Joshua R. Edwards, Ph.D.

Downers Grove, IL

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My research focuses on how the environmental toxicant cadmium alters pancreatic islet function in the development of diabetes mellitus.  There are several likely factors that may contribute to the effect of cadmium to impair glucose-stimulated insulin release.  Specifically, cadmium may alter cell-cell adhesion within islets, alter ADP/ATP ratio and lastly, block L-type voltage-gated calcium channels.  Determining which factor(s) is/are responsible for the effect on pancreatic islets is the primary focus of my lab.  We use a variety of experimental models to examine the effects of cadmium on insulin release including; pancreatic β-cell line (MIN6) and primary pancreatic islets maintained in culture.  


Downers Grove, IL

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Dental Medicine-Illinois
College of Graduate Studies - IL


Biomedical Sciences (M.B.S.)
Dental Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine

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Michigan State University | 2004 | Ph.D.
University of S. Dakota | 1999 | M.S.
Michigan State University | 1996 | B.S.

Courses Taught

PHARD 1640 Pharmacology for Dental Students (lecturer and course director)

PHARD 1651 Pharmacology for Pharmacy Students (lecturer)

PHARD 1671 Pharmacology for Medical Students (lecturer)

PHARD 1641 Pharmacology for Optometry Students (lecturer)

PHARD 0584/0594/0994 Pharmacology for Physician Assistant, MA and MBS Students (lecturer)


Publications for 2018 and 2019 only:

Edwards, J. and Prozialeck, W. (2018) Renal toxicology/nephrotoxicity of metals and nanometallic particles (Arsenic, Bismuth, Cadmium, Chromium,Indium, Lead, Platinum, Uranium and Metallic Mixtures).  Chapter for book “Comprehensive Toxicology” Charlene A. McQueen (editor) pp. 487-506.

Fay M, Alt L, Ryba D, Salamah R, Peach R, Papaeliou A, Zawadzka S, Weiss A, Patel N, Rahman A, Stubbs-Russell Z, Lamar P, Edwards J, Prozialeck W. (2018) Cadmium Nephrotoxicity Is Associated with Altered MicroRNA Expression in the Rat Renal Cortex.  Toxics 6(1) [PMID: 29543730]

Browar A, Koufos E, Wei Y, Leavitt LL, Prozialeck W, Edwards J. (2018) Cadmium Exposure Disrupts Periodontal Bone in Experimental Animals: Implications for Periodontal Disease in Humans. Toxics 6(2) [PMID: 29899258]

Prozialeck W and Edwards J. (2018) The One Health Initiative as a Basis for Research Development in the Department of Pharmacology at Midwestern University. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 118(9): pp. 610-616 [PMID: 30178051]

Edwards, J.  (2019) Book chapter “Chapter 27: Local Anesthetics” in the book “Brody's Human Pharmacology, 6 Ed.” Lynn Wecker (editor) pp. 230-237

Turley A, Zagorski J, Kennedy R., Freeborn R., Bursley J, Edwards J, Rockwell C.   (2019) Chronic low-level cadmium exposure in rats affects cytokine production by activated T cells.  Toxicology Reports 8 (2). pp. 227-237 [PMID: 30997022]

Browar A, Leavitt L, Prozialeck W and Edwards J. (2019) Levels of Cadmium in Human Mandibular Bone.  Toxics 7(2) [PMID:31167416]


Member – Society of Toxicology

National Faculty – National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

Site visitor – Commission on Dental Accreditation

Ad hoc reviewer - Department of Defense, Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program

Ad hoc reviewer - National Institutes of Health ZRG1 DKUS-J (82) Study Section; toxicology, digestive, urological and kidney systems


2017 – 2020 NIH/NIEHS R15ES028443 “Mechanisms of Cadmium-Induced Dysglycemia”