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Environmental & Occupational Health

Faculty Profile

  • Jeffrey Laskin, PhD

  • Distinguished Professor

  • Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Justice

  • CV

Chemical toxicity; exposure to the sun and ultraviolet light; carcinogenesis; cancer chemotherapy

Undergraduate Graduate and Professional:

New York University, University College of Arts and Science, New York, New York, BA (Chemistry and Biology)

Graduate and Professional:

State University of New York at Buffalo,
Roswell Park Memorial Institute,
Dept. of Experimental Therapeutics, Buffalo, New York
PhD (Pharmacology)

Postdoctoral Appointment:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, Cancer Center/Institute of Cancer Research
Division of Environmental Sciences
New York, New York

Research Interests
Dr. Laskin has been working in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology for over 30 years.  He has been involved in developing biochemical and molecular techniques for assessing mechanisms of toxicity.  Many of the mechanisms he studies are directed towards understanding chemical-induced inflammation and tissue injury.  Dr. Laskin has expertise in mechanistic toxicology, biochemical toxicology, drug formulation and development, and regulatory affairs, areas that he teaches in the Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Rutgers University School of Pharmacy and Rutgers University School of Public Health.  Over the past few years, he has become particularly interested in chemical threat agents as the field relates to protecting civilian populations against exposures highly toxic chemical agents.  Dr. Laskin has been interested in two classes of chemical threat agents, vesicants and nerve agents requiring activation by the cytochrome P450 system. We have investigated mechanisms by which these agents modify proteins in target cells.  He has been using techniques in LC-MS/MS to identify chemical modifications in redox-active proteins, focusing particularly on the thioredoxin reductase system as it controls cellular redox balance.  Using techniques in flow cytometry he has identified pathways in the cell cycle particularly sensitive to vesicants in target cells which include the skin and lung.  Novel targets for vesicants in the cell cycle have been identified; he is using this information in attempts to block vesicant toxicity as this may lead to the development of effective therapeutic countermeasures.  Dr. Laskin is also investigating the mechanism of action of neurotoxins.  The P450 system has been identified as a target to prevent metabolic activation of these neurotoxins.  Focusing on this pathway has enabled him to develop effective countermeasures that prevent metabolism and neurotoxicity.  It has also allowed him to reverse toxicity resulting from acute exposures to these neurotoxins.

Research Highlights

Mechanisms of action of vesicants; Studies on chemical redox cycling; Mechanisms of skin, eye, and lung injury; and Discovery of coumarin and psoralen photosensitizers.

Select Publications
Jan YH, Heck DE, Casillas RP, Laskin DL, Laskin JD. Thioredoxin cross-linking by nitrogen mustard in lung epithelial cells: Formation of multimeric thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase complexes and inhibition of disulfide reduction. Chem Res Toxicol. 2015;28(11):2091-2103. PMID: 26451472; PMCID: 4877171

Jan YH, Richardson JR, Baker AA, Mishin V, Heck DE, Laskin DL, Laskin JD. Vitamin k3 (menadione) redox cycling inhibits cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism and inhibits parathion intoxication. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015;288(1):114-120. PMID: 26212258; PMCID: 4579064

Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Verissimo VL, Cervelli JA, Vayas KN, Hall L, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Attenuation of nitrogen mustard-induced pulmonary injury and fibrosis by anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody. Toxicol Sci. 2015;148(1):71-88. PMID: 26243812; PMCID: 4659692

Sunil VR, Francis M, Vayas KN, Cervelli JA, Choi H, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Regulation of ozone-induced lung inflammation and injury by the beta-galactoside-binding lectin galectin-3. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 284(2):236-245. PMID: 25724551; PMCID: 4408237

Venosa A, Malaviya R, Gow AJ, Hall L, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Protective role of spleen-derived macrophages in lung inflammation, injury, and fibrosis induced by nitrogen mustard. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015;309(12):L1487-1498. PMID: 26475734; PMCID: 4683320

Yang S, Jan YH, Mishin V, Richardson JR, Hossain MM, Heindel ND, Heck DE, Laskin DL, Laskin JD. Sulfa drugs inhibit sepiapterin reduction and chemical redox cycling by sepiapterin reductase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015;352(3):529-540. PMID: 25550200; PMCID: 4352594

Mandal M, Gardner CR, Sun R, Choi H, Lad S, Mishin V, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. The spleen as an extramedullary source of inflammatory cells responding to acetaminophen-induced liver injury. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016; 304:110-120. Epub 2016/05/11. PMID: 27163765

