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Ana Navas-Acien, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Joint Appointment in Oncology

Research Interests: Occupational and Environmental Health; Environmental Health Sciences



  • Joint Appointment in Oncology



  • M.P.H., National School of Health (Alabama) (1998)
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Ana Navas-Acien is a physician-epidemiologist with a specialty in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and with a long-term interest in the health consequences of widespread environmental exposures. Based on an epidemiologic approach, her research investigates chronic health effects of arsenic, selenium, lead, cadmium and other trace metals.

Given the paucity of epidemiologic data at low/moderate levels, the possible biological basis, and the controversy for current environmental standards, this challenging area of research is potentially relevant for public health. For exposures with large epidemiologic evidence of the adverse health effects, such as secondhand smoke, her interest is to conduct research in support of progressive policies to reduce involuntary exposure to environmental toxins.


Selected Publications

  1. Suwan-ampai, P.; Navas-Acien, A.; Strickland, P.T.; Agnew, J. Involuntary tobacco smoke exposure and urinary levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the United States, 1999 to 2002. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Mar;18(3):884-893.
  2. Singh, A.; Ling, G.; Suhasini, A.N.; Zhang, P.; Yamamoto, M.; Navas-Acien, A.; Cosgrove, G.; Tuder, R.M.; Kensler, T.W.; Watson, W.H.; Biswal, S. Nrf2-dependent sulfiredoxin-1 expression protects against cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress in lungs. Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Feb 1;46(3):376-386.
  3. Malhotra, D.; Thimmulappa, R.; Vij, N.; Navas-Acien, A.; Sussan, T.; Merali, S.; Zhang, L.; Kelsen, S.G.; Myers, A.; Wise, R.; Tuder, R.; Biswal, S. Heightened endoplasmic reticulum stress in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the role of Nrf2-regulated proteasomal activity. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Dec 15;180(12):1196-1207.
  4. Wipfli, H.; Avila-Tang, E.; Navas-Acien, A.; Kim, S.; Onicescu, G.; Yuan, J.; Breysse, P.; Samet, J.M. Secondhand smoke exposure among women and children: evidence from 31 countries. Am J Public Health. 2008 Apr;98(4):672-679.
  5. Malhotra, D.; Thimmulappa, R.; Navas-Acien, A.; Sandford, A.; Elliott, M.; Singh, A.; Chen, L.; Zhuang, X.; Hogg, J.; Pare, P.; Tuder, R.M.; Biswal, S. Decline in NRF2-regulated antioxidants in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lungs due to loss of its positive regulator, DJ-1. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 15;178(6):592-604.
  6. Stillman, F.; Navas-Acien, A.; Ma, J.; Ma, S.; Avila-Tang, E.; Breysse, P.; Yang, G.; Samet, J. Second-hand tobacco smoke in public places in urban and rural China. Tobacco control. 2007 Aug;16(4):229-234.
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