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Joshua P. Gray
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Science Department (ds-1)
Smith Hall 308
27 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320
(860) 444‐8636
Joshua P. Gray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Science
U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Professor Gray earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1998) and a Ph.D. in Pathobiology (2003) from Pennsylvania State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where he did research on the oxidative stress and toxicology of redox cycling chemicals such as the toxic herbicide paraquat. In 2006, he joined the faculty of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in the Pharmacology and Toxicology department, where his research program focused on designing medical countermeasures against chemical warfare agents including the vesicant sulfur mustard. Dr. Gray joined the USCGA in 2008. In 2012, he was promoted to Associate Professor. He has since served as Director of the Center for Advanced Studies (2012-2016), an organization focused on the promotion of faculty scholarship at the USCGA, as Faculty Senator (2013-2016), as Vice President of the Faculty Union (2014-present), and as Assistant Director of the Grants Office (2015-present).  

Dr. Gray has three primary research projects. The first focuses on the mechanism of insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells and the impact of toxicants on beta cell health. His second research project focuses on the mechanism of action of vesicants (blistering agents) that may act as potential chemical weapons. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of the UNDNJ-Rutgers University CounterACT Center of Excellence, a research group focused on the development of drugs to treat mustard gas exposure. His third research project investigates how microorganisms affect corrosion and the degradation of fuels such as biodiesel, and is funded by the Department of Defense’s Technical Corrosion Collaboration. 

Cadet research is an important part of Dr. Gray’s research program. Cadet scientists are encouraged to perform research and participate in national and regional meetings, and several have won major awards: 

  • Carolyn Smith – Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Award (2016)
  • Samantha Cardoza – Undergraduate Diversity Student Travel Award (2015)
  • Nicole Corbett and Colleen McCue – Interacademy Chemistry Symposium Best Poster award (2013)
  • Rebecca F. Follmer – Undergraduate Toxicology Education Award (2012)
  • Meridith Palo – Undergraduate Toxicology Education Award (2011)
  • Patrick Collins - Undergraduate Toxicology Education Award (2010)

  • Post-Doctoral Training, Rutgers University, 2003-2006
  • Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. Pathobiology, 2003
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1998

Courses Taught:
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Toxicology
  • Science of Terrorism
  • Peer Tutors


