Headshot photo of Caren Weinhouse, Ph.D.

Caren Weinhouse, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences


My research program focuses on mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and epigenetic patterning in response to environmental cues or stressors, with a particular focus on chemical pollutants. I completed my PhD at University of Michigan, where I studied epigenetic modifications at the metastable epiallele viable yellow Agouti and DNA methylation changes in mice with developmental bisphenol A exposure that subsequently developed liver cancer. I completed my postdoctoral training at Duke University, where I studied DNA methylation differences in methylmercury-exposed communities living near artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon. In my current work, I focus on the relative roles of stochastic heterogeneity, genetic variation, and environmental stressor exposures in epigenetic and gene expression profiles among cells, cell types, and individuals in a population. In addition, I study the roles of baseline chromatin states and structures in regulating transcription of environmental stress response genes, as well as formation of transcriptional memories at these genes. My broader goal is to translate mechanistic environmental epigenetics to human populations, or "bench to community" translation. 

Education and training

    • B.S., 2006, Wayne State University
    • M.P.H., 2011, University of Michigan School of Public Health
    • Ph.D., 2015, University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • Fellowship

    • NIH T32 Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Program, University of Michigan
    • Duke Global Health Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship

Memberships and associations:

  • Society of Toxicology
  • Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society

Areas of interest

  • Chromatin features of inducible genes
  • Transcriptional memory
  • Gene x environment interactions in epigenetic patterning

Honors and awards

  • School of Public Health Dean's Award, University of Michigan
  • Rackham Graduate School/OVPR Distinguished Faculty/Graduate Student Seminar Award, University of Michigan [Awarded to develop a new Data Visualization seminar on campus]
  • SciComm Science Communication Fellowship, Duke Initiative for Science and Society [Awarded to 15 faculty and 8 postdoctoral fellows across Duke University]



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