Jennifer Schlezinger

Jennifer J. Schlezinger, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health


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 her 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. Dr. Schlezinger's lab investigates nuclear receptor activation (e.g. PPARg, RXRs, LXRs) in bone forming cells and the physiological impact of environmental chemical-driven changes in the activities of these receptors. they also investigate 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. The lab has expanded its focus to include examining the role of environmental toxicants in development of metabolic disease. They are testing the novel hypothesis that environmental ligands selectively activate PPARg’s activities, contributing to the development of pathological adipose tissue and metabolic dyshomeostasis. This work has been built upon their identification of a novel environmental PPARg ligand, triphenyl phosphate, which is a component of the obesity-inducing flame retardant mixture Firemaster 550. The newest aspect of Dr. Schlezinger's research is an investigation of the impact of early life exposure on life-long metabolic and bone health.

Other Positions

  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research - Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students) - Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD Field of Study: Oceanography
  • Boston College, BS Field of Study: Biology


Classes Taught

  • SPHEH705
  • SPHEH840
  • SPHPH720


  • Published on 10/5/2021

    Freid R, Hussein AI, Schlezinger JJ. Tributyltin protects against ovariectomy-induced trabecular bone loss in C57BL/6J mice with an attenuated effect in high fat fed mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 05; 431:115736. PMID: 34619157.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/17/2021

    Kassotis CD, Hoffman K, Völker J, Pu Y, Veiga-Lopez A, Kim SM, Schlezinger JJ, Bovolin P, Cottone E, Saraceni A, Scandiffio R, Atlas E, Leingartner K, Krager S, Tischkau SA, Ermler S, Legler J, Chappell VA, Fenton SE, Mesmar F, Bondesson M, Fernández MF, Stapleton HM. Reproducibility of adipogenic responses to metabolism disrupting chemicals in the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte model system: An interlaboratory study. Toxicology. 2021 Sep; 461:152900. PMID: 34411659.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/29/2021

    Kim S, Reed E, Monti S, Schlezinger JJ. A Data-Driven Transcriptional Taxonomy of Adipogenic Chemicals to Identify White and Brite Adipogens. Environ Health Perspect. 2021 Jul; 129(7):77006. PMID: 34323617.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/10/2021

    Schlezinger JJ, Hyötyläinen T, Sinioja T, Boston C, Puckett H, Oliver J, Heiger-Bernays W, Webster TF. Perfluorooctanoic acid induces liver and serum dyslipidemia in humanized PPARa mice fed an American diet. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 09 01; 426:115644. PMID: 34252412.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2020

    Schlezinger JJ, Heiger-Bernays W, Webster TF. Predicting the Activation of the Androgen Receptor by Mixtures of Ligands Using Generalized Concentration Addition. Toxicol Sci. 2020 10 01; 177(2):466-475. PMID: 32726424.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/26/2020

    de la Rosa R, Schlezinger JJ, Smith MT, Webster TF. Application of generalized concentration addition to predict mixture effects of glucocorticoid receptor ligands. Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Dec; 69:104975. PMID: 32858110.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/19/2020

    Schlezinger JJ, Puckett H, Oliver J, Nielsen G, Heiger-Bernays W, Webster TF. Perfluorooctanoic acid activates multiple nuclear receptor pathways and skews expression of genes regulating cholesterol homeostasis in liver of humanized PPARa mice fed an American diet. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 10 15; 405:115204. PMID: 32822737.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/18/2020

    Kim S, Rabhi N, Blum BC, Hekman R, Wynne K, Emili A, Farmer S, Schlezinger JJ. Triphenyl phosphate is a selective PPAR? modulator that does not induce brite adipogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Arch Toxicol. 2020 09; 94(9):3087-3103. PMID: 32683515.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/28/2020

    Andrews FV, Kim SM, Edwards L, Schlezinger JJ. Identifying adipogenic chemicals: Disparate effects in 3T3-L1, OP9 and primary mesenchymal multipotent cell models. Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Sep; 67:104904. PMID: 32473317.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/11/2019

    Crawford KA, Clark BW, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Karchner SI, Hahn ME, Nacci DE, Schlezinger JJ. Tributyltin disrupts fin development in Fundulus heteroclitus from both PCB-sensitive and resistant populations: Investigations of potential interactions between AHR and PPAR?. Aquat Toxicol. 2020 Jan; 218:105334. PMID: 31743820.

    Read At: PubMed

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