Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies

The Virginia Tech Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies, located at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, conducts investigations studying the effects of toxins on the nervous system.

Current Programs

  • Research - Interdisciplinary investigations in experimental neurotoxicology studying the effects of agents, such as pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins and nanomaterials, in in vitro and in vivo models, funded by federal agencies and industry. Faculty with expertise in toxicology, pharmacology, neuropathology and veterinary pathology conduct this work.
  • Education - Graduate programs in relevant disciplines are available at the masters and doctoral levels, including neuroanatomy, neurotoxicology, neurology, and neuropathology. Trainees gain experience with the quality standards of the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations to increase opportunities in laboratories of government and industry.
  • Good Laboratory Practice Compliant Services- General and neuropathology services of the laboratory are compliant with the federal GLP regulations and available to industry to support product development and safety assessment. This includes transmission electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and morphometry. The laboratory has over 20 years of experience in supporting GLP-compliant studies.


  • Staffed by highly-skilled, experienced laboratory technicians working closely with faculty members in active research programs
  • Expertise in histology, electron microscopy, biochemistry, neurobehavior, toxicology, tissue culture, and immunohistochemistry
  • Additional support services for research investigations provided by Morphology Service Laboratory and Veterinary Teaching Hospital Histopathology Laboratory


Marion Ehrich, MS, RPh, PhD, Diplomate, ABT
Professor of Toxicology/Pharmacology
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology

Phone: 540-231-4938

Dr. Ehrich has performed extensive research on the acute metabolic and toxic effects of pesticides, mycotoxins and nanomaterials, and has an international reputation in mechanisms of organophosphorus ester-induced delayed neuropathy and in vitro toxicology.
Bernard S. Jortner, VMD, MS, Diplomate, ACVP
Professor Emeritus, Pathology
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology

Dr. Jortner has more than 40 years experience in pathology, neuropathology and neurotoxicology research.

Contact Information

Bernard Jortner,
Marion Ehrich,

Co-directors & Professors of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology

Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies
VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech (0442)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: 540-231-4817
Fax: 540-231-6033

GLP-Compliant Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Supported by the college's Good Laboratory Practice Program

  • Services include:
    • Consultation on all aspects of ultrastructure
    • Tissue trimming, post-fixation, epoxy resin embedding
    • Thick sections for light microscopy
    • Thin sections for transmission electron microscopy
    • High-resolution electron micrographs, sent to sponsor for evaluation or interpreted in the LNS lab
    • Report preparation
  • Staffed by experienced technicians, supervised by American College of Veterinary Pathologists diplomate
  • On-site Quality Assurance Unit

For more information about GLP-compliant electron microscopy, please contact Bernard Jortner, VMD, MS, Diplomate ACVP at or Sandy Hancock, MS, RQAP-GLP at or call the Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies at 540-231-4817.