Michele La Merrill

Michele La Merrill

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Environmental Toxicology


La Merrill, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, is a developmental toxicologist. La Merrill completed her Ph.D. in toxicology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. She also holds an MPH in epidemiology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. She joined UC Davis in 2013 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in environmental pediatrics at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Research interests:

Reproductive and developmental toxicology, persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, endocrine disruption, genetics/genomics, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer.

Brief overview:

The mission of the La Merrill lab is to understand susceptibility to environmental diseases. We consider susceptibilities to disease that may result from environmental insults during the exquisitely sensitive developmental period, from poor diet and ensuing metabolic diseases, and from genetic and epigenetic predispositions. We use integrated experimental and human studies to evaluate how prenatal toxicant exposures increase risk of developing obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and hypertension (together known as “metabolic syndrome”) during adulthood.

Current projects:

  • Association between prenatal exposure to the pesticide DDT and metabolic syndrome in adult offspring
  • Epigenetics and gene regulation in thermogenesis