Edwards, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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

Office (630) 515-7417
e-mail: jedwar@midwestern.edu 


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 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.


Examine changes in blood glucose during oral or i.p. glucost tolerance tests in rats and mice following long term, low level oral ingestion of cadmium containing drinking water or food.

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 exposure as related to oral health.  Within the oral cavity, cadmium accumulates at the highest levels in metabolically active jaw bone in a rodent model of subchronic exposure.  What effect cadmium may have on the oral cavity is unknown at this time.


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)

Mechanisms of cadmium-induced proximal tubule injury: new insights with implications for biomonitoring and therapeutic interventions.
Prozialeck WC1, Edwards JR. (2012) 

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)