Nathanial Parizek


Hello, and welcome to my student profile! I am Nate Parizek, and I hail from a suburb southeast of the St. Paul-Minneapolis metropolitan area: Hastings, Minnesota. The locale of my youth molded me into a fan of most things Minnesotan: Prince, lakes/boats, craft beverages, the wilderness, speaking with a weird accent, and the Minnesota Vikings (along with the other Minnesotan sports teams). I earned my BS in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a small state school located in a rural town near the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. While attending my undergraduate institution, I participated in research projects focused on high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methodology and novel organic synthesis under the advisement of Drs. Daniel March and Stacey Stoffregen, respectively. Along with being a student at UW-River Falls, I moonlighted as a volunteer EMT with the local ambulance service.

My undergraduate research projects kindled my interest in graduate school, as I enjoyed the ability to develop my own hypotheses and then use research to answer them experimentally.  I was steered in the direction of toxicology because of my fascination with the chemistry-biology relationship as well as my experience as an EMT, in which I was able to witness several instances of environmental contaminants causing negative health consequences.

I chose to continue my education at the University of Iowa as a student within the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology for two reasons. First, I enjoyed the atmosphere that Iowa City fosters. It is a great place to live, with many opportunities for excitement and adventure outside of the lab and classroom. Second, the interdisciplinary nature of the Human Toxicology Program allows for a wide variety of opportunities, views, and connections that facilitate a well-rounded graduate education, which I believe is necessary to become a successful, unbiased scientist.

Once I graduate with my Ph.D., I hope to find a job where I can apply my knowledge and skills of inhalation toxicology to assure the health and wellbeing of the global population. Outside of school, you can most likely find me on neighborhood walks with my wife, camping when the weather is nice, attempting to shoot pool down at the ped mall, discussing cars that I will never be able to afford, or relaxing with friends.

Please feel free to contact me with questions about being a student within the Human Toxicology Graduate Program, my research, collaborations, and future opportunities.

Advisor: Peter Thorne, Ph.D.

Current research description: During my first year studying at the University of Iowa, I completed three rotations in the labs of Drs. Hanna Stevens, Tori Forbes, and Peter S. Thorne. My first rotation, in the Stevens Lab, focused on the effect that per os maternal exposure to cypermethrin, a commonly used pesticide, can have on the activation and proliferation of microglia within her offspring’s developing brains. During my rotation through the Forbes Lab, I helped in modeling the speciation of uranium and uranium complexes in an aqueous environment comparable to surface water. The overall goal of this was to help with the creation of a simple, cost effective, and reliable method for the detection and quantification of uranium in drinking water. My third, and final, rotation allowed me the opportunity to learn the basics of inhalation exposure design and the nuances that are involved with inhalation toxicity studies.

Upon the completion of my rotations, I decided to join the Thorne Lab, where I now study the health consequences caused by the inhalation of engineered nanomaterials. During my time in the lab, I have designed and built a novel particle generation and exposure system that produces nano-sized particulate from solid stock material. Using the system I built, I have assessed the acute pulmonary toxicity of particles released from a new, environmentally sustainable medium density fiber board that could potentially replace formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde bound fiber boards. I am now in the process of planning my next set of experiments, which will help elucidate the health consequences for both a mother and her offspring when the mother is exposed to airborne engineered nanomaterials during her pregnancy.

Nathanial Parizek
B.S. Biochemistry
Uiversity of Wisconsin-River Falls