Tom Hei

Tom Hei

Tom Hei

Environmental Health Sciences and Radiation Oncology


Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University, Vanderbilt Clinic 11-205, 630 West 168th St.
New York NY 10032
Website address: Email:


Dr. Tom Hei's research focuses on environmental carcinogenesis, specifically mechanisms of chemical and radiation carcinogenesis/mutagenesis at the cellular and molecular levels. Dr. Hei is working on ongoing funded research programs focused on the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of environmental carcinogens such as tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos fibers, and heavy metals. Immortalized human bronchial and breast epithelial cell models are used to examine the molecular mechanisms involved in the multistage nature of human carcinogenesis.



PhD, 1983, Case Western Reserve University
BS, 1976, University of Wisconsin

Editorial Boards

Advances in Space Research
Journal of Radiation Research

Columbia Affiliations

Associate Director, Center for Radiological Research
Deputy Director, Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan
Vice-Chairman, Radiation Oncology

Other Affiliations

Adjunct Professor and PhD Student Mentor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, China, 1996- Present
Adjunct Professor, Department of Radiological and Environmental Health Sciences, Colorado State University, 1994- Present
Member, NASA Radiation Health Panel, 1999-2002
Member, NIH Intramural Review Board, 2001-2003
Vice-chair, Committee F of the Commission on Space Radiation Research, 2004-

Honors & Awards

Keynote Speaker, 8th Chinese Radiation and Environment Meeting, Kunming, 2005
Rudbeck Lecturer, Annual Meeting of the Nordic Radiobiology Society, 2004
Keynote Speaker, Asbestos and Nanoparticles, Torino, Italy, 2004
Keynote Speaker, 9th National Radon Meeting, Las Vegas, 1999 and 2002
Distinguished Cancer Center Speaker, University of Kentucky, 2000

Areas of Expertise

Cancer, Oncogenes, Oncoproteins, Arsenic Exposure, Environmental Risk Factors, Radiation Exposure, Gene-Environment Interactions, Genetic Susceptibility, Genetics

Select Global Activities

Center of Excellence in Radiological Health Sciences Nagasaki University, Japan, Japan: Dr. Hei is participating in and directing this international collaboration in the research and teaching of radiation biology to graduate and medical students and postdoctoral fellows between members of the consortium. The collaboration aims to promote a better understanding of low dose radiation risk to the general public and provide educational forum for the various activities.
Radiation biology of targeted irradiation: This project aims to provide training and research opportunities to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in radiological sciences, specifically the use of the Columbia Microbeam that can selectively target either the cellular nuclear or cytoplasm for various genotoxic endpoints.
Environmental Health and basic mechanisms of carcinogenesis: This project promotes collaboration between the Institute of Radiation Medicine, National Institute of Radiological Protection, both of Beijing, China and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences of Columbia University in research and teaching of environmental cancer, specifically those of lung and breast.

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