Georgetown Lombardi Visiting Professor and Grand Rounds Lecture Series Featuring John Groopman, PhD
“Transitions of the Etiology of Human Liver Cancer: 3rd Leading Cause of Cancer Death in 2021”
John Groopman, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Sponsor: Dr. Christopher Loffredo
Dr. John Groopman is the Edyth H. Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Associate Director for Population Sciences at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in the School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was also a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. He received further training as a staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins in 1989, Dr. Groopman was the Associate Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health.
Dr. Groopman’s main research interests involve 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. 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 in human samples as early detection of disease biomarkers using a novel mass spectroscopy-based method for genotyping developed in the laboratory. The most cited research publication from this research was the finding from a prospective cohort of over 18,000 people in Shanghai that established for the first time a viral-chemical interaction essential to the etiology of liver cancer, a leading cause of cancer death in the world. This work has led to the collaborative chemoprevention trials in China. Collectively, Dr. Groopman’s expertise involves the biological consequences of exposures to mycotoxins and other environmental contaminates on human health. The research in this laboratory, resulting in over 320 peer-reviewed publications and chapters, focuses on the translation of mechanistic research to public health-based prevention strategies.
Dr. Groopman also served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the NIEHS and numerous other committees at the national and international level. In recognition of his contributions to cancer prevention efforts, Dr. Groopman was the recipient of the 2010 American Association for Cancer Research – Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research and the gave the Ronald Herberman Memorial Lecture for National Cancer Prevention Day in 2016. In 2021, Dr. Groopman was appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – Committee on Toxicology for a three-year term.