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John Groopman, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences
410 955 3720 (p)

Environmental Health Sciences


Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Research Summary

The research in my program involves the development and application of molecular biomarkers of exposure, dose, and effect from environmental carcinogens. The environmental carcinogens studied include agents that are naturally occurring in the diet as well as those produced as a result of cooking practices. A major emphasis of the research has been in the elucidation of the role of aflatoxins, a common contaminate of the food supply, in the induction of liver cancer in high-risk populations living in Asia and Africa. This work has led to the identification of a very strong chemical-viral interaction between aflatoxin and the human hepatitis B virus in the induction of liver cancer. These biomarkers have also been used in many collaborative molecular epidemiology studies of liver cancer risk and recently employed to assess the efficacy of a number of chemopreventive agents in trials in high-risk aflatoxin-hepatitis B virus exposed populations. This research is now being extended to develop genetic biomarkers of p53 mutations and viral alterations in human samples as early detection of disease biomarkers using a novel mass spectroscopy based method for genotyping developed in the laboratory. Thus, the research in our laboratory focuses on the translation of mechanistic research to public health based prevention strategies. 


Journal Citations

Egner, P.A.; Groopman, J.D.; Wang, J.S.; Kensler, T.W.; Friesen, M.D. Quantification of aflatoxin-B1-N7-Guanine in human urine by high-performance liquid chromatography and isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chemical research in toxicology. 2006 Sep;19(9):1191-1195.
Sapkota, A.; Halden, R.U.; Dominici, F.; Groopman, J.D.; Buckley, T.J. Urinary biomarkers of 1,3-butadiene in environmental settings using liquid chromatography isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chem Biol Interact. 2006 Mar 10;160(1):70-79.
Scholl, P.F.; McCoy, L.; Kensler, T.W.; Groopman, J.D. Quantitative analysis and chronic dosimetry of the aflatoxin B1 plasma albumin adduct Lys-AFB1 in rats by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. Chemical research in toxicology. 2006 Jan;19(1):44-49.
Scholl, P.F.; Turner, P.C.; Sutcliffe, A.E.; Sylla, A.; Diallo, M.S.; Friesen, M.D.; Groopman, J.D.; Wild, C.P. Quantitative comparison of aflatoxin B1 serum albumin adducts in humans by isotope dilution mass spectrometry and ELISA. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Apr;15(4):823-826.
Skipper, P.L.; Trudel, L.J.; Kensler, T.W.; Groopman, J.D.; Egner, P.A.; Liberman, R.G.; Wogan, G.N.; Tannenbaum, S.R. DNA adduct formation by 2,6-dimethyl-, 3,5-dimethyl-, and 3-ethylaniline in vivo in mice. Chemical research in toxicology. 2006 Aug;19(8):1086-1090.
Yates, M.S.; Kwak, M.K.; Egner, P.A.; Groopman, J.D.; Bodreddigari, S.; Sutter, T.R.; Baumgartner, K.J.; Roebuck, B.D.; Liby, K.T.; Yore, M.M.; Honda, T.; Gribble, G.W.; Sporn, M.B.; Kensler, T.W. Potent protection against aflatoxin-induced tumorigenesis through induction of Nrf2-regulated pathways by the triterpenoid 1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole. Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;66(4):2488-2494.
Chen, J.G.; Kuang, S.Y.; Egner, P.A.; Lu, J.H.; Zhu, Y.R.; Wang, J.B.; Zhang, B.C.; Chen, T.Y.; Munoz, A.; Kensler, T.W.; Groopman, J.D. Acceleration to death from liver cancer in people with hepatitis B viral mutations detected in plasma by mass spectrometry. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Jun;16(6):1213-1218.
Everley, R.A.; Ciner, F.L.; Zhan, D.; Scholl, P.F.; Groopman, J.D.; Croley, T.R. Measurement of aflatoxin and aflatoxin metabolites in urine by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of analytical toxicology. 2007 Apr;31(3):150-156.
Simonich, M.T.; Egner, P.A.; Roebuck, B.D.; Orner, G.A.; Jubert, C.; Pereira, C.; Groopman, J.D.; Kensler, T.W.; Dashwood, R.H.; Williams, D.E.; Bailey, G.S. Natural chlorophyll inhibits aflatoxin B1-induced multi-organ carcinogenesis in the rat. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Jun;28(6):1294-1302.
