James Swenberg, PhD, DVM

Kenan Distinguished Professor Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering

T:(919) 966-6139


347 Rosenau Hall

CB #7431

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Swenberg’s long, successful research career focused on chemical carcinogenesis and toxicology, with an emphasis on studying the role of DNA damage and repair in carcinogenesis, developing highly sensitive assay methods for DNA and protein adduct research and improving the scientific basis of risk assessment. He makes extensive use of mass spectroscopy for biomarker studies. After a successful industrial and research institute career, he joined UNC-Chapel Hill as a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. In addition to his Department of Nutrition appointment, he is also a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and is the Director of Curriculum in Toxicology. He is affiliated with the Department of Nutrition as a trainer on the Department of Nutrition’s NIH Training Grant. His work on oxidant damage is of great interest to the Department and he contributes research supervision and instruction to Nutrition graduate students. He is a member of numerous prestigious toxicology and pathology societies and serves on several science and editorial advisory boards.

Honors and Awards

Philippe Shubik Distinguished Scientist Award
2012, Toxicology Forum

Board of Publications Best Paper in Toxicological Sciences Award for 2010
2011, Society of Toxicology

Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award for Excellence in teaching, research and service
2010, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Merit Award
2007, Society of Toxicology

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences & Engineering
2006, UNC School of Public Health

Distinguished Research Alumnus Award
2005, University of Minnesota

Distinguished Alumnus Award - College of Veterinary Medicine
2001, Ohio State University

Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society
1998, UNC-CH

John Barnes Award
1993, British Toxicology Society

George Scott Award
1990, Toxicology Forum

Phi Zeta
1966, University of Minnesota

B.S. with high distinction
1964, University of Minnesota

Key Publications

An organizational approach for the assessment of DNA adduct data in risk assessment: Case studies for aflatoxin B1, tamoxifen and vinyl chloride. Larry Andrews, Ammie Bachman, Peter Boogaard, Jean Cadet, Michelle Embry, Peter Farmer, Matthew Himmelstein, Annie Jarabek, James Kim, Elizabeth Martin, Robert Mauthe, Rudranath Persaud, Lynn Pottenger, R. Preston, Rita Schoeny, Julie Skare, James Swenberg, Gary Williams, Errol Zeiger, Fagen Zhang (2014). Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 44(4), 348-391.

Arsenic exposure perturbs the gut microbiome and its metabolic profile in mice: An integrated metagenomics and metabolomics analysis. Ryan Abo, James Fox, Michelle Graffam, Stuart Levine, Kun Lu, Katherine Schlieper, James Swenberg, Steven Tannenbaum, John Wishnok (2014). Environmental Health Perspectives, 122(3), 284-291.

Bis-butanediol-mercapturic acid (bis-BDMA) as a urinary biomarker of metabolic activation of butadiene to its ultimate carcinogenic species. Amanda Esades, Lance Hallberg, Srikanth Kotapati, Dewakar Sangaraju, James Swenberg, Natalia Tretyakova, Vernon Walker (2014). Carcinogenesis, 35(6), 1371-1378.

Formaldehyde-associated changes in micrornas: Tissue and temporal specificity in the rat nose, white blood cells, and bone marrow. Melanie Doyle-Eisele, Rebecca Fry, Dean Kracko, Sloane Miller, Benjamin Moeller, Julia Rager, James Swenberg (2014). Toxicological Sciences, 138(1), 36-46.

Guanine-5-carboxylcytosine base pairs mimic mismatches during DNA replication. Leonard Collins, Fumio Hanaoka, Shinsuke Ito, Shigenori Iwai, Rie Kanao, Haruhiko Koseki, Isao Kuraoka, Yuji Masuda, Chikahide Masutani, Marika Shibata, Toshihiro Shibutani, James Swenberg, Mariko Toda, Miho Urabe (2014). Scientific Reports, 4.


PhD, Veterinary Pathology, Ohio State University, 1970

PhD, Veterinary Pathology, Ohio State University, 1968

DVM, Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 1966

BS, Pre-Veterinary, University of Minnesota, 1964