Zoeller's Distinguished Faculty Lecture focuses on endocrine disrupting chemicals

Biologist R. Thomas Zoeller will discuss ways in which chemicals in the environment may disrupt the body’s endocrine system in a Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Monday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. in the Massachusetts Room at the Mullins Center. His lecture, titled “The Brain on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals,” will be followed by a reception. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public.
 
Zoeller’s research laboratory has pioneered the study of the role of thyroid hormone in brain development of the fetus. These studies have led to a better understanding of the importance of thyroid function in pregnant women and have led to concern about the industrial chemicals to which all of us are exposed.
 
He will discuss the ways in which his findings have clear public health implications.
 
Zoeller completed his undergraduate studies in biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in endocrinology and neuroendocrinology respectively, at Oregon State University. He went on to postdoctoral study at the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and taught at the University of Missouri School of Medicine before joining the Biology Department in 1994.
 
He is also the author of more than 100 articles in refereed journals and edited volumes, and was awarded the Samuel F. Conti Faculty Research Fellowship for 2007-08, as well as being named Scientist of the Year for 2002-03 by the Learning Disabilities Association.
 
For more than 35 years, UMass Amherst has recognized outstanding faculty achievements by sponsoring the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. The series honors individual faculty members and their achievements and celebrates the value of academic excellence. Lecturers are presented with a Chancellor’s Medal at the conclusion of each talk.
 
The final speaker in this year’s series is Laurie Brown, Department of Geosciences, discussing “Magnetic Field Reversals: The Ups and Downs of Earth’s Dipole, as Seen from South America” on Monday, March 11.