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University of Iowa News Release


June 4, 2010

Thorne named head of occupational and environmental health at UI

Peter S. Thorne, Ph.D., has been named head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. The appointment was effective June 1.

"Dr. Thorne brings great enthusiasm and vision to this key leadership role and balances this with excellent administrative leadership skills," said Sue Curry, dean of the UI College of Public Health.

Thorne succeeds Craig Zwerling, Ph.D., who is stepping down after serving as department head from 1999 to 2009. Zwerling will remain on the faculty.

"Dr. Zwerling provided exceptional leadership during our first 10 years as a college," Curry said. "He is a model scholar, mentor and caring leader. The department and college have benefited immensely during his tenure."

Thorne joined the UI faculty in 1988 and was promoted to professor in 1996. His research interests include toxicology, nanotoxicology, air pollution and inflammatory diseases. He is recognized internationally for his work on the adverse effects of inhaled bioaerosols and their relationship to asthma and occupational lung diseases.

Thorne, who holds a secondary appointment in the UI College of Engineering, also serves as director of the UI Pulmonary Toxicology Facility and director of the UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center of Excellence. He also is the associate director of the UI Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology.

"The Department of Occupational and Environmental Health has a wealth of talent--energetic students, dedicated staff and exceptional faculty," Thorne said. "I am honored to have been selected and look forward to the challenges and opportunities this new role will bring."

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Thorne received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering, a master of science degree in biomedical engineering and a doctoral degree in environmental toxicology. He also completed post-doctoral training in immunotoxicology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Thorne has published 167 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 27 book chapters and more than 230 scientific abstracts. He teaches graduate-level courses on environmental health and human toxicology and has served on a variety of review boards for scientific journals, government agencies and academia.

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,