College of Public Health

Eleanor G. Rogan, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health

Research Interests: My research centers around elucidating mechanisms of activation of carcinogens, identifying carcinogen-DNA adducts, and correlating adducts with oncogenic mutations. From our previous study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolism and DNA adducts, we have demonstrated that the predominant adducts are lost by depurination, leaving mutagenic apurinic sites in the DNA. This research involved the identification and quantitation of PAH-DNA adducts and the correlation of the adducts with Harvey-ras mutations in mouse skin papillomas induced by the PAH. We have extended our studies to endogenous catechol estrogen metabolites and found that the carcinogenic metabolites form depurinating N3Ade and N7Gua adducts in DNA. We hypothesize that this is the pathway of initiation for human breast, prostate, and other cancers. Studies in test tubes, laboratory animal models, cell culture models, and human subjects have demonstrated the validity of this hypothesis. Now we are working on the early detection of cancer risk by analyzing estrogen metabolites, conjugates, and DNA adducts in urine or serum samples, as well as prevention of cancer by selected natural compounds.

For more information on Dr. Rogan: Website

Todd Wyatt, PhD
Professor and Deputy Director of Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH)

Research Interests:  The first line of defense against inhaled particles, toxins, and pathogens is the layer of epithelial cells that line the lungs. These cells form hair-like cilia that are continually beating in a whip-like manner to clear mucus-trapped particles out of the airways. Any injury that slows or inhibits this ciliary beating can result in the growth of bacteria or viruses and an increase in lung inflammation. Alcoholics experience a higher incidence of severe lung infections. Some studies suggest that nearly all alcoholics smoke cigarettes and approximately half of all smokers are heavy drinkers. Our research centers on studying the effects of the combination of cigarette smoke and alcohol on various lung functions. We primarily base our studies on the cellular, biochemical, and molecular biology of the ciliated airway epithelial cells in an attempt to understand how cilia motion is regulated by alcohol, cigarette smoke and their metabolites.

For more information on Dr. Wyatt: Website