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Center for Human Nutrition


John Groopman

Anna M. Baetjer Professor of Environmental Health
Academic Degrees
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979
Departmental Affiliation
Environmental Health Sciences
Toxicological Sciences
Joint Departmental Affiliations
Departmental Address
Phone: 410 955 3900
Fax: 410 955 0617
Research and Professional Experience

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.


Environmental Health Sciences, Chemical carcinogenesis; environmental carcinogenesis; chemoprevention; cancer prevention and control

Honors and Awards

2010 AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research Award

2008 Gerald N. Wogan Lecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Research Career Development Award

Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health, Alpha Chapter

Phi Beta Kappa

Selected Publications

Chen, J-G,  Egner, PA., Ng, D.,  Jacobson, LP,  Muñoz, A.,  Lu, J-H, Zhu, YR, Qian, GS, Chen, TY,  Wu, F., Yuan, JM, Groopman, JD, and Kensler, TW. Reduced Aflatoxin Exposure Presages Decline in Liver Cancer Mortality in an Endemic Region of China. Cancer Prevention Research, Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print], 2013.

Cole, RN,  Ruczinski, I, Schulze, K, Christian, P, Herbrich, S, Wu, L, DeVine, LR, O’Meally, RN,  Shrestha, S, Boronina, TN, Yager, JD, Groopman, JD, and West, KP. Plasma Proteome Identifies Expected and Novel Proteins Correlated with Micronutrient Status in Undernourished Nepalese Children. Journal of Nutrition, Aug 21. [Epub ahead of print] 2013.

Yang L, Zahid M, Liao Y, Rogan EG, Cavalieri EL, Davidson NE, Yager JD, Visvanathan K, Groopman JD, and Kensler TW. Reduced Formation of Depurinating Estrogen-DNA Adducts by Sulforaphane or KEAP1 Disruption in Human Mammary Epithelial MCF-10A Cells. Carcinogenesis. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Ortiz-Cuaran, S., Cox, D.,  Villar, S., Friesen, MD, Durand, G., Chabrier, A., Khuhaprema, T., Sangrajrang, S., Ognjanovic, S., Groopman, JD., Hainaut, P., and  Calvez-Kelm, F. Association Between TP53 R249S Mutation and Polymorphisms in TP53 Intron 1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer, in press, 2013.

Nachman, R., Fox, SD., Golden, WC, Sibinga, E., Geyh, A., Veenstra, TD, Groopman, JD, and Lees, PSJ. Urinary Free Bisphenol A and Bisphenol A Glucuronide Concentrations in Newborns. Journal of Pediatrics, 2013 Jan 10. doi:pii: S0022-3476(12)01417-5. 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.11.083. [Epub ahead of print].

Herbrich, S., Cole, R., West, K., Schulze, K., Yager, J., Groopman, J., Christian, P., Wu, L., O'Meally, R., May, D., McIntosh, M., and Ruczinski, I. Statistical inference from multiple iTRAQ experiments without using common reference standards Journal of Proteome Research, 2013 12:594-604, 2013.

Kensler, TW,  Ng, D, Carmella, SG,  Chen, M,  Jacobson, LP,  Muñoz, A,  Egner, PA,  Chen, JG, Qian, GS, Chen, TY, Fahey, JW,  Talalay, P,  Groopman, JD,  Yuan, JM and Hecht, SS.  Modulation of the metabolism of air-borne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverages: Results of a short term, cross-over clinical trial in Qidong, China Carcinogenesis, 33:101-7, 2012.

Muñoz, A., Chen, JG, Egner, PA, Marshall, ML, Johnson, JL, Schneider, MF, Lu, JH, Zhu, YR, Wang, JB, Chen, TY, Kensler, TW, and Groopman, JD. Predictive Power of Hepatitis B 1762T/1764A  Mutations in Plasma for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Qidong, China. Carcinogenesis, 32: 860-865, 2011.

Iyer, S. and Groopman, J.D. Interaction of Mutant Hepatitis B X Protein With p53 Tumor Suppressor Protein Affects Both Transcription and Cell Survival. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 50:972-80, 2011

Egner, PA, Chen, J-G, Wang, J-B, Wu, Y, Sun, Y., Lu, J-H., Zhu, J., Zhang, Y-H., Chen, Y-S., Friesen, M.D., Jacobson, L., Muñoz, A., Ng, D., Qian, G-S., Zhu, Y-R., Chen, T-Y., Botting, N.P., Zhang, Q-Z., Fahey, J.W., Talalay, P., Groopman, J.D.  and Kensler, T.W. Bioavailability of sulforaphane from two broccoli sprout beverages: Results of a short term, cross-over clinical trial in Qidong, China. Cancer Prevention Research, 4:384-395, 2011.

Kensler, T.W., Roebuck, BD, Wogan, GN  and Groopman, JD, Aflatoxin: A 50 Year Odyssey of Mechanistic and Translational Toxicology. Toxicological Sciences, 120: S28-S48, 2011.

