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Toxicology
David Pressburger and Amy Zmarowski working in the lab

Solving Toxicology Challenges

Posted by Battelle Insider on Jun 14, 2017

Technician Specialist David Pressburger and Principal Research Scientist Amy Zmarowski have two very different jobs at Battelle. But together, they are helping form a more complete picture of safety testing for toxicology. 

David joined Battelle in 2005 and is responsible for designing and conducting technically challenging, multidisciplinary research on the health effects of inhaled substances using practices that meet Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) requirements. 

Amy has been with Battelle for nearly two years and is the Discipline Leader for neurotoxicology and behavioral neurotoxicology, where she investigates the effects of pharmaceuticals and chemicals on brain function and behavior.


David, who has a Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, is tasked with designing, building and operating equipment that administers a specific inhaled dose of test material as requested by the client. The challenge comes in figuring out the most efficient way to aerosolize a material that otherwise may not naturally exist in that state and to ensure the particles are small enough to deposit in the lung so that any toxicity associated with inhaling it can be measured. 

“I love knowing that at the end of every day, even when things don’t always go according to plan, I did my best to contribute to making the world a better place,” said David. “My role, however small it may be, is still essential to the process of bringing a drug to market, which could have a positive impact on millions of lives.”

Amy has a Master’s and Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience and said that flexibility and being able to relate well to other people are the true keys to success in her field. 

“I have always been interested in the brain and behavior – why we do the things we do. I am able to study that at Battelle under the framework of safety testing to be sure the pharmaceuticals and chemicals we are exposed to do not have adverse effects on our nervous system function.”

Thanks to these two, and the teams they are part of, Battelle is working to better understand the risks associated with various substances and the impacts of those substances on people.

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