Jennifer J. Schlezinger, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental Health
Jennifer Schlezinger


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. Her PhD research involved the study of the molecular mechanisms of PCB toxicity in a marine fish model. Since coming to Boston University School of Public Health as a post-doctoral researcher in 1998, she has worked closely with Dr. David Sherr on immunotoxicology studies. Dr. Schlezinger is an active member of the Society of Toxiology. Her studies focus on the mechanisms by which environmental contaminants impair bone marrow physiology, both mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and B lymphocyte development. Dr. Schlezinger has invesitagted the role of two receptors, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (an intracellular protein which is activated by dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons/PAH, and polychlorinated biphenyls/PCBs) and the peroxisome proliferators activated receptor-g (a protein which is activated by endogenous prostaglandins, anti-diabetic drugs, and phthalates), in the death of immature B lymphocytes. Currently, her laboratory is testing the hypotheses that 1) environmental obesogens (e.g. phthalates, organotins, organophophates) induce adipogenesis and suppress osteogenesis through activation of PPARg and RXR, accelerating the development of osteoporosis and 2) that environmental PPAR/RXR ligands suppress B lymphopoiesis by two mechanisms, directly by inducing apoptosis in early B cells and indirectly by altering the bone marrow microenvironment that supports lymphopoiesis, resulting in aging-like suppression of immune responses.

Other Positions:

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


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

Classes Taught

  • SPHEH768
  • SPHEH840


  • 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 (AHR) Antagonist with Biological Activity In Vitro and In Vivo. Mol Pharmacol. 2014 Aug 26.

    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 Jul 25.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/24/2014

    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. 2014 Jun 24.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2014

    Simmons AL, Schlezinger JJ, Corkey BE. What Are We Putting in Our Food That Is Making Us Fat? Food Additives, Contaminants, and Other Putative Contributors to Obesity. Curr Obes Rep. 2014 Jun 1; 3(2):273-285.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/3/2014

    Lowe MM, Mold JE, Kanwar B, Huang Y, Louie A, Pollastri MP, Wang C, Patel G, Franks DG, Schlezinger J, Sherr DH, Silverstone AE, Hahn ME, McCune JM. Identification of Cinnabarinic Acid as a Novel Endogenous Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligand That Drives IL-22 Production. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87877.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/26/2012

    Springer C, Dere E, Hall SJ, McDonnell EV, Roberts SC, Butt CM, Stapleton HM, Watkins DJ, McClean MD, Webster TF, Schlezinger JJ, Boekelheide K. Rodent thyroid, liver, and fetal testis toxicity of the monoester metabolite of bis-(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (tbph), a novel brominated flame retardant present in indoor dust. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Dec; 120(12):1711-9.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/22/2012

    Goldstone HM, Tokunaga S, Schlezinger JJ, Goldstone JV, Stegeman JJ. EZR1: a novel family of highly expressed retroelements induced by TCDD and regulated by a NF-?B-like factor in embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish. 2012 Mar; 9(1):15-25.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/27/2011

    Yanik SC, Baker AH, Mann KK, Schlezinger JJ. Organotins are potent activators of PPAR? and adipocyte differentiation in bone marrow multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. Toxicol Sci. 2011 Aug; 122(2):476-88.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2010

    Bissonnette SL, Haas A, Mann KK, Schlezinger JJ. The role of CaMKII in calcium-activated death pathways in bone marrow B cells. Toxicol Sci. 2010 Nov; 118(1):108-18.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/18/2010

    Teague JE, Ryu HY, Kirber M, Sherr DH, Schlezinger JJ. Proximal events in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced, stromal cell-dependent bone marrow B cell apoptosis: stromal cell-B cell communication and apoptosis signaling. J Immunol. 2010 Sep 15; 185(6):3369-78.

    Read at: PubMed

View 29 more publications:View full profile at BUMC