Cumulative mechanistic and epidemiological evidence suggest that exposure to environmental compounds including pesticides, endocrine modulating compounds, and priority organic pollutants and metals influences the onset and progression of endocrine mediated diseases. Incidence of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in adults as well as children are reaching epidemic proportions through out the US.  Rural populations, including agriculturally rich regions, appear to be at an even greater risk. The Endocrinology Research Initiative is designed to facilitate basic and translational research that investigates the linkage between agricultural practices and human health. The initiative will serve as a resource to support scientific leadership and interdisciplinary investigations with the goals of engaging and promoting scientific interaction among core participants and communicating significant scientific developments that further establish the complex interactions between agricultural activities and endocrine related diseases. Topics of concern to investigators in the Endocrine Research Initiative include health impacts of natural hormones from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), impact of pesticides on the neuroendocrinology of puberty, and causes and consequences of childhood obesity in rural populations. This Initiative is led by Dr. Seth Kullman, PhD, Associate Professor in the Dept of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology.


Dr. Seth Kullman

David Collier MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Exercise & Sport Science, East Carolina University

Gerald LeBlanc, PhD Professor and the Head, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Heather Patisaul, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

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