Baylor University
Environmental Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Environmental Science > Faculty and Staff > Erica D. Bruce, Ph.D.
Erica D. Bruce, Ph.D.

Contact Information:
Department of Environmental Science
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97266
Waco, TX 76798-7266

Office: BSB A.422

Phone: (254) 710-4877

FAX: (254) 710-3409


Personal Webpage:
The Bruce Lab

Donate to Military Medical Research in the Bruce Lab

Associate Professor of Environmental Science, 2008.
Director, Environmental Science Graduate Program


  • Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2007.
  • M.S., Texas A&M University, 2001.
  • B.S., Texas A&M University, 1999.


Dr. Bruce joined the Baylor faculty in the fall of 2008. Previously, she was an independent environmental consultant working for various clients including the Department of Energy. While at Texas A&M University she received the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), the Bridge to Doctorate (BTD) Fellowship. Dr. Bruce is also a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), where she holds a national leadership position, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), and Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society). On a lighter note, Dr. Bruce enjoys cooking, gardening, outdoor adventures and any time spent with her husband and young daughters.

Academic Interests and Research:
The overarching focus of research performed in my laboratory is answering a variety of mechanistic toxicological questions relating to insult, injury, and healing of human systems. My area of major interest is in areas relating to hypoxia-induced medical conditions occurring from insults, injury, or exposures to environmental contaminates and pharmaceuticals (i.e., traumatic brain injury (TBI), burns, cancer, chronic wound healing). The role that the environment plays in human health and subsequent healing following the aforementioned insults or injuries is of significant interest. Our investigations focus on the cellular mechanisms of toxic action/healing and the mechanisms of uptake for nanomedicine applications to treat these hypoxia-induced conditions. Areas of ongoing research includes developing nanomedicine interventions to reverse hypoxia in situ, evaluating environmental contribution to hypoxia-induced conditions (e.g. human health risk assessment), using quantitative structure-activity (QSAR) modeling for drug design, and evaluating mechanistic biological responses, that play a role in healing, from exposures to environmental contaminants and pharmaceuticals.

Published Works and Proceedings:
Zhang F, Durham P, Sayes CM, Lau BLT, Bruce ED*. Particle uptake efficiency is significantly affected by type of capping agent and cell line. J Appl Toxicol 2015.

Usenko CY, Abel EL, Kudela M, Janise A, Bruce ED*. Comparison of PBDE congeners as inducers of oxidative stress in zebrafish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015; 34(5): 1154-1160.

Gaskill SJ, Bruce ED*. Binary Mixtures of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Display Non-Additive Mixture Interactions in an In Vitro Liver Cell Model. Risk Anal 2015; In Press.

Bruce ED, Konda S, Dean DD, Wang EW, Huang JH, Little DM. Neuroimaging and traumatic brain injury: State of the field and voids in translational knowledge. Mol Cell Neurosci 2015.

Rowlands JM, Bruce ED*. A Case Study of Rural Kenyan Water Quality: Evaluating Lead and Bacterial Exposures for Children on the Nyakach Plateau. JSM Environ Sci Ecol 2014; 2(1): 1011.

Rawat S, Bruce ED*. Designing quantitative structure activity relationships to predict specific toxic endpoints for polybrominated diphenyl ethers in mammalian cells. SAR QSAR Environ Res 2014; 25(7): 527-549.

Usenko CY, Robinson EM, Bruce ED, Usenko S. Uptake and metabolism of individual polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners by embryonic zebrafish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013; 32(5): 1153-1160.

Ruggeri F, Zhang F, Lind T, Bruce ED, Lau BLT, Cárdenas M. Non-Specific Interactions between Soluble Proteins and Lipids Induce Irreversible Changes in the Properties of Lipid Soft Matter 2013;(9): 4219-4226.

Usenko CY, Hopkins DC, Trumble SJ, Bruce ED*. Hydroxylated PBDEs induce developmental arrest in zebrafish. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2012; 262(1): 43-51.

Usenko CY, Robinson EM, Usenko S, Brooks BW, Bruce ED*. PBDE developmental effects on embryonic zebrafish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2011; 30(8): 1865-1872.

Bruce ED*, Autenrieth R, McDonald T, Donnelly K, Burghardt R. Modeling Toxic Endpoints for Improving Human Health Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - Parent Compounds and Simple Mixtures. JToxicol Environ Chem 2009; 91(1): 137-156.

Bruce ED*, Autenrieth RL, Burghardt RC, Donnelly KC, McDonald TJ. Using quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) to predict toxic endpoints for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). J Toxicol Environ Health A 2008; 71(16): 1073-1084.

Nwaneshiudu OC, Autenrieth RL, McDonald TJ, Donnelly KC, Degollado (Bruce) ED, Abusalih AA. Risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure from ingested food: the Azerbaijan case study. J Environ Sci Health B 2007; 42(2): 201-209.

Bruce ED*, Abusalih AA, McDonald TJ, Autenrieth RL. Comparing deterministic and probabilistic risk assessments for sites contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng 2007; 42(6): 697-706.

Craft ES, Donnelly KC, Neamtiu I, McCarty KM, Bruce ED, Surkova I, et al. Prioritizing environmental issues around the world: opinions from an international Central and Eastern European environmental health conference. Environ Health Perspect 2006; 114(12): 1813-1817.

Dimitriou-Christidis P, Harris BC, McDonald TJ, Reese(Bruce) ED, Autenrieth RL. Estimation of selected physicochemical properties for methylated naphthalene compounds. Chemosphere 2003; 52(5): 869-881.

Awards and Honors:
National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP),the Bridge to Doctorate (BTD) Fellowship and was a Cohort I Recipient.

Member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), and Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society).
President, Lone Star Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology, 2011-2013

Lone Star Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology, Dedication and Service Award, 2013

National Society of Collegiate Scholars-Faculty Member, 2012

National Science Foundation Nominee-Women in Science, 2011

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History- Featured Research Exhibit: “Risk!-A walk through Risk.”( Research featured in traveling museum exhibit to inform the public of risks encountered from chemicals in the environment.)