Mindy Reynolds

  • Professor of Biology, Chair Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Portrait photo of Mindy Reynolds

Mindy Reynolds


Office Hours

TBD, also available by appointment


  • B.A., Wheaton College
  • Ph.D., Brown University


  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Toxicology
  • General Biology
  • GRW Body Toxic: Hazardous Chemicals and Everyday Life

Research Interests

My primary research interest is focused on chronic exposure to metal compounds, such as nickel, cobalt, and cadmium, has long been known to increase cancer incidence among affected individuals. Unlike organic waste, metals are not degraded by living organisms and may accumulate up to harmful levels. The mechanisms of cancer induction by these compounds are not well understood, but recent research shows a multifaceted pattern of metal interactions with cellular macromolecules and genetic processes. My primary research interest is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity following coexposure to heavy metals. In order to understand these processes, we use molecular and genetic approaches in a human cell culture model. Altogether, our improved understanding of the mechanisms of DNA damage and toxicity will enhance our knowledge in the development of cancer.

I have had numerous students involved in this project, both during the summer and academic year. The opportunity to work in the laboratory has enabled the students to experience the frustrations and excitement of research. Additionally, many students who have worked in my lab have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and obtain research internships at prestigious institutions. Each year students from my lab present their results at the annual Society of Toxicology Meeting as well as at various Washington College events

In addition to the human cell culture model to examine the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of heavy metals we are also using a zebrafish model to examine developmental defects following exposure. Zebrafish has long been considered a powerful alternative animal model because of its tractable genetics and embryology. More specifically, it has proven to be particularly important in ecotoxicology for studies examining the effects of heavy metals in water and soil samples. In my research, adult zebrafish and larvae are exposed to various concentrations of heavy metals and developmental abnormalities are monitored.

My second area of interest is focused on the introduction of toxicology into the K-12 curriculum.  I have worked with several local schools to develop labs and project to introduce toxicological principles into the classroom.  This has involved conducting the lab as well as aiding in poster sessions where students present their work.  On many occasions I have asked students from my courses to help in these projects.

Select Publications

Gobrecht, J., McDyre, C., Comotto, J., & Reynolds, M. (2017). Induction of cytotoxic and genotoxic damage following exposure of V79 cells to cadmium chloride. Mutation research. Genetic toxicology and environmental mutagenesis, 816-817, 12–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2017.03.001 

Reynolds, M. (2013) A Toxicological Study using Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model.  The Journal of Toxicological Education, 1, 10-20.  http://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/handle/1912/6314  

Patel, E., & Reynolds, M. (2013). Methylmercury impairs motor function in early development and induces oxidative stress in cerebellar granule cells. Toxicology letters, 222(3), 265–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.08.002

Reynolds, M., Armknecht, S., Johnston, T., & Zhitkovich, A. (2012). Undetectable role of oxidative DNA damage in cell cycle, cytotoxic and clastogenic effects of Cr(VI) in human lung cells with restored ascorbate levels. Mutagenesis, 27(4), 437–443. https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/ger095

Patel, E., Lynch, C., Ruff, V., & Reynolds, M. (2012). Co-exposure to nickel and cobalt chloride enhances cytotoxicity and oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 258(3), 367–375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2011.11.019

Zecevic, A., Hagan, E., Reynolds, M., Poage, G., Johnston, T., & Zhitkovich, A. (2010). XPA impacts formation but not proteasome-sensitive repair of DNA-protein cross-links induced by chromate. Mutagenesis, 25(4), 381–388. https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/geq017

Reynolds, M. Understanding the Effects of Exposure to Environmental Contaminant on Normal Zebrafish Development. Labstracts 2009 31 (1).

Reynolds M, Peterson-Roth EC, Baspalov IA, Johnston A, Gurel V, Menard H, Zhitkovich A. Rapid DNA double strand breaks resulting from processing of Cr-DNA crosslinks by both MutS dimers. Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 1;69(3):1071-9.

Reynolds M, Zhitkovich A. Cellular vitamin C increases chromate toxicity via a death program requiring mismatch repair but not p53. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Jul;28(7):1613-20.

Reynolds M, Stoddard L, Bespalov I, Zhitkovich A. Ascorbate acts as a highly potent inducer of chromate mutagenesis and clastogenesis: linkage to DNA breaks in G2 phase by mismatch repair. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007; 35(2):465-76.

Messer J, Reynolds M, Stoddard L, Zhitkovich A. Causes of DNA single-strand breaks during reduction of chromate by glutathione in vitro and in cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Jun 1;40(11):1981-92. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

Karaczyn A, Ivan S, Reynolds M, Zhitkovich A, Kasprzak KS, Salnikow K. Ascorbate depletion mediates up-regulation of hypoxia-associated proteins by cell density and nickel. J Cell Biochem. 2006 Apr 1;97(5):1025-35.