Bai, X., Zhu,Y, Jin, Y, Guo, X., Qian, GS., Chen, TY, Zhang, J., Wang, JB., Groopman, JD, Gu, JR, Li, JJ, and Tu, H. Temporal acquisition of sequential mutations in enhancer II/basal core promoter of HBV in high-risk individuals for hepatocellular carcinoma. Carcinogenesis, 32:63-68, 2011.

Fiala,J., Egner,PA., Wiriyachan, N., Ruchirawat,M., Kensler, K.H., Wogan, GN., Groopman, JD, Croy, RG and Essigmann, JM. Sulforaphane-Mediated Reduction of Aflatoxin B1-N7-Guanine in Rat Liver DNA: Impacts of Strain and Sex. Toxicological Sciences, 121:57-62, 2011.

Woo, L., Egner, P.; Belanger, C. R.; Wattanawaraporn, R.; Trudel, L.; Croy, R.; Groopman, J.D.; Essigmann, J.; and Wogan, G. Aflatoxin B1-DNA adduct formation and mutagenicity in livers of neonatal male and female B6C3F1 mice. Toxicological Sciences, 122: 38–44, 2011.

Villar, S., Le Roux-Goglin, E., Gouas, DA, Plymoth, A, Ferro, G., Boniol, M., Lereau, M., Bah, E., Hall, AJ., Wild, CP, Mendy, M, Norder, H, van der Sande, M., Whittle, H, Friesen, MD, Groopman, JD, and Hainaut, P. Seasonal Variation in TP53 R249S-mutated Serum DNA With Aflatoxin Exposure and Hepatitis B Virus Infection. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119:1635-40, 2011.

Zhu,Y, Jin, Y, Guo, X., Bai, X, Chen, TY, Wang, JB, Qian, GS, Groopman, JD, Gu, JR, Li, JJ, and Tu, H. Comparison study of complete sequences of hepatitis B virus identifies new mutations in core gene associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 19:2623-2630, 2010.

Kensler, T.W. and Groopman, J.D. Time to Advance the Chemoprevention of Environmental Carcinogenesis with Microdosing Trials? Cancer Prevention Research, 2:1003-1007, 2009.

Yuan, JM, Ambinder, A., Fan, YH, Gao, YT, Yu, MC and Groopman, JD. Prospective evaluation of Hepatitis B 1762T/1764A mutations on hepatocellular carcinoma development in Shanghai, China. Cancer Epidemiology,Biomarkers and Prevention, 18:590-594, 2009. 

Bransfield, L.A., Rennie, A., Visvanathan, K., Odwin, S.A., Kensler, T.W., Yager, J.D., Friesen, M.D. and 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, 21:1622-30, 2008.

Egner, P. A., Kensler, T.W., Chen, J-G, Gange, S., Groopman, J.D. and Friesen, M.A. 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, 21:1991-1996, 2008.

Liby, K., Yore, 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. A novel acetylenic tricyclic bis-(cyano enone) potently induces phase 2 cytoprotective pathways and blocks liver carcinogenesis induced by aflatoxin. Cancer Research, 68:6727-6733, 2008.

Johnson, DN, Egner, PA, OBrian, G, Glassbrook, N, Roebuck, BD, Sutter, T, Payne, GA, Kensler, TW, and Groopman, JD. 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, 2008.

Scholl, P.F. and Groopman, J.D. Long Term Stability of Human Aflatoxin B1 Albumin Adducts Assessed by Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry and HPLC-Fluorescence. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 17: 1436-1439, 2008.

McCoy, L.F, Scholl, P.F., Sutcliffe, A.E., Kieszak , S.M., Powers, C.D., Rogers, H.S., Gong, YY, Groopman, J.D., Wild, C.P. and Schleicher, R.L. Human Aflatoxin Albumin Adducts Quantitatively Compared by ELISA, HPLC with Fluorescence Detection and HPLC with Isotope Dilution Mass Spectrometry. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 17, 1653-1657, 2008.

Chen, JC, Kuang, SY, Egner, PA, Lu, JH, Zhu, YR, Wang, JB, Zhang, BC,Chen, TY, Muñoz, A, Kensler, TW and Groopman, JD. Acceleration To Death From Liver Cancer In People With Hepatitis B Viral Mutations Detected In Plasma By Mass Spectrometry. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 16:1213-1218, 2007.

Egner, P. Groopman, J.D., Wang, J-S, Kensler, TW and Friesen, MD. Quantification of Aflatoxin-B1-N7-guanine in Human Urine by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Isotope-Dilution Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Chemical Research in Toxicology 19:1191-1195, 2006.

Yates, MS, Kwak, MK, Egner, PA, Groopman, JD, Baumgartner, K., Roebuck, BD, Yore, M, Honda, T., Gribble, GW, Sporn, MB and Kensler, TW. Potent Protection against Aflatoxin-Induced Tumorigenesis through Induction of Nrf2-Regulated Pathways by the Synthetic Triterpenoid, CDDO-Imidazole. Cancer Research 66:2488-2494, 2006.