Melissa Badding
Melissa Badding, Ph.D., DABT
Scientist
Health Sciences
  • Alexandria, VA

Dr. Badding is a board-certified toxicologist and specializes in the toxicological evaluation of molecular and tissue responses to particulate and chemical exposures. Her research background includes over 8 years of experience in molecular biology and toxicology with an emphasis on metal particulates, including nanoparticles, both in cell culture and rodent models of pulmonary injury. She also has experience in human health risk assessment.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Badding held the position of Associate Service Fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH), where she performed laboratory research to evaluate the toxicity of particles encountered in the occupational environment. Her work focused on elucidating the mechanisms of particle-related respiratory toxicity for emerging occupational diseases and communicating these findings to multidisciplinary teams for their incorporation into risk and exposure assessments. 

Dr. Badding received her Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Rochester in 2012. Her doctoral work focused on maximizing the intracellular trafficking of plasmid DNA for successful gene transfer. Her thesis work helped to reveal how the microtubule network, transcription factors, and nuclear import proteins play a role in cytoplasmic plasmid transport during non-viral gene therapy.

Dr. Badding is an active member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) and a past member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the American Thoracic Society. She has received numerous awards during her graduate and post-graduate studies, including an award for the best postdoctoral presentation in the area of inhalation and respiratory toxicology at the 2014 SOT meeting, best postdoctoral abstract award from the mixtures specialty section of SOT in 2015, and a best poster award at the 8th Conference on Metal Toxicity and Carcinogenesis.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Toxicology, University of Rochester, 2012
  • M.S., Toxicology, University of Rochester, 2009
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2007, summa cum laude
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Achievement Award from the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group, Society of Toxicology, 2015

    Best Postdoctoral Abstract Award from the Mixtures Specialty Section, Society of Toxicology, 2015

    Best Poster Award, 8th Conference on Metal Toxicity & Carcinogenesis, 2014

    Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section Postdoctoral Award, Society of Toxicology, 2014

    William F. Neuman Award and Scholarship for exemplary scholarship and citizenship, University of Rochester, 2011

    New Investigator of the Month, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, 2011

    Excellence in Research Award given to the top 3 student abstracts, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, 2010

    Toxicology Scholar Award, given to the most promising incoming graduate student, University of Rochester, 2007–2009

Publications

Dunnick KM, Morris AM, Badding MA, Barger M, Stefaniak AB, Sabolsky EM, Leonard SS. Evaluation of the effect of valence state on cerium oxide nanoparticle toxicity following intratracheal instillation in rats. Nanotoxicology 2016. doi:10.3109/17435390.2016.1157220. [Epub 2016 Feb 21].

Badding MA, Fix NR, Orandle, MS, Barger MW, Dunnick KM, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Pulmonary toxicity of indium-tin oxide production facility particles in rats. Journal of Applied Toxicology 20152016. 36(4):618–626. doi: 10.1002/jat.3253. [Epub 2015 Oct 15].

Badding MA, Schwegler-Berry D, Park J-H, Fix NR, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Sintered indium-tin oxide particles induce pro-inflammatory responses in vitro, in part through inflammasome activation. PLoS ONE 2015; 10(4):e0124368. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124368.

Badding MA, Stefaniak AB, Fix NR, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Cytotoxicity and characterization of particles collected from an indium-tin oxide production facility. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 2014; 77(20):1193–1209. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2014.920757.

Dunnick KM, Badding MA, Schwegler-Berry DE, Patete J, Wong S, Leonard SS. The effect of tungstate nanoparticles on reactive oxygen species and cytotoxicity in RAW 264.7 mouse monocyte macrophage cells. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 2014; 77(20):1251–1268. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2014.897490.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Antonini JM, Leonard SS. A comparison of cytotoxicity and oxidative stress from welding fumes generated with a new nickel-, copper-based consumable versus mild and stainless steel-based welding in RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. PLoS ONE 2014; 9(6):e101310. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101310.

Antonini JM, Badding MA, Meighan TG, Keane M, Leonard SS, Roberts JR. Evaluation of the pulmonary toxicity of a fume generated from a nickel-, copper-based electrode to be used as a substitute in stainless steel welding. Environmental Health Insight 2014; 8(S1):11–20. doi: 10.4137/EHI.S15260.

Badding MA, Lapek Jr JD, Friedman AE, Dean DA. Proteomic and functional analyses of protein-DNA complexes during gene transfer. Molecular Therapy 2013; 21(4):775–785. doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.231.

Badding MA, Dean DA. Highly acetylated tubulin permits enhanced interactions with and trafficking of plasmids along microtubules. Gene Therapy 2013; 20(6):616–624. doi: 10.1038/gt.2012.77. [Epub 2012 Sep 27].

