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Lawrence Engel, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member, a UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility member and Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Professor, Epidemiology
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Epidemiology

Area of Interest

My research is focused primarily on environmental and occupational risk factors for a range of chronic diseases, including neurological conditions, kidney injury/disease, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer, with emphasis on molecular and disaster epidemiology. I have pursued research in the following key areas:

  1. body burden of persistent organic pollutants in relation to risk of several cancers
  2. pesticides and risk of breast cancer, renal disease, and biomarkers of effect; and
  3. genetic polymorphisms in selected pathways as predictors of mutational “signatures” in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)

I have been a co-PI on the NIEHS-administered Gulf Study since its inception; this long-term, prospective cohort study is investigating a range of health outcomes among ~33,000 individuals involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico. This study collected a range of biospecimens and extensive clinical, mental and physical health, exposure, and demographic/lifestyle data at baseline and is collecting more such biospecimens and data during periodic follow-up clinical exams and telephone interviews. In addition to long-term follow-up for cancer and other chronic diseases, this study is investigating short- and medium-term biological markers of effect that may be related to cardiometabolic injury and other adverse health outcomes. I am also conducting research into chemical and microbial contamination sources and health outcomes following hurricanes and related flooding in North Carolina.

Awards and Honors

  • NIH Director’s Award for the Gulf Long-term Follow-up (GuLF) Study, 2011
  • National Institutes of Health Merit Award, 2010
  • Outstanding Poster Award, Annual Mtg of the Soc. for Epidemiologic Rsch, Salt Lake City, UT, 2004
  • National Cancer Institute Technology Transfer Award, 2001
  • National Cancer Institute Fellowship Achievement Award, 2001

Find publications on PubMed