Joshua Edwards, Ph.D.


Midwestern University
College of Graduate Studies
Science Hall 322-F
555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Office (630) 515-7417


B.S. Zoology Michigan State University 1996
M.S. Biology University of South Dakota 1996
Ph.D. Pharmacology and Toxicology Michigan State University 2004


The overall focus of my research is to examine the diabetogenic and obesogenic effects of the environmental toxicant, cadmium. Specifically, I am interested in examining how cadmium may alter glucose-stimulated insulin release from pancreatic islets. A variety of models are used to examine the effects of cadmium on pancreatic islets including rat and mouse in vivo studies as models of long-term exposure.  In addition, experiments are conducted that utilize freshly isolated islets and the MIN6 cell line to examine the acute effects of cadmium.  Eventual future research projects will involve examining human islets, tissues and epidemiological data to determine the diabetogenic and obesogenic effects of cadmium.


Determine the cellular mechanisms responsible for cadmium-induced impaired insulin release.  Several likely mechanisms exist for cadmium to cause decreased insulin release including: oxidative stress, altered calcium channel function, decreased islet cell-cell adhesion and altered energy metabolism.

Examine the effects of cadmium on oral health; specifically periodontal disease.  Within the jaw bone, cadmium accumulates at the highest levels in metabolically active bone in a rodent model of subchronic cadmium exposure.


1R15ES028443-01 "Mechanisms of Cadmium-Induced Dysglycemia"


Cadmium Nephrotoxicity Is Associated with Altered MicroRNA Expression in the Rat Renal Cortex.

Fay MJ, Alt LAC, Ryba D, Salamah R, Peach R, Papaeliou A, Zawadzka S, Weiss A, Patel N, Rahman A, Stubbs-Russell Z, Lamar PC, Edwards JR, Prozialeck WC. (2018)

Cadmium Exposure Disrupts Periodontal Bone in Experimental Animals: Implications for Periodontal Disease in Humans

Browar AW, Koufos EB, Wei Y, Leavitt LL, Prozialeck WC, Edwards JR. (2018)

A Review of Diabetes Mellitus and Exposure to the Environmental Toxicant Cadmium with an Emphasis on Likely Mechanisms of Action.

Edwards J, Ackerman C. (2016)

Effects of cadmium on the sub-cellular localization of β-catenin and β-catenin-regulated gene expression in NRK-52E cells.
Edwards JR1, Kolman K, Lamar PC, Chandar N, Fay MJ, Prozialeck WC. (2013)

Evaluation of the association between arsenic and diabetes: a National Toxicology Program workshop review.

Maull EA1, Ahsan H, Edwards J, Longnecker MP, Navas-Acien A, Pi J, Silbergeld EK, Styblo M, Tseng CH, Thayer KA, Loomis D. (2012)

Early biomarkers of cadmium exposure and nephrotoxicity.
Prozialeck WC1, Edwards JR. (2010)

Cadmium, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
Edwards JR1, Prozialeck WC. (2009)