University of Kentucky medical campus

The Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology is a multidisciplinary unit for research, graduate education, and professional training in the broad areas of Toxicology and Cancer Biology. The program was founded in 1969 in the Graduate School, as one of nation’s first Ph.D. programs in Toxicology and moved to College of Medicine (COM) in 2004. The department provides the only Master of Forensic Toxicology and Analytical Genetics (or degree of comparable nature) in the state and it is only the fifth such professional master’s degree in the field of forensics in the nation.


Our educational mission is to provide students with an education in toxicology and cancer biology that is based on an understanding of biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and systems biology. This is coupled with in-depth research experience on the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause disease, with primary emphases in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegeneration.

All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted online. We use Hobsons ApplyYourself Application Network, a system used by over 700 colleges and universities that provides an opportunity to submit all Graduate School and program requirements in one application including letters of recommendation and other required application materials. You may apply for as many programs as you wish, but each application requires completion of a separate application form and submission of a separate application fee. Currently, the fee for domestic applicants is $65.00 per application and for international applicants, the fee is $75.00. To apply, please visit:

Our department consists of 23 tenured/tenure track Core Faculty with a primary appointment in Toxicology and Cancer Biology and includes our Department Chair, Dr. Xiaoqi Liu, Ph.D. The diversity of training opportunities is enhanced by faculty who have Joint Appointments in the department, but whose primary appointments are in Departments and Colleges across the University. The Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology has graduated more than 150 PhDs in Toxicology who have gone on to careers in academia, government, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. The department maintains a robust extramurally supported training environment, including an NIEHS T32 training grant for doctoral students in toxicology, which has been continuously funded since 1990 and has been renewed for funding until 2021.

Department Rules of Procedure

Isabel Mellon, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
University of Kentucky
Combs Building
Lexington, KY 40536
Ms. Catherine Park
Administrative Support Associate
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
University of Kentucky
306 HSRB, 1095 Veterans Drive
Lexington, KY 40536-0305