Elizabeth Martin, Ph.D.

Independent Research Scholar

Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory / Epigenetic Responses to Environmental Exposures Group


D416A David P Rall Building
111 Tw Alexander Dr
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709



Research Topics

Dr. Martin’s research program focuses on epigenetic reprogramming in response to environmental exposures, and the role that transcription factors play in this process. This research seeks to understand maternal breast development during pregnancy and whether aberrant epigenetic reprogramming induced by the phthalate DEHP, through its interaction with progesterone receptor, can result in an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in the mother’s life. Her research fills an important gap by addressing whether disruption of later life windows of development by environmental exposures can result disease.


Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill under Dr. Rebecca Fry, where she worked to understand metabolic alterations in response to arsenic exposure, as well as sexually dimorphic prenatal exposure responses. During her doctoral studies, she was the recipient of the Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. Following this she was a postdoctoral researcher in the UNC Curriculum in Toxicology, under the direction of Dr. Shaun McCullough, where she investigated how epigenetic markers can influence susceptibility to air pollution. Elizabeth was a fellow in Dr. Paul Wade’s lab at NIEHS where she investigated the role of progesterone receptor activity in epigenetic reprogramming and breast cancer risk. As an NIEHS trainee, she applied for and received a Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Program fellowship sponsored by the National Institute of General Medicine (NIGMS). She was then selected for the NIH Independent Research Scholar Program that has allowed her to start her own lab.

Selected Publications

  1. Martin EM, Orlando KA, Yokobori K, Wade PA. The estrogen receptor/GATA3/FOXA1 transcriptional network: lessons learned from breast cancer. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2021;71:65-70.
  2. Boyles AL, Beverly BE, Fenton SE, Jackson CL, Jukic AMZ, Sutherland VL, Baird DD, Collman GW, Dixon D, Ferguson KK, Hall JE, Martin EM, Schug TT, White AJ, Chandler KJ. Environmental Factors Involved in Maternal Morbidity and Mortality. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021;30(2):245-252.
  3. Bowers EC, Martin EM, Jarabek AM, Morgan DS, Smith HJ, Dailey LA, Aungst ER, Diaz-Sanchez D, McCullough SD. Ozone Responsive Gene Expression as a Model for Describing Repeat Exposure Response Trajectories and Interindividual Toxicodynamic Variability In Vitro. Toxicol Sci. 2021;185(1):38-49.
  4. Martin EM, Grimm SA, Xu Z, Taylor JA, Wade PA. Beadchip technology to detect DNA methylation in mouse faithfully recapitulates whole-genome bisulfite sequencing. Epigenomics. 2023;15(3):115-129.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022