Published on New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center (

Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ph.D.

Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ph.D.
Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences
Professor, School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences

A significant conceptual change has occurred in recent years in relation to how we think about health and diseases, the role the environment plays in disease etiology, and how best to assess human exposure to environmental pollutants and dietary chemicals. Our research is focused on environmental and biomonitoring studies designed to determine human exposure sources, pathways, and effects of organic contaminants. Biomonitoring is a powerful approach to assessing human exposure to toxic substances or their metabolites in human body fluids or tissues.

Advances in analytical chemistry and toxicology have made it possible to discern biomarkers of exposure and health effects, which has led to the concept of ‘exposome’.   Exposome studies measurements of exposures from our environment, diet, lifestyles, and our behaviors. It also encompasses how our bodies respond to various challenges. When coupled with advances in genetics and medicine, we believe the exposome will help elucidate environmental causes of disease and lead to improved strategies for preventing and treating diseases.  Our current research projects are focused in the field of exposomics.

Our research interests include the development of novel analytical methods to detect organic chemicals in human and environmental specimens, aimed at assessing sources and pathways of exposure and developing biomarkers of exposures as well as health effects.

Our current research projects include biomonitoring of persistent organic compounds, endocrine disruptors, and other emerging environmental chemicals for both assessing exposure and characterizing human exposure pathways, and to allow for evaluation of their associations with health outcomes in populations.

Our overarching theme of research is in understanding environmental sources, pathways, distribution, dynamics, and the fate of chemical pollutants, which is crucial if we are to devise solutions to current and future environmental problems.

Phone Number
(518) 474-0015
Fax Number
Fax: (518) 473-2895