Rita Loch-Caruso, Ph.D.

Rita Loch-Caruso

Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Professor, Program in the Environment, LS&A

6618 SPH Tower      Vcard icon
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

Office: (734) 936-1256; Fax: (734) 763-8095

E-mail: rlc@umich.edu

Website(s): Loch-Caruso Lab website

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Summary

Rita Loch-Caruso is a toxicologist with a research focus in female reproductive toxicology and, in particular, mechanisms of toxicity related to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth. In addition to university-related activities, she has served on numerous local, state and national committees including the City of Ann Arbor Environmental Commission, NIH grant review panels, and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes.

She is a participating faculty member in the Environmental Toxicology, Reproductive Sciences, Pharmacological Sciences, and Cellular and Molecular Basis of Systems and Integrative Biology graduate and postdoctoral training programs.

Courses Taught

EHS623: Mechanisms of Reproductive Toxicology
ENVIRON 310: Environmental Chemicals and Diseases


Ph.D., Toxicology, University of Cincinnati, 1982
B.A., Psychology, University of Cincinnati, 1976
B.S., Biology, University of Cincinnati, 1976

Research Interests & Projects

Only recently has attention, and scarce at that, been given to the potential role that environmental chemicals may play in the rising rates of birth complications such as preterm birth, prolonged or dysfunctional parturition, and uterine atony. Dr. Loch Caruso's laboratory has shown how several environmentally persistent toxicants, such as lindane, PCBs and DDT, modify uterine, placental and amnion functions that regulate parturition. Her research investigations include molecular, biochemical, cellular, tissue and whole animal approaches.

PCB Effects on Uterine Muscle
Principal Investigator: Loch Caruso, R.
Sponsor: Michigan State University Superfund/NIH

This project is investigating mechanisms by which PCBs disrupt uterine muscle function, including disruption of intracellular calcium homeostasis, membrane potential, oxidative stress and gap junction proteins.

Elizabeth Crosby Research Award
Principal Investigator: Loch Caruso, R.
Sponsor: NSF ADVANCE Project, University of Michigan

This award provides support for preliminary experiments investigating 1) a 50 kDa iPLA2-related protein, recently identified by us in rat uterus and human amnion, and its role in stimulation of late gestation uterus by certain environmental contaminants; and 2) the role of toxicant-induced oxidative stress modulation of myometrial gap junctions as a mechanism of disruption of uterine contraction.

Selected Publications

Search PubMed for publications by Rita Loch-Caruso >>

Boldenow E, K.A. Hogan, M.C. Chames, D.M. Aronoff, C. Xi and R. Loch-Caruso (2014). Role of Cytokine Signaling in Group B Streptococcus-Stimulated Expression of Human Beta Defensin-2 in Human Extraplacental Membranes. American Journal Reproductive Immunology, Epub ahead of print.

Korrir, M.L., D. Knupp, K. LeMerise, E. Boldenow, R. Loch-Caruso, D.M. Aronoff and S.D. Manning (2014). Association and Virulence Gene Expression Varies among Serotype III Group B Streptococci Following Exposure to Decidual and Lung Epithelial Cells. Infect Immun, Epub ahead of print.

Ferguson, K.K., T.F. McElrath, Y.H. Chen, R. Loch-Caruso, B. Mukherjee and J.D. Meeker (2014). Repeated measures of urinary oxidative stress biomarkers during pregnancy and preterm birth. American Journal Obstetric Gynecology, 14, 00819-9.

Ferguson K.K,, D.E. Cantonwine, L.O. Rivera-González, R. Loch-Caruso, B. Mukherjee, L.V. Anzalota Del Toro, B. Jiménez-Vélez, A.M. Calafat, X. Ye, A.N. AlshawabkehN, J.F. Cordero and J.M., Meeker (2014). Urinary phthalate metabolite associations with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress across pregnancy in Puerto Rico. Environmental Science and Technology, 48(12), 7018-25.

Park H.R., P.W. Kamau and R. Loch-Caruso (January, 2014). Involvement of reactive oxygen species in brominated diphenyl ether-47-induced inflammatory cytokine release from human extravillous trophoblasts in vitro Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2, 283-292.

Tetz, L., Kamau, P.W., Cheng, A.A., Meeker, J.D., Loch-Caruso, R. (2013). Troubleshooting the dichlorofluorescein assay to avoid artifacts in measurement of toxicant-stimulated cellular production of reactive oxidant species Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 2, 56–60.

Tetz L.M., A.A. Cheng AA, C.S. Korte, R.W. Giese, P. Wang , C. Harris, J.D. Meeker and R. Loch-Caruso (2013). Mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate induces oxidative stress responses in human placental cells in vitro. Toxicological Applied Pharmacology, 268(1), 47-54.

Mao X, S. Yuan, N. Fallahpour, A. Ciblak, J. Howard I. Padilla, R. Loch-Caruso and A.N. Alshawabkeh (2012). Electrochemically induced dual reactive barriers for transformation of TCE and mixture of contaminants in groundwater. Environmental Science and Tehcnology, 46(21), 12003-11.

Mao, X., Ciblak, A., Baek, K., Amiri, M., Loch-Caruso, R., Alshawabkeh, A.N. (2012). Optimization of electrochemical dechlorination of trichloroethylene in reducing electrolytes. Water Research, 6, 1847-1857.

Miller M.F., S.M. Chernyak, S.E. Domino, S.A. Batterman and R. Loch-Caruso (2012). Concentrations and speciation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human amniotic fluid. Science of the Total Environmental, 417-418, 294-8.