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Helmut Zarbl , Ph.D.

EOHSI Director – Professor – NIEHS Center Director Rutgers University- School of Public HealthEOHSI – Toxicology
Photo of Helmut Zarbl Ph.D.


Dr. Zarbl serves as the Director of the NIEHS sponsored Center for Environmental Exposures and Disease. He is also the Associate Director For Public Health Sciences at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He serves on numerous national research review and advisory panels, and editorial panels.. Dr. Zarbl is known for his work in areas of toxicogenomics, and mechanisms of and genetic susceptibility to chemical carcinogenesis, mechanisms of mutagenesis and toxicity, and technology development. These research efforts have to date resulted in over 70 scientific papers and book chapters.

Research Areas

Research has focused largely on toxicogenomics and functional genomics, carcinogenesis, molecular and cellular biology, and toxicology. Specifically this has included work understand to molecular mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis and the genetic basis for differential susceptibility to mammary carcinogenesis using animal and in vitro model systems, and then translating the findings to human breast cancer.

Research Highlights

Studies in the rat model have included analysis of oncogene activation, mechanisms of signal transduction, and genetic linkage analysis to identify mammary tumor suppressor genes. He has also used toxicogenomics to dissect mechanisms of mechanism carcinogenesis, tumor progression and chemoprevention. His studies in the area of toxicogenomics include the development and application of standards for DNA microarray experiments, and phenotypic anchoring of response of human cells, model organisms (yeast) and target organs (rodents) to toxicants, providing insights into dose and temporal responses, as well as mechanisms of action. He is also actively involved in technology development for functional genomics and biomarker screening.

Recent Publications

  1. Yang, Z, DeLoid, GM, Zarbl, H, Baw, J, Demokritou, P. Micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) and their potential toxicological outcomes: State of science, knowledge gaps and research needs. NanoImpact. 2023;32 :100481. doi: 10.1016/j.impact.2023.100481. PubMed PMID:37717636
  2. Venosa, A, Smith, LC, Gow, AJ, Zarbl, H, Laskin, JD, Laskin, DL. Macrophage activation in the lung during the progression of nitrogen mustard induced injury is associated with histone modifications and altered miRNA expression. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021;423 :115569. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2021.115569. PubMed PMID:33971176 PubMed Central PMC8496734
  3. Liu, Y, Chen, X, Gong, Z, Zhang, H, Fei, F, Tang, X, Wang, J, Xu, P, Zarbl, H, Ren, X et al.. Fry Is Required for Mammary Gland Development During Pregnant Periods and Affects the Morphology and Growth of Breast Cancer Cells. Front Oncol. 2019;9 :1279. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.01279. PubMed PMID:31824855 PubMed Central PMC6881260
  4. Green, AL, Eid, A, Zhan, L, Zarbl, H, Guo, GL, Richardson, JR. Epigenetic Regulation of the Ontogenic Expression of the Dopamine Transporter. Front Genet. 2019;10 :1099. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.01099. PubMed PMID:31749842 PubMed Central PMC6844290
  5. Bae, SA, Fang, MZ, Rustgi, V, Zarbl, H, Androulakis, IP. At the Interface of Lifestyle, Behavior, and Circadian Rhythms: Metabolic Implications. Front Nutr. 2019;6 :132. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00132. PubMed PMID:31555652 PubMed Central PMC6722208
  6. Rivera-Núñez, Z, Barrett, ES, Szamreta, EA, Shapses, SA, Qin, B, Lin, Y, Zarbl, H, Buckley, B, Bandera, EV. Urinary mycoestrogens and age and height at menarche in New Jersey girls. Environ Health. 2019;18 (1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12940-019-0464-8. PubMed PMID:30902092 PubMed Central PMC6431018
  7. Fang, M, Kang, HG, Park, Y, Estrella, B, Zarbl, H. In Vitro Bioluminescence Assay to Characterize Circadian Rhythm in Mammary Epithelial Cells. J Vis Exp. 2017; (127):. doi: 10.3791/55832. PubMed PMID:28994762 PubMed Central PMC5752347
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