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 the immune system, with particular emphasis on the effects of these contaminants on B cells developing in the bone marrow. Dr. Schlezinger’s studies investigate 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. New studies in the lab, in collaboration with Dr. Tom Webster, are focusing on the effects of exposure to complex mixtures of environmental contaminants.

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 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
  • Published on 5/1/2010

    Howard GJ, Schlezinger JJ, Hahn ME, Webster TF. Generalized concentration addition predicts joint effects of aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists with partial agonists and competitive antagonists. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 May; 118(5):666-72.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2010

    Schlezinger JJ, Bernard PL, Haas A, Grandjean P, Weihe P, Sherr DH. Direct assessment of cumulative aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist activity in sera from experimentally exposed mice and environmentally exposed humans. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 May; 118(5):693-8.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/1/2008

    Bissonnette SL, Teague JE, Sherr DH, Schlezinger JJ. An endogenous prostaglandin enhances environmental phthalate-induced apoptosis in bone marrow B cells: activation of distinct but overlapping pathways. J Immunol. 2008 Aug 1; 181(3):1728-36.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/30/2007

    Schlezinger JJ, Emberley JK, Bissonnette SL, Sherr DH. An L-tyrosine derivative and PPARgamma agonist, GW7845, activates a multifaceted caspase cascade in bone marrow B cells. Toxicol Sci. 2007 Jul; 98(1):125-36.

    Read at: PubMed

View 23 more publications:View full profile at BUMC