John D. Groopman, Ph.D.

Headshot of John D. Groopman
  • Anna M. Baetjer Professor and Associate Director for Population Sciences
  • Joint Appointment in Oncology

Research Interests

Public Health-Based Cancer Prevention Strategies


Dr. Groopman received his Ph.D. degree in Toxicology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at MIT and then received further training as a staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis. Dr. Groopman has devoted his research efforts to developing biomarkers for use in human studies of environmental toxicant exposures and applying these biomarkers to public health interventions. Dr. Groopman is currently the Anna M. Baetjer Professor and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He is also a Professor of Oncology and Associate Director for Population Sciences for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. 

The research in his 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 mobile and stationary sources of air pollution.  A prior major emphasis of the research had 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 has been extended to develop genetic biomarkers of p53 mutations in human samples as early detection of disease biomarkers using a novel mass spectroscopy based method for genotyping developed in the laboratory. It was part of this set of investigations that the discovery of the high levels of air pollutants that are central to our ongoing work were found. Thus, the research in his laboratory focuses on the translation of mechanistic research to public health based prevention strategies. more


  • Anna M. Baetjer Professor and Associate Director for Population Sciences
  • Joint Appointment in Oncology

Departments / Divisions

  • Oncology - Cancer Prevention and Control and Viral Oncology

Centers & Institutes

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

  1. 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., and Sutter, T.R. (2009). Transgenic expression of aflatoxin aldehyde reductase (AKR7A1) modulates aflatoxin B1 metabolism but not hepatic carcinogenesis in the rat. Toxicol Sci.
  2. Bodreddigari, S., Jones, L.K., Egner, P.A., Groopman, J.D., Sutter, C.H., Roebuck, B.D., Guengerich, F.P., Kensler, T.W., and Sutter, T.R. (2008). Protection against aflatoxin B1-induced cytotoxicity by expression of the cloned aflatoxin B1-aldehyde reductases rat AKR7A1 and human AKR7A3. Chem Res Toxicol 21, 1134-1142.
  3. Bransfield, L.A., Rennie, A., Visvanathan, K., Odwin, S.A., Kensler, T.W., Yager, J.D., Friesen, M.D., and Groopman, J.D. (2008). Formation of two novel estrogen guanine adducts and HPLC/MS detection of 4-hydroxyestradiol-N7-guanine in human urine. Chem Res Toxicol 21, 1622-1630.
  4. Egner, P.A., Kensler, T.W., Chen, J.G., Gange, S.J., Groopman, J.D., and Friesen, M.D. (2008). Quantification of sulforaphane mercapturic acid pathway conjugates in human urine by high-performance liquid chromatography and isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chem Res Toxicol 21, 1991-1996.
  5. Groopman, J.D., and Kensler, T.W. (2008). Aflatoxin and Hepatitis B Virus: A Conspiracy in Human Liver Cancer. In: Molecular Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases, eds. C.P. Wild, P. Vineis, and S. Garte: Wiley, 323-342.
  6. Groopman, J.D., and Wang, J., S,. (2008). Molecular Biomarkers. In: Comprehensive Toxicology, ed. C. McQueen: Pergamon Press, In Press.
  7. Groopman, J.D., Kensler, T.W., and Wild, C.P. (2008). Protective interventions to prevent aflatoxin-induced carcinogenesis in developing countries. Annu Rev Public Health 29, 187-203.
  8. Johnson, D. N., P. A. Egner, G. O'Brien, N. Glassbrook, B. D. Roebuck, T. Sutter, G. A. Payne, T. W. Kensler, and J. D. Groopman. 2008. Quantification of Urinary Aflatoxin B1 Dialdehyde Metabolites Formed by Aflatoxin Aldehyde Reductase Using Isotope Dilution Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Chemical Research in Toxicology 21:752-760.
  9. Johnson, D.N., Egner, P.A., Obrian, G., Glassbrook, N., Roebuck, B.D., Sutter, T.R., Payne, G.A., Kensler, T.W., and Groopman, J.D. (2008). Quantification of urinary aflatoxin B1 dialdehyde metabolites formed by aflatoxin aldehyde reductase using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chem Res Toxicol 21, 752-760.
  10. 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., and Sporn, M.B. (2008). A novel acetylenic tricyclic bis-(cyano enone) potently induces phase 2 cytoprotective pathways and blocks liver carcinogenesis induced by aflatoxin. Cancer Res 68, 6727-6733.
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