Udasin RG, Wen X, Bircsak KM, Aleksunes LM, Shakarjian MP, Kong AN, Heck DE, Laskin DL, Laskin JD. Nrf2 regulates the sensitivity of mouse keratinocytes to nitrogen mustard via multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (mrp1). Toxicol Sci. 2016;149(1):202-212. PMID: 26454883; PMCID: 4715259

Venosa A, Malaviya R, Choi H, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Characterization of distinct macrophage subpopulations during nitrogen mustard-induced lung injury and fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016;54(3):436-446. PMID: 26273949; PMCID: 4821033

Weinberger B, Malaviya R, Sunil VR, Venosa A, Heck DE, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Mustard vesicant-induced lung injury: Advances in therapy. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016;305:1-11. PMID: 27212445; PMCID: 5119915

Wohlman IM, Composto GM, Heck DE, Heindel ND, Lacey CJ, Guillon CD, Casillas RP, Croutch CR, Gerecke DR, Laskin DL, Joseph LB, Laskin JD. Mustard vesicants alter expression of the endocannabinoid system in mouse skin. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016;303:30-44. PMID: 27125198; PMCID: 4947375

Francis M, Groves A, Sun R, Cervelli JA, Choi H, Laskin JD. CCR2 regulates inflammatory cell accumulation in the lung and tissue injury following ozone exposure. Toxicol Sci. 2016. PMID: 27837169

Francis M, Sun R, Cervelli JA, Choi H, Mandal M, Abramova EV, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Role of spleen-derived macrophages in ozone-induced lung inflammation and injury, Toxicol. Sci., 2016, in press

Sunil VR, Vayas KN, Fang M, Zarbl H, Massa C, Gow AJ, Cervelli JA, Kipen H, Laumbach R, Lioy PJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. World Trade Center (WTC) dust exposure in mice is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and epigenetic changes in the lung. Exp Mol Pathol., 2017, 102(1):50-58, PMID: 27986442

Yang S, Jan YH, Mishin V, Heck DE, Laskin DL, Laskin JD. Diacetyl/L-xylulose reductase (DCXR) is a mediator of chemical redox cycling in lung epithelial Cells: Redox active quinones as inhibitors of α-dicarbonyl and xylulose metabolism. Chem Res Toxicol., 2017, 30(7):1406-1418, PMID: 28595002

Szilagyi JT, Vetrano AM, Laskin JD, Aleksunes LM. Localization of the placental BCRP/ABCG2 transporter to lipid rafts: role for cholesterol in mediating of efflux activity, Placenta, 2017, 55:29-36, PMID: 28623970

Venosa A, Gow JG, Hall L, Malaviya R, Gow AJ, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Regulation of nitrogen mustard-induced lung macrophage activation by valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Toxicol Sci. 2017 157(1):222-234, PMID: 28184907

Malaviya R, Laskin JD, Laskin DL. Anti-TNFα therapy in inflammatory lung diseases. Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Dec;180:90-98. PMID:28642115

Laskin JD, Jan YH, Jetter MM, Guillon CD, Mariano TM, Heck DE, Heindel ND. Identification of a pyranocoumarin photosensitizer that is a potent inhibitor of keratinocyte growth. Photochem Photobiol. 2018 94(3):577-582. PMID: 29315592

Chang YC, Soriano M, Hahn RA, Casillas RP, Gordon MK, Laskin JD, Gerecke DR. Expression of cytokines and chemokines in mouse skin treated with sulfur mustard. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2018 355:52-59. PMID: 29935281


Laskin JD (ed.) Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats, New York Academy of Sciences (volume 1), New York, NY, 2016

Laskin JD (ed.) Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats, New York Academy of Sciences (volume 2), New York, NY, 2016

Scholarly Activities
NIH Study Section Chair (2018)

NIH Study Section Chair (2016)

NASA Advanced Environmental Health/Advanced Food Technology Committee (2012)

Excellence in Research Award - New Jersey Health Foundation (2017) - Excellence in Research Awards recognize outstanding research activities

Rutgers University Board of Trustees Award for Research Excellence - Rutgers University (2017) - Rutgers University Board of Trustees Award for Research Excellence recognizes newly tenured faculty excelling in their field.

Sulfa drugs inhibit sepiapterin reduction and chemical redox cycling by sepiapterin reductase - Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (2015) - Paper highlighted as cover issue.

Rutgers University Faculty Recognition Award - Rutgers University (2015) - Rutgers University recognizes exemplary faculty.

Foundation of UMDNJ Excellence in Research Award - UMDNJ School of Biomedical Sciences (2011) - This award recognizes excellence in the field of research.

Gallo Award - Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (1999) - This award recognizes outstanding recent research efforts.

Social Media & Websites
Jeffrey Laskin, PhD: