Lawrence Engel

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.

Lawrence Engel

School of Public Health
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Epidemiology

2104G McGavran-Greenberg Hall

Area of interest

Dr. Engel’s research is focused primarily on occupational and environmental risk factors for cancer. His areas of interest include the association of persistent organic pollutants with risk of cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer, and the relation of pesticides with risk of breast cancer. Much of his research utilizes prospective, population-based cohorts, both domestic and international, with banked blood or urine samples. This approach allows the measurement of certain occupational/environmental contaminants in the banked samples, which can provide a more accurate estimate of exposure during a relevant time period than is often possible through other means. By also assessing genotypes and measuring biomarkers of effect in these samples, Dr. Engel investigates gene-environment interactions and possible etiologic mechanisms underlying observed associations.
He is a co-investigator on the GuLF STUDY, a long-term, prospective cohort study of over 31,000 workers who participated in the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These workers were potentially exposed to a diverse set of agents, including benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dispersants, and petroleum combustion products. Several of these are known or suspected carcinogens. This study has collected biospecimens together with extensive health, exposure, and demographic/lifestyle data, and has administered a number of clinical tests. Periodic follow-up of the study participants will include detailed interviews and repeat clinical examinations and biospecimen collection on a subset of participants. The study will examine a range of short- and medium-term health outcomes. Cancer and intermediate cancer biomarkers will be examined in the future.

Awards and Honors

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

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