Bodreddigari, S.; Jones, L.K.; Egner, P.A.; Groopman, J.D.; Sutter, C.H.; Roebuck, B.D.; Guengerich, F.P.; Kensler, T.W.; Sutter, T.R. Protection against aflatoxin B1-induced cytotoxicity by expression of the cloned aflatoxin B1-aldehyde reductases rat AKR7A1 and human AKR7A3. Chemical research in toxicology. 2008 May;21(5):1134-1142.
Bransfield, L.A.; Rennie, A.; Visvanathan, K.; Odwin, S.A.; Kensler, T.W.; Yager, J.D.; Friesen, M.D.; Groopman, J.D. Formation of two novel estrogen guanine adducts and HPLC/MS detection of 4-hydroxyestradiol-N7-guanine in human urine. Chemical research in toxicology. 2008 Aug;21(8):1622-1630.
Egner, P.A.; Kensler, T.W.; Chen, J.G.; Gange, S.J.; Groopman, J.D.; Friesen, M.D. Quantification of sulforaphane mercapturic acid pathway conjugates in human urine by high-performance liquid chromatography and isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chemical research in toxicology. 2008 Oct;21(10):1991-1996.
Groopman, J.D.; Kensler, T.W. Aflatoxin and Hepatitis B Virus: A Conspiracy in Human Liver Cancer. In: Wild, C.P.; Vineis, P.; Garte, S., editors, Molecular Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases: Wiley; 2008. p. 323-342.
Groopman, J.D.; Kensler, T.W.; Wild, C.P. Protective interventions to prevent aflatoxin-induced carcinogenesis in developing countries. Annual review of public health. 2008;29:187-203.
Groopman, J.D.; Wang, J.S. Molecular Biomarkers. In: McQueen, C., editor, Comprehensive Toxicology: Pergamon Press; 2008. p. In Press.
Johnson, D.N.; Egner, P.A.; Obrian, G.; Glassbrook, N.; Roebuck, B.D.; Sutter, T.R.; Payne, G.A.; Kensler, T.W.; Groopman, J.D. Quantification of urinary aflatoxin B1 dialdehyde metabolites formed by aflatoxin aldehyde reductase using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chemical research in toxicology. 2008 Mar;21(3):752-760.
Liby, K.; Yore, M.M.; Roebuck, B.D.; Baumgartner, K.J.; Honda, T.; Sundararajan, C.; Yoshizawa, H.; Gribble, G.W.; Williams, C.R.; Risingsong, R.; Royce, D.B.; Dinkova-Kostova, A.T.; Stephenson, K.K.; Egner, P.A.; Yates, M.S.; Groopman, J.D.; Kensler, T.W.; Sporn, M.B. A novel acetylenic tricyclic bis-(cyano enone) potently induces phase 2 cytoprotective pathways and blocks liver carcinogenesis induced by aflatoxin. Cancer Res. 2008 Aug 15;68(16):6727-6733.
Links, J.; Groopman, J.D. Biomarkers of Exposure. In: McQueen, C., editor, Comprehensive Toxicology: Pergamon Press; 2008. p. In Press.
McCoy, L.F.; Scholl, P.F.; Sutcliffe, A.E.; Kieszak, S.M.; Powers, C.D.; Rogers, H.S.; Gong, Y.Y.; Groopman, J.D.; Wild, C.P.; Schleicher, R.L. Human aflatoxin albumin adducts quantitatively compared by ELISA, HPLC with fluorescence detection, and HPLC with isotope dilution mass spectrometry. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Jul;17(7):1653-1657.
Scholl, P.F.; Groopman, J.D. Long-term stability of human aflatoxin B1 albumin adducts assessed by isotope dilution mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Jun;17(6):1436-1439.
Wang, J., S,; Groopman, J.D. Physical/Chemical/Immunologic Analytical Methods. Molecular Epidemiology and Biomarkers: IARC Press; 2008.
Kensler, T.W.; Groopman, J.D. Is it time to advance the chemoprevention of environmental carcinogenesis with microdosing trials? Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa. 2009 Dec;2(12):1003-1007.
Roebuck, B.D.; Johnson, D.N.; Sutter, C.H.; Egner, P.A.; Scholl, P.F.; Friesen, M.D.; Baumgartner, K.J.; Ware, N.M.; Bodreddigari, S.; Groopman, J.D.; Kensler, T.W.; Sutter, T.R. Transgenic expression of aflatoxin aldehyde reductase (AKR7A1) modulates aflatoxin B1 metabolism but not hepatic carcinogenesis in the rat. Toxicol Sci. 2009 Jan 23.
Yuan, J.M.; Ambinder, A.; Fan, Y.; Gao, Y.T.; Yu, M.C.; Groopman, J.D. Prospective evaluation of hepatitis B 1762(T)/1764(A) mutations on hepatocellular carcinoma development in Shanghai, China. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Feb;18(2):590-594.
Bai, X.; Zhu, Y.; Jin, Y.; Guo, X.; Qian, G.; Chen, T.; Zhang, J.; Wang, J.; Groopman, J.D.; Gu, J.; Tu, H. Temporal acquisition of sequential mutations in the enhancer II and basal core promoter of HBV in individuals at high risk for hepatocellular carcinoma. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Jan;32(1):63-68.


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