Peterson-Roth E, Reynolds M, Quievryn G, Zhitkovich A. Mismatch repair proteins are activators of toxic responses to chromium-DNA damage. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 May;25(9):3596-607.

Reynolds M, Peterson E, Quievryn G, Zhitkovich A. Human nucleotide excision repair efficiently removes chromium-DNA phosphate adducts and protects cells against chromate toxicity. J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 16;279(29):30419-24. Epub 2004 Apr 15.

A full bibliography can be accessed through PubMed.

Select Poster Presentations

Reynolds, M.  A Toxicological Study using Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model.   Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  Phoenix, AZ (2014). 

Comotto, J., Donald, C., Reynolds, M.  Exposure of V79 Hamster Cells to Cadmium Chloride Results in the Production of Double Strand Breaks, G2 Arrest, and Mutagenesis.   Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  Phoenix, AZ (2014).

Gray, J., Bilack, B., Borland, M., Ford, S., Gallo, M., Sidhartha, R., Reynolds, M., Slitt, A., William, L., Zamule, S. The Journal of Toxicological Education (JTOXED)-A Milestone in Toxicology Education.  Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  Phoenix, AZ (2014).

Gobrecht, J., Kube, P., Reynolds, M. Exposure of V79 Cells to Cadmium Chloride Results in the Production of Single Strand Breaks, Double Strand Breaks, and Micronuclei.   Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  San Diego, CA (2015).

Reynolds, M., Cheng, Shu-Yuan.  The Undergraduate Students’ Perspective on Toxicology Education.  Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  San Diego, CA (2015).

Gobrecht, J., McDyre, C., Comotto, J., Reynolds, M. Induction of Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Damage following Exposure of V79 Cells to Cadmium Chloride. Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  Baltimore, MD (2017). 

Gray, J., Willett, K., Williams, L., Fitsanakis, V., Reynolds, M., Eidemiller, B. The Society of Toxicology’s Eminent Toxicologist Recoded Lecture Series: Usage Data and Examples for Use in Teaching.   Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  Baltimore, MD (2017). 

Pitts, D., Reynolds, M., Sussman E., Savery, L., Saylor, D., Brown, R., Skoog, S. Quantitative In Vitro-In vivo Extrapolation (QIVIVE) of Nickel Toxicity to Tissues Adjacent to a Metallic Implant. Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  San Antonio, TX (2018). 

Adourian, M., Reynolds, M. Mismatch Repair Proteins are Required for Toxic Repsonses following Exposure to Heavy Metals.  Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting.  San Antonio, TX (2018).  

Select Invited Presentations

Reynolds, M.  Collection Development of Web Resources for the Teaching of Toxicology.  Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting,Washington DC (2011).

Reynolds, M. Integrating Toxicology into an Undergraduate Curriculum. Society of Toxicology Education Summit.  Baltimore, MD (2011).

Reynolds, M.  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: The Effects of Heavy  Metals on Our Bodies.  Faculty Lunch Forum. Washington College (2011)

Reynolds, M.  Double, Double toil and trouble: Nickel and Cobalt and Their Toxic Effects in Human Cells .  Westminster College New Wilmington, PA (2012).

Patel, E., Reynolds, M.  Cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of co-exposure to cobalt and nickel chloride, an in vitro study.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD (2012).

Reynolds, M.  Donald, C., Comotto, J.  DNA Damage and Cell Cycle Changes in Hamster Cells Exposed to Cadmium and Nickel.  McDaniel College Westminster, MD (2013).

Reynolds, M. Life as an Undergraduate Educator.  Brown University. Professional Development Workshop. Providence, RI (2015).

Reynolds, M. A Multi-week Toxicological Study using Zebrafish (Danio rerio).  Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Educator Network Webinar (2015).

Reynolds, M., Rosa, V. Yeast Toxicogenomics Activity.  Annual Society of Toxicology, New Orleans, LA (2016).

Reynolds, M. Yeast Toxicogenomics: A multi-week undergraduate lab.  Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Educator Network Webinar (2016).

Reynolds, M. Body Toxic: Hazardous Chemicals in Our Surrounding. Westminster College New Wilmington, PA (2018).

Academic Awards

2015 Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Educators Award Receipient

Other News

Chestertown Spy - Reynolds wins educators award

Purpose & Passion: Eshan Patel

MyEasterShoreMD - Professor Reynolds shares award for Relay for Life fundraising

Chestertown Spy - Professor Reynolds organizes STEM day for local high school students