Cramer F, Christensen CL, Poulsen TT, Badding MA, Dean DA, Poulsen HS. Insertion of a nuclear factor kappa B DNA nuclear targeting sequence potentiates suicide gene therapy efficacy in both small- and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Cancer Gene Therapy 2012; 19(10):675–683. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2012.54. [Epub 2012 Aug 17].

Badding MA, Vaughan EE, Dean DA. Transcription factor plasmid binding modulates microtubule interactions and intracellular trafficking during gene transfer. Gene Therapy 2012; 19(3):338–346. doi: 10.1038/gt.2011.96. [Epub 2011 Jun 30].

Selected Presentations


Badding MA, Fix NR, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Pro-inflammatory responses and inflammasome activation by sintered indium-tin oxide particles. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, San Diego, CA, March 2015. Toxicologist 144:2422.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Cytotoxicity and inflammatory responses induced by particles generated during indium-tin oxide production. Presented at the 8th Conference on Metal Toxicity & Carcinogenesis, Albuquerque, NM, October 2014.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Particles generated at an indium-tin oxide production facility induce inflammatory responses, potentially through activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Presented at the NIOSH Intramural Research Conference, Morgantown, WV, July 2014.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Antonini JM, Leonard SS. A comparison of cytotoxicity and oxidative stress from welding fumes generated with a new nickel-, copper-based consumable versus mild and stainless steel-based welding in RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Allegheny-Erie Society of Toxicology, Morgantown, WV, May 2014.

Badding MA, Schwegler-Berry DE, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS. Compounds collected from indium-tin oxide production induce inflammatory responses from cultured macrophages and bronchial epithelial cells. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, Phoenix, AZ, March 2014. Toxicologist 138:1208.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Dunnick KM, Cummings KJ, Castranova V, Leonard SS. Evaluation of cellular responses to particles collected from an indium-tin oxide production facility. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Allegheny-Erie Society of Toxicology, Morgantown, WV, May 2013.

Badding MA, Fix NR, Dunnick KM, Cummings KJ, Castranova V, Leonard SS. Macrophage toxicity in response to particles collected from indium-tin oxide production. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, San Antonio, TX, March 2013. Toxicologist 132:2003.

Badding MA, Dean DA. Mass spectrometry identification of proteins that bind to trafficking plasmids during transfection. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Philadelphia, PA, May 2012. Molecular Therapy 20(S1-S294).

Badding MA, Dean DA. Identification of cytoplasmic proteins that comprise the trafficking complex during gene transfer. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, San Francisco, CA, March 2012. Toxicologist 126(S1):1–289.

Badding MA, Dean DA. Microtubule acetylation enhances binding and intracellular trafficking of plasmid DNA in gene transfer. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, Washington, DC, March 2011. Toxicologist 120(S1):1–289.

Badding MA, Vaughan EE, Dean DA. Transcription factor binding by plasmid DNA is needed for interaction with microtubules and trafficking in cells. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Washington, DC, May 2010. Molecular Therapy 18(S1–S351).

Badding MA, Dean DA. Microtubule acetylation enhances binding of plasmid DNA in gene transfer. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, San Diego, CA, May 2009. Molecular Therapy 17(S334).

Prior Experience

Associate Service Fellow, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012–2015

Professional Affiliations

American Board of Toxicology, Diplomate

Society of Toxicology (2010–present)

  • Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section
  • Occupational and Public Health Specialty Section (served as postdoctoral representative, 2014–2015)
  • Molecular and Systems Biology Specialty Section
  • Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group

Allegheny-Erie Regional Chapter of SOT (2013–2015)

Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (2015-present)

American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (2008–2012)

American Thoracic Society (2008–2009)

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Toxicological Sciences

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A

Journal of Applied Toxicology

Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology

PLoS ONE

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Toxicology, University of Rochester, 2012
  • M.S., Toxicology, University of Rochester, 2009
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2007, summa cum laude
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Achievement Award from the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group, Society of Toxicology, 2015

    Best Postdoctoral Abstract Award from the Mixtures Specialty Section, Society of Toxicology, 2015

    Best Poster Award, 8th Conference on Metal Toxicity & Carcinogenesis, 2014

    Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section Postdoctoral Award, Society of Toxicology, 2014

    William F. Neuman Award and Scholarship for exemplary scholarship and citizenship, University of Rochester, 2011

    New Investigator of the Month, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, 2011

    Excellence in Research Award given to the top 3 student abstracts, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, 2010

    Toxicology Scholar Award, given to the most promising incoming graduate student, University of Rochester, 2007–2009