Stony Brook Distinguished Professor Receives International Award


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    Stony Brook Distinguished Professor Receives International Award

    Dr. Arthur Grollman honored by the Environmental Mutagen Society

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., December 9, 2011 –Arthur Grollman, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Pharmacological Sciences, Evelyn G. Glick Professor of Experimental Medicine, and Director of the Zickler Laboratory of Chemical Biology at Stony Brook

    Dr. Grollman

    University School of Medicine, has received the 2011 Environmental Mutagen Society (EMS) Award. The honor is conferred annually by the EMS in recognition of outstanding research contributions in the area of environmental mutagenesis.

    Dr. Grollman received the EMS Award for his fundamental studies on the mechanisms of mutagenesis and DNA repair and his public health investigations linking environmental mutagens to human disease. Previous awardees include scientists who have pioneered ground-breaking discoveries on DNA damage and repair.

    “Some very distinguished scientists in the field have received the EMS Award, and I am honored to be included in their company,” says Dr. Grollman, who joined the Stony Brook faculty in 1974 as Professor of Medicine and founding Chair of the Department of Pharmacological Sciences.

    “The impact of Dr. Grollman’s work is vast and includes landmark achievements in the area of environmental mutagenesis research and his impressive work on aristolochic acid, which has alerted scientists to the fact that aristolochic acid-induced nephropathy and urothelial cancer are ongoing public health concerns worldwide,” says Mugimane Manjanatha, Ph.D., Chair of the EMS Communications Committee.

    In recent years Dr. Grollman and his associates conducted a series of studies that established Balkan endemic nephropathy, Chinese herb nephropathy, and aristolochic acid (AA) nephropathy as related diseases caused by ingestion of AA, a component of plant extracts of Aristolochia species.


    According to the EMS, Dr. Grollman and his associates provided a detailed, coherent, and irrefutable set of data establishing the mechanism of AA-induced carcinogenesis. These included analyses of p53 mutations in humans exposed to AA, and evidence that AA-induced DNA adducts produce the spectrum of mutation observed in the human p53 gene. Dr. Grollman’s work established AA as the environmental cause of Balkan endemic nephropathy, whose etiology until his groundbreaking work was unknown.

    Dr. Grollman’s studies on site-specific mutagenesis represent an important scientific advance. His work in this area led the way in terms of establishing for the first time the mutagenic specificity of single, defined DNA lesions. Dr. Grollman and his team also played a critical role in establishing that DNA polymerases incorporate dAMP and dCMP opposite 8-oxoguanine. Consequently, his pioneering work in this area is essential in terms of understanding the mutagenic spectrum induced by this frequently oxidized base.

    Furthermore, Dr. Grollman and his collaborators made landmark contributions to current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which DNA repair proteins, including DNA glycosylases, DNA polymerases, and endonucleases, process oxidative DNA damage.

    Dr. Grollman’s research interests focus on the biological consequences of DNA damage as they relate to molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, mutagenesis, and DNA repair. In addition to his group’s ongoing studies on the toxicogenomics of aristolochic acid nephropathy and associated urothelial cancer, he directs a long-standing, NIH-supported research program on Oxidative DNA Damage. 

    A recognized expert on the clinical pharmacology of herbal medicines, Dr. Grollman has testified on this subject before the White House Commission on Alternative and Complementary Health Policy, the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Governor of New York’s Task Force on Life and Law.

    Dr. Grollman has served on numerous scientific advisory committees and editorial boards, including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He has received two American Cancer Society Scholar Awards, a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute and was recently elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.

    Dr. Grollman received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Following internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins, he conducted research at the National Institutes of Health. He then joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., where he became Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Molecular Biology. He served concurrently as Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at Albert Einstein from 1970 to 1972 and held a similar position at Stony Brook from 1994 to 1996.

    Dr. Grollman’s clinical positions have included that of Attending Physician at hospitals associated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He also has held Visiting Professorships at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, the National Cancer Research Center (Japan), the Weizmann Institute (Israel), University of Washington and New York University.

    The EMS membership represents academia, industry, and government. The organization promotes critical scientific knowledge and research into the causes and consequences of damage to the genome and epigenome in order to support international efforts to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.