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Regina M. Santella

Vice Dean, Faculty Affairs and Research
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Director, Columbia Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan
Co-leader Cancer Epidemiology Program and Director Biomarkers Shared Resource, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Regina Santella's research involves the use of biomarkers for the detection of human exposure to environmental and occupational carcinogens in molecular epidemiology studies to identify causative factors, susceptible populations, and preventive interventions. Her work has allowed the determination of exposure to carcinogens by the measurement of their binding to DNA with highly specific and sensitive immunoassays using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies that her laboratory has developed. These studies have demonstrated higher levels of DNA damage in those with environmental or occupational exposures and in subjects with breast, lung, and liver cancer compared to controls. The role of genetic susceptibility in cancer risk is also being investigated. Current studies seek to understand the role of environmental/lifestyle factors on epigenetic changes in DNA methylation and microRNA expression, how they impact cancer risk as well as whether epigenetic changes in can be used for early diagnosis of cancer.   View Faculty CV here (PDF).
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1976, City University of New York

    MS, 1971, University of Massachusetts

    BS, 1969, Brooklyn College


Mailman School Affiliations:

    University Affiliations:

    Additional Affiliations:

    • Member, American Association for Cancer Research
    • Member, Society of Toxicology
    • Member, American Chemical Society
    • Member, Environmental Mutagen Society
    • Member, Sigma Xi
    • Member, Harvey Society
    Selected Editorial Boards:
    • Environmental Health Perspectives
      Biological Markers of Aflatoxin Exposure
      Dr. Santella is working on a case-control study of hepatocellular cancer nested in a cancer screening cohort of 25,000 subjects in Taiwan. Biomarkers of exposure to environmental carcinogens, hepatitis virus infection, and epigenetic changes are being measured. In addition analysis of tumor DNA circulating blood for gene-specific methylation is being evaluated for early diagnosis.
      Countries: Taiwan

    Selected Publications: