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Jack R. Harkema

Jack R. HarkemaUniversity Distinguished Professor, Department of Pathobiology & Diagnostic Investigation

1129 FARM LN ROOM 212

Research Interests:
Dr. Harkema is widely recognized for his research in inhalation toxicology, respiratory pathobiology, and the toxicologic pathology of the respiratory tract in laboratory animals. His scientific work is designed to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of airway injury caused by the inhalation of airborne pollutants and other xenobiotic agents. More specifically, his laboratory explores and elucidates the roles of inflammatory/immune cells (e.g., neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes) and their mediators in the pathogenesis of airway epithelial alterations (e.g., cell death, regenerative hyperplasia, mucous cell metaplasia) caused by inhalation exposures (and co-exposures) to various  airborne agents (e.g., particulate matter, ozone, silica, house dust mite antigen, and microbial agents). His scientific investigations also focus on the identification of host factors (e.g., genetics, age, diet, pre-existing disease) responsible for modifying susceptibility to toxicant-induced airway injury. The long-range goal of his studies is to understand the key mechanisms of airway cellular injury and repair in order to design interventions to prevent or treat the adverse effects caused by respiratory toxicants. Dr. Harkema serves as the Director of the Great Lakes Air Center for Integrated Environmental Research, an EPA-funded multi-disciplinary Clean Air Research Center.

Educational Background:
Calvin College, B.S., Biology/Chemistry, 1975
Michigan State University, M.S., Physiology, 1977
Michigan State University, D.V.M., cum laude, 1980
University of California-Davis, Ph.D., 1985, Comparative Pathology

Selected Professional Activities:
Dr. Harkema's honors and awards include the New Investigator Award, Inhalation Toxicology Specialty Session, Society of Toxicology, 1987; the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, College of Veterinary Medicine, MSU, 2001; the University Distinguished Professor Award, MSU, 2003; and the Distinguished Faculty Award College of Veterinary Medicine, MSU, 2006; Alumni Achievement Award, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, 2015. Dr. Harkema is a member of the EPA Administrator-appointed Clean Air Scientific Advisory Board (2012-2018). He is also serves as the Chair of the Environmental, Occupational and Population Health Assembly for the American Thoracic Society (2015-2018). He belongs to the following other societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science; American College of Veterinary Pathologists; American Society of Investigative Pathology; American Veterinary Medical Association; Phi Zeta; Sigma Xi, Society of Toxicologic Pathologists; and the Society of Toxicology. Dr. Harkema is a faculty trainer for the NIEHS training grant.


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Laboratory Trainees:

  • Dr. Daven Jackson-Humbles, Postdoctoral