Selected Publications and Presentations:
  • Gray, J. P., S. Karandrea, D.Z. Burgos, A. A. Jaiswal, and E. A. Heart. (2016). NAD(P)H-dependent Quinone Oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and Cytochrome P450 Oxidoreductase (CYP450OR) differentially regulate menadione-mediated alterations in redox status, survival and metabolism in pancreatic b-cells. Toxicol Lett. Epub ahead of print. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2016.08.021 [abstract]
  • Heart, E. A., S. Karandrea, X. Liang, M. E. Balke, P. A. Beringer, E. M., D. Zayas-Bazán Burgos, T. Richardson, and J. P. Gray. (2016). Mechanisms of Doxorubicin Toxicity in Pancreatic -Cells. Toxicol Sci 152(2): 395-405. [abstract]
  • Gray, J. P., D. Zayasbazan Burgos, T. Yuan, N. Seeram, R. Rebar, R. Follmer, E. A. Heart. (2016). Thymoquinone, a bioactive component of Nigella sativa, normalizes insulin secretion from pancreatic b-cells under glucose overload via regulation of malonyl-CoA. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 310(6): E394-404. [abstract]
  • Parmar, M. S., I. Syed, J. P. Gray, and S. D. Ray (2015). Curcumin, Hesperidin, and Rutin Selectively Interfere with Apoptosis Signaling and Attenuate Streptozotocin-Induced Oxidative Stress-Mediated Hyperglycemia. Curr Neurovasc Res 12(4): 363-374. [abstract]
  • Gray, J.P. and E. J. Page. (2014). Agents of Bioterrorism: Curriculum and Pedagogy in an Online Masters Course. J Toxicol Educ 10(1): 31-53. [abstract]
  • Yang, S., Y. H. Jan, J. P. Gray, D. E. Heck, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. (2013). Sepiapterin Reductase Mediates Chemical Redox Cycling in Lung Epithelial Cells. J Biol Chem 288(26): 19221-19237. [abstract
  • Gray, J. P., K. N. Alavian, E. A. Jonas, and E. A. Heart. NAD kinase regulates the size of the NADPH pool and insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 303(2):E191-E199. 2012. [abstract] 
  • Heart, E., M. Palo, T. Womack, P. J. Smith, and J. P. Gray. The level of menadione redox-cycling in pancreatic beta-cells is proportional to the glucose concentration: role of NADH and consequences for insulin secretion. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 258(2): 216-225. 2012. [abstract]
  • Gray, J. P., T. Eisen, G. W. Cline, P. J. Smith, and E. Heart. Plasma membrane electron transport in pancreatic beta-cells is mediated in part by NQO1. Am J Physiol Endicrinol Metab. 301(1): E113-E121. 2011. [abstract]
  • Fussell, K. C., R. G. Udasin, J. P. Gray, V. Mishin, P. J. Smith, D. E. Heck, and J. D. Laskin. Redox cycling and enhanced oxygen utilization contribute to diquat-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in Chinese hamster ovary cells overexpressing NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase. Free Radic Biol Med. 50(7): 874-882. 2011. [abstract]
  • Gray, J. P., V. Mishin, D. E. Heck, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Inhibition of NADPH cytochrome P450 reductase by the model sulfur mustard vesicant 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide is associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 247(2): 76-82. 2010. [abstract]
  • Gray, J. P.,and E. Heart. Usurping the mitochondrial supremacy: extramitochondrial sources of reactive oxygen intermediates and their role in beta cell metabolism and insulin secretion. Toxicol Mech Methods 20 (4): 167-174. [abstract]
  • Wang, Y., J. P. Gray, V. Mishin, D. E. Heck, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Distinct roles of cytochrome P450 reductase in mitomycin c redox cycling and cytotoxicity. Mol Cancer Ther. 9(6): 1852-1863. 2010. [abstract]
  • Vetrano, A. M., D. L. Laskin, F. Archer, K. Syed, J. P. Gray, J. D. Laskin, N. Nwebube, and B. Weinberger. Inflammatory effects of phthalates in neonatal neutrophils. Pediatr Res. 68(2): 134-139. 2010. [abstract]
  • Jan, Y. H., D. E. Heck, J. P. Gray, H. Zheng, R. P. Casillas, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Selective targeting of selenocysteine in thioredoxin reductase by the half mustard 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide in lung epithelial cells. Chem Res Toxicol. 23(6): 1045-1053. [abstract]
  • Mishin, V., J. P. Gray, D. E. Heck, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Application of the Amplex red/horseradish peroxidase assay to measure hydrogen peroxide generation by recombinant microsomal enzymes. Free Radic Biol Med. 48 (11): 1485-1491. 2010. [abstract]
  • Gardner, C. R., J. P. Gray, L. B. Joseph, J. Cervelli, N. Bremer, Y. Kim, V. Mishin, J. D. Laskin, and D. L. Laskin. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 245 (1): 36-46. 2010. [abstract]
  • Shakarjian, M. P., D. E. Heck, J. P. Gray, P. J. Sinko, M. K. Gordon, R. P. Casillas, N. D. Heindel, D. R. Gerecke, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Mechanisms mediating the vesicant actions of sulfur mustard after cutaneous exposure. Toxicol Sci 114(1): 5-19. 2009. [abstract]
  • Peyot, M. L., J. P. Gray, J. Lamontagne, P. J. Smith, G. G. Holz, S. R. Madiraju, M. Prentki, and E. Heart. Glucagon-like peptide-1 induced signaling and insulin secretino do not drive fuel and energy metabolism in primary rodent pancreatic beta cells. PLoS One 4(7): e6221. 2009. [abstract]
  • Gerecke, D. R., J. P. Gray, M. P. Shakarjian, and R. P. Casillas. Dermal Toxicity of Sulfur Mustard. Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents. R. C. Gupta. New York, Elsevier: 611-632. 2009.
  • Heart, E., G. W. Cline, L. P. Collins, R. L. Pongratz, J. P. Gray, and P. J. Smith. Role for malic enzyme, pyruvate carboyxlation and mitochondrial malate import in the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Am J Physiol Endicrinol Metab 296(6): E1354-E1362. 2009. [abstract]
  • Black, A. T., J. P. Gray, M. P. Shakarjian, D. L. Laskin, D. E. Heck, and J. D. Laskin. Increased oxidative stress and antioxidant expression in mouse keratinocytes following exposure to paraquat. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 231(3): 384-392. 2008. [abstract]
  • Black, A. T., J. P. Gray, M. P. Shakarjian, V. Mishin, D. L. Laskin, D. E. Heck, and J. D. Laskin. UVB light upregulates prostaglandin synthases and prostaglandin receptors in mouse keratinocytes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 232(1): 14-24. 2008. [abstract]
  • Wang, Y., J. P. Gray, V. Mishin, D. E. Heck, D. L. Laskin, and J. D. Laskin. Role of cytochrome P450 reductase in nitrofurantoin-induced redox cycling and cytotoxicity. Free Radic Biol Med 44 (6): 1169-1179. 2008. [abstract]
  • Black, A. T., J. P. Gray, M. P. Shakarjian, D. L. Laskin, D. E. Heck, and J. D. Laskin. Distinct effects of ultraviolet B light on antioxidant expression in undifferentiated and differentiated mouse keratinocytes. Carcinogenesis 29 (1): 219-225. 2007. [abstract]
  • Gray, J. P., Heck, D. E., Mishin, V., Smith, P. J., Hong, J. Y., Thiruchelvam, M., Cory-Slechta, D. A., Laskin, D. L., and Laskin, J. D. Paraquat increases cyanide-insensitive respiration in murine lung epithelial cells by activating an NAD(P)H:Paraquat Oxidoreductase: Identification of the enzyme as thioredoxin reductase. J Biol Chem 282 (11): 7939-7949. 2007. [abstract]
  • Hofmann, P. A., M. Israel, Y. Koseki, J. Laskin, J. Gray, A. Janik, T. W. Sweatman, L. Lothstein. N-Benzyladriamycin-14-valerate (AD 198): A non-cardiotoxic anthracycline that is cardioprotective through PKC-eta activation. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 323 (2): 658-664. 2007. [abstract]

Professional Memberships:
  • Society of Toxicology – Undergraduate Subcommittee of the Education Committee
  • American College of Toxicology
  • Corporation Member of the Marine Biological Laboratory
  • Inflammation Research Association
  • Boston-Ithaca Islet Club (a diabetes focus group) – Webmaster