The Environmental Health Laboratory (EHL)

The EHL was established in 2005 to contribute to our ability to analyze toxic contaminants in food, water, soil, and other media that directly impact human health. Some of the laboratory instrumentation available to students includes graphite furnace atomic absorption, cold vapor mercury analysis, x-ray fluorescence, combustion-based mercury analyzers, UV/VIS spectroscopy, and gas chromatography with mass spectral analysis. Several focal areas of the laboratory include the analysis of lead and mercury compounds in paint, soil, candy, fish, and other food items.

Emerging Disease Laboratory (EDL)

The Emerging Diseases Laboratory provides students the opportunity to conduct hands-on public health microbiology research. In addition to traditional microbiology laboratory equipment, sophisticated instrumentation includes an Applied Biosystems real-time polymerase chain reaction system for amplification and detection of target genes, a Vitek II compact for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility profiling, and the DiversiLab for bacterial strain typing. Current research includes surveillance of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile, in healthcare facilities, and sampling and analysis of environmental microorganisms of public health concern.


Patricia Cruz, Ph.D. and Mark P. Buttner, Ph.D.


MPE 231-232

CCSD/UNLV Pollen Monitoring Program

Airborne pollen is a health concern for many residents in Clark County. In 2013, the Clark County School District (CCSD) and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) established the Pollen Monitoring Program to provide local pollen and mold spore counts in Las Vegas. Regular monitoring and reporting of airborne pollen concentrations can help sensitive individuals prepare for or avoid exposure.

The Urban Air Quality Laboratory

Dedicated to protecting clean air resources for local and global communities, the Urban Air Quality Laboratory uses two Beta Ray Attenuation (BAM) monitors to measure the ambient air quality of UNLV and the area near the Las Vegas Strip. The two monitoring systems measure real-time community exposure levels and long-term air quality trends. It also allows advanced notice to the surrounding community of unhealthy air quality.

Parasitology & Vector Biology (PARAVEC) Lab

The PARAVEC Laboratory was established in 2022 to provide expertise in medical parasitology and medical and veterinary entomology to regional Public Health authorities and global policy makers, actively engaged in the control of vector-borne diseases. The PARAVEC Laboratory also has a strong focus on teaching and mentoring the next generation of highly enthusiastic parasitologists and entomologists, in an array of field sampling and advanced molecular techniques. PARAVEC utilizes a One Health approach encompassing multiple aspects of human, animal, and environmental health to study infectious diseases and disease-transmitting vectors. The laboratory is sectioned into three spaces: (1) a morphology lab (CLB-135) that specializes in microscopy, dissection, field sampling, and sample preparation; (2) a molecular lab (CLB-144) that specializes in PCR, genomics, diagnostic assay development, and large-scale disease surveillance; and (3) a shared workspace (CLB-141) with an insect rearing chamber, freezers, and sample storage area.


Louisa A. Messenger, PhD, MSc and Chad L. Cross, PhD, MFT, PStat®


CLB3 135, 141, and 144