The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and the UA Steele Children’s Research Center welcome new faculty member Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, MS, MPH, PhD, assistant professor, to the Section of Genetics.
Dr. Kurzius-Spencer completed her PhD in epidemiology at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; her master’s in public health degree in epidemiology (minor: genetics) at the UA; and her master’s degree in biology at the University of Nevada.
Dr. Kurzius-Spencer’s research interests include the effects of environmental exposures and genetic factors on risk of disease. She particularly is interested in exposure to contaminants (such as metals and pesticides), trace elements (such as selenium and zinc) and nutrients in our diets, and how these interact in the body. She has investigated the effects of arsenic intake from food and water on urinary and pulmonary biomarkers. She also is exploring the effects of dietary exposure to multiple contaminants and trace elements on obesity and type 2 diabetes.
As a UA Steele Center researcher, Dr. Kurzius-Spencer will be involved in the study of developmental disabilities, where she will look at the relationship between prenatal and early childhood exposures and the occurrence of developmental disorders.
“With continued research we hope to develop a better understanding of the interaction among environmental exposures, dietary intake, metabolic pathways and genetic variants involved in the development of disease. We believe this work ultimately will lead to prevention, delayed onset and/or diminished severity of disease,” Dr. Kurzius-Spencer said.