Nicole Mitchell

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Michigan State University

Nicole J. Mitchell received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a concentration in integrative toxicology. Dr. Mitchell’s research during her graduate studies focused on aflatoxin and fumonisin remediation strategies that would be sustainable and culturally acceptable in highly exposed populations in Ghana. In particular, she conducted multiple intervention studies with a clay binder that is effective in absorbing aflatoxin and fumonisin within the gastrointestinal tract, thus reducing their bioavailability. Dr. Mitchell worked both on the coordination and study design teams for all of the interventions, and analyzed human biological samples for biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure. By utilizing a short-term biomarker of aflatoxin exposure in urine, her work showed significant reductions in bioavailability following substantially shorter intervention periods than previously demonstrated. The study design and use of a non-invasive biomarker established a novel approach for testing efficacy of new intervention strategies that would be both more cost-effective and safe for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Mitchell is currently working under Dr. Felicia Wu as a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University. Her current research interests include economic impacts of mycotoxin contamination in U.S. crops and foodstuffs, possible growth-faltering effects in children chronically exposed to combinations of mycotoxins in developing countries, and reduction of toxin exposures through an increase in dietary diversity.