B Paige Lawrence, PhD, is Professor of Environmental Medicine and of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is also an active member of the Environmental Health Science Center at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Lawrence earned a BA in biology and chemistry from Skidmore College in 1986, and a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology from Cornell University in 1993. Before joining the University of Rochester, she was a tenured Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University.
Dr. Lawrence is the current Director of the Toxicology Training Program, and also serves as the Principal Investigator for an NIEHS funded T32 training grant that supports pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees interested in toxicology and environmental health. The Toxicology Training Program has graduate level courses and numerous research projects that complement aspects of CEE programmatic goals and interests. In particular, using laboratory and population-based research approaches to better understand the impacts of anthropogenic activities, including energy technologies, and other aspects of our changing environment on human health is a major focus of faculty and trainees in the Toxicology Program. Dr. Lawrence is also an active mentor in other graduate education and mentoring programs at UR, including the University of Rochester Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (UR-BEST) Program.
Dr. Lawrence’s research seeks to define how environmental factors influence overall health, with a particular focus on the development and function of the immune system. Some of the investigative efforts focus on better understanding how environmental exposures directly disrupt function of the mature (adult) immune system, using the response to infectious agents, such as influenza viruses, as the primary read-out. Other research projects center on delineating how maternal and early life exposures adversely affect proper development, and how these developmental changes negatively impact the immune system and health later in life. In addition to fighting infection, the effects of developmental exposures on immune-mediated pathologies, such as allergic and autoimmune diseases, are examined. This work also encompasses identifying how environmental exposures alter epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in the cells of the immune system, as they are developing, and how these modifications change immune function and influence disease processes later in life. To conduct this research, her laboratory integrates many approaches, including immunological and genetic tools, pharmacological and biochemical modifiers of cellular processes, gene-specific and genome-wide analyses, and state-of-the art flow cytometry.