Jennifer J. Schlezinger, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental Health
Jennifer Schlezinger
Housman (R Bldg) – R-4
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Dr. Schlezinger received her B.S. from Boston College in 1992 and her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography in 1998. Dr. Schlezinger is an active member of the Society of Toxicology. Her PhD research involved the study of the molecular mechanisms of PCB toxicity in a marine fish model. Coming to Boston University School of Public Health as a post-doctoral researcher in 1998, she worked closely with Dr. David Sherr on investigating the immuntoxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Now, the overarching goal of my laboratory’s research is to determine how exposure to environmental toxicants impair bone and adipose homeostasis, which lays the foundation for osteoporosis and metabolic disease. I have investigated nuclear receptor activation (e.g. PPAR?, RXRs, LXRs) in bone forming cells and the physiological impact of environmental chemical-driven changes in the activities of these receptors. We are investigating the hypothesis that environmental obesogen-driven changes in the balance of adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation from multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells underlies susceptibility to loss of bone. Adipocyte differentiation in bone marrow is a feature of aging and a significant contributor to osteoporosis. We are expanding our focus to include examining the role of environmental toxicants in development of metabolic disease. We are testing the novel hypothesis that environmental ligands selectively activate PPAR?’s activities, contributing to the development of pathological adipose tissue and metabolic dyshomeostasis. We are building on our identification of a novel environmental PPAR? ligand, triphenyl phosphate, which is a component of the obesity-inducing flame retardant mixture Firemaster 550. The newest aspect of my research is an investigation of the impact of early life exposure on life-long metabolic and bone health.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD
  • Boston College, BS

Classes Taught

  • SPHEH705
  • SPHEH840


  • Published on 7/1/2017

    Baker AH, Wu TH, Bolt AM, Gerstenfeld LC, Mann KK, Schlezinger JJ. From the Cover: Tributyltin Alters the Bone Marrow Microenvironment and Suppresses B Cell Development. Toxicol Sci. 2017 Jul 01; 158(1):63-75. PMID: 28398592.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/8/2017

    Kassotis CD, Masse L, Kim S, Schlezinger JJ, Webster TF, Stapleton HM. Characterization of Adipogenic Chemicals in Three Different Cell Culture Systems: Implications for Reproducibility Based on Cell Source and Handling. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 08; 7:42104. PMID: 28176856.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/2/2016

    Watt J, Webster TF, Schlezinger JJ. Generalized Concentration Addition Modeling Predicts Mixture Effects of Environmental PPAR? Agonists. Toxicol Sci. 2016 Sep; 153(1):18-27. PMID: 27255385.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/15/2016

    Auerbach S, Filer D, Reif D, Walker V, Holloway AC, Schlezinger J, Srinivasan S, Svoboda D, Judson R, Bucher JR, Thayer KA. Prioritizing Environmental Chemicals for Obesity and Diabetes Outcomes Research: A Screening Approach Using ToxCast™ High-Throughput Data. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Aug; 124(8):1141-54. PMID: 26978842.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/9/2016

    Bolt AM, Grant MP, Wu TH, Flores Molina M, Plourde D, Kelly AD, Negro Silva LF, Lemaire M, Schlezinger JJ, Mwale F, Mann KK. Tungsten Promotes Sex-Specific Adipogenesis in the Bone by Altering Differentiation of Bone Marrow-Resident Mesenchymal Stromal Cells. Toxicol Sci. 2016 Apr; 150(2):333-46. PMID: 26865663.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/13/2015

    Baker AH, Watt J, Huang CK, Gerstenfeld LC, Schlezinger JJ. Tributyltin engages multiple nuclear receptor pathways and suppresses osteogenesis in bone marrow multipotent stromal cells. Chem Res Toxicol. 2015 Jun 15; 28(6):1156-66. PMID: 25932594.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/14/2015

    Watt J, Schlezinger JJ. Structurally-diverse, PPAR?-activating environmental toxicants induce adipogenesis and suppress osteogenesis in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells. Toxicology. 2015 May 4; 331:66-77. PMID: 25777084.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2015

    Bragdon B, Burns R, Baker AH, Belkina AC, Morgan EF, Denis GV, Gerstenfeld LC, Schlezinger JJ. Intrinsic Sex-Linked Variations in Osteogenic and Adipogenic Differentiation Potential of Bone Marrow Multipotent Stromal Cells. J Cell Physiol. 2015 Feb; 230(2):296-307. PMID: 24962433.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/26/2014

    Parks AJ, Pollastri MP, Hahn ME, Stanford EA, Novikov O, Franks DG, Haigh SE, Narasimhan S, Ashton TD, Hopper TG, Kozakov D, Beglov D, Vajda S, Schlezinger JJ, Sherr DH. In silico identification of an aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist with biological activity in vitro and in vivo. Mol Pharmacol. 2014 Nov; 86(5):593-608. PMID: 25159092.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/25/2014

    Pillai HK, Fang M, Beglov D, Kozakov D, Vajda S, Stapleton HM, Webster TF, Schlezinger JJ. Ligand binding and activation of PPAR? by Firemaster® 550: effects on adipogenesis and osteogenesis in vitro. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Nov; 122(11):1225-32. PMID: 25062436.

    Read at: PubMed

View 37 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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