 – present
  • Emily Pacer, Ph.D. Student, August 2019 – present

Former Graduate Students:

  • Emily J. Pacer, M.S., The Determination of Lead in Blood by Electrothermal Atomization Atomic Absorption Spectrometry: Method Improvements and Clinical Fitness for Purpose for Detecting Elevated Blood Lead Levels, 2021.
  • Austin A. Roberts, Ph.D., Elemental Composition and Arsenic Speciation Analysis of Processed Seafood Products using Atomic Spectrometric Techniques, 2020.
  • Mina W. Tehrani, Ph.D., Accumulation and Spatial Distribution of Lead and Other Trace Elements in Keratinized Tissues: Investigations Based on Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 2019.
  • Amy J. Steuerwald, Ph.D., An Investigation of Uptake, Distribution, and Accumulation of Lead and Other Trace Elements in Caprine Brain Tissues Using Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, 2016.
  • Aubrey L. Galusha, Ph.D., An Investigation of Alkaline Earth and Rare Earth Elements in Human Bone Following Long-Term Parenteral Nutrition, 2015.
  • Meredith L. Praamsma, Ph.D., Development and Assessment of Analytical Methods for Monitoring Current and Historical Exposures to Manganese: Blood, Urine and Teeth, 2013.
  • Kathryn G. McIntosh, Ph.D., Trace Element Analysis of Environmental and Clinical Materials using Novel Instrumentation Based on X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry: New Capabilities for Public Health Laboratories, 2012.
  • Kanna Ito, Ph.D., Arsenic Speciation Analysis of Biological Fluids: A Study of Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Analytical Atomic Spectrometric Instrumentation, 2010.
  • Pamela C. Kruger, Ph.D., Biomonitoring for Exposure to Trace Elements in utero: Analysis of the Human Placenta, 2009. 
  • Katherine M. Hetter, M.S., A Study of the Lead Deposition in the Tibia of Dosed Goats: Locational Distribution and Validation of Bone Lead Measurements by Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 2006. 
  • Ying Zhou, Ph.D., A Study of Tungsten Filaments as Electrothermal Atomization Devices for Determination of Lead in Biological Fluids in Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 2002. 
  • Yan Y. Zong, Ph.D., Atomization, Determination, and Distribution of Lead in Bone by Electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, 1996.
  • Shida Tang, Ph.D., Atomization and Determination of Aluminum in Biological Samples by Electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, 1996.