Leena Nylander-French, PhD


Environmental Sciences & Engineering

Curriculum Vitae 
Occupational and Environmental Exposure Science Program 
North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center 
REACH NC (Collexis) Research Profile

159 Rosenau Hall , UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health 
135 Dauer Drive 
Campus Box 7431 
Chapel Hill 27599 
T: 919-966-3826 
F: 919-966-7911 


1986  The University of Kuopio, Finland  BSc, Environmental Hygiene

1987  The University of Kuopio, Finland  Chemistry

1987  The University of Kuopio, Finland MSc,  Environmental Hygiene

1994  Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden  PhD, Occupational & Industrial Hygiene

Research activities

My research and teaching program is focused on understanding the consequences of human exposure to toxic substances. My laboratory has pioneered quantitative measurement techniques for inhalation and skin exposures as well as for biological monitoring of toxicants to estimate total body dose, which is critical to assess risk to health. We are developing sophisticated mathematical, statistical, and toxicokinetic exposure-modeling tools in an effort to standardize and improve exposure and risk assessment. Currently we are developing both exposure assessment methodologies and in vitro skin tissue models to investigate the role of individual genetic and epigenetic alterations to variations observed in biomarker levels after exposure to xenobiotics and to understand the impact and plausibility of these alterations on development of disease. This research requires a new scientific approach to quantitatively measure exposure to toxicants, determine individual differences, including genetic and epigenetic differences, between exposed subjects, and sophisticated exposure-modeling tools.


ENVR 770  Biological Monitoring in Exposure Assessment  Syllabus

ENVR 430  Health Effects of Environmental Agents


Research Interests

  • Occupational health


Key Publications

Kang-Sickel, J.-C.C.; Butler, M.A.; Frame, L.; Serdar, B.; Chao, Y.-C.E.; Egeghy, P.; Rappaport, S.M.; Toennis, C.A.; Li, W.; Borisova, T.; French, J.E. and Nylander-French, L.A. (2011) 
The utility of naphthyl-keratin adducts as biomarkers for jet-fuel exposure
Biomarkers: vol.16, p.590-599.

Gaines, L.G.T.; Fent, K.; Flack, S.; Thomasen, J.; Whittaker, S. and Nylander-French, L.A.: (2011) 
Factors affecting variability in urinary biomarker 1,6-hexamethylene diamine in workers exposed to 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI)
J Environ Monit: vol.13, p.119-127.

Flack, S.; Ball, L.M. and Nylander-French, L.A. (2010) 
Occupational exposure to HDI: progress and challenges in biomarker analysis
J Chromatog B: vol.878, p.2635–2642.

Kim, D.; Andersen, M.E.; Chao, Y-C.E.; Egeghy, P.P.; Rappaport, S.M. and Nylander-French, L.A. (2007) 
PBTK modeling demonstrates contribution of dermal and inhalation exposure components to end-exhaled breath concentrations of naphthalene
Environ Health Perspect: vol.115, p.894-901.

Nylander-French, L.A. (2000) 
A tape-stripping method for measuring dermal exposure to multifunctional acrylates
Ann Occup Hyg: vol.44, p.645-651.


Staff/Administrative Responsibilities

Chair – Conflict of Interest Committee, Gillings School of Global Public Health; Member – Research Council, Gillings School of Global Public Health; Executive Board Member – Curriculum of Toxicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill