Kirsten Overdahl


Doctoral Candidate - University Program in Environmental Health and Toxicology, Nicholas School of the Environment

Kirsten graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, with a B.A. in Chemistry (2015) and a B.M. in Vocal Performance (2016); she also spent time abroad in Scotland working in Dr. Lee Cronin’s Complex Chemical Systems lab at the University of Glasgow.  Kirsten is now in her fifth year at Duke and is a member of the Ferguson and Stapleton labs.  Her dissertation research focuses on using high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and non-targeted analysis to identify azobenzene-based compounds in indoor environments (house dust), and on using in silicoin chemico, and in vitro models to explore the compounds’ potentials to elicit immune sensitization.  Her long-term research interest considers how best to create data-driven, high-throughput workflows for identifying and monitoring previously-unrecognized contaminants in the environment and predicting what might happen to the immune system when humans are exposed.  

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 384D Gross Hall
  • Email Address:


  • B.A. Chemistry - St. Olaf College, Environmental Studies Concentration
  • B.M. Vocal Performance - St. Olaf College 
  • Certificate in Science Communication, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

Research Interests

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Non-targeted Analysis
  • Immunotoxicology
  • Exposure Assessment
  • Computational Chemistry and QSAR Modeling
  • Iterative workflows for high-throughput screening to predict human health effects of emerging contaminants