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Investigators and Program Directors

Robert Turesky

Robert J. Turesky

Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center, Molecular Toxicology
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences

Ph.D. Nutrition and Food Science, M.I.T. Cambridge, MA (1986)


Research Interests

We are developing methods to assess human health risk posed by heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs), dietary and environmental contaminants which are believed to contribute to some common forms of human cancers. Studies on the metabolism of HAAs by cytochromes P450 and phase II enzymes in experimental laboratory animals and human tissues reveal large interspecies differences, which affect the carcinogenic potencies of these compounds. Non-invasive analytical methods are being established to assess genetic damage of HAAs through measurement of their DNA adducts in exfoliated epithelial cells of milk from lactating mothers, and exfoliated buccal cells of smokers, meat-eaters and vegetarians by means of highly sensitive liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques.

The long-term goal is to establish valid biomarkers that may be used to better understand the contribution of these contaminants to human cancer risk and identify critical xenobiotic metabolism enzymes that affect the health risk.

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