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, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


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

Classes Taught

  • SPHEH768
  • SPHEH840


  • 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
  • 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):273-85. PMID: 25045594.

    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. PMID: 24498387.

    Read at: PubMed

View 34 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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