Lawrence S. Engel

Lawrence S. Engel, PhD

Department of Epidemiology
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility
2104G McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Engel's research focuses on the impact of disasters, including oil spills and hurricanes, on a range of health outcomes; pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, and hazardous air pollutants in relation to cancer and neurological deficits; and occupational and environmental risk factors for chronic kidney disease. 

Dr. Engel leads the programs in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology in the UNC Department of Epidemiology. He teaches a graduate course and lectures on environmental, occupational, and disaster epidemiology. Dr. Engel also holds an appointment as associate scientist in the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Honors and Awards

NIH Director’s Award for the Gulf Long-term Follow-up (GuLF) Study
2011, National Insitute of Environmental Health Sciences

Teaching Interests

Dr. Engel has given invited lectures on the use of biomarkers in epidemiologic research, disaster epidemiology, environmental and occupational risk factors for cancer, and health effects associated with pesticides.

Representative Courses

Environmental Epidemiology (EPID 785) | Syllabus

Research Activities

Dr. Engel is involved in a range of environmental and occupational epidemiology studies involving biomarkers and clinical, interview and administrative data.

Service Activities

Dr. Engel serves on the admissions committee of the UNC Department of Epidemiology. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Environmental Health Study for Western New York at the University at Buffalo.

Key Publications

Prediagnostic serum organochlorine insecticide concentrations and primary liver cancer: A case-control study nested within two prospective cohorts. Engel LS, Zabor EC, Satagopan J, Widell A, Rothman N, O'Brien TR, Zhang M, Van Den Eeden SK, Grimsrud TK (2019). Int J Cancer, 145(9), 2360-71.

Environmental Styrene Exposure and Sensory and Motor Function in Gulf Coast Residents. Werder EJ, Sandler DP, Richardson DB, Emch ME, Kwok RK, Gerr FE, Engel LS (2019). Environ Health Perspect, 127(4), 47006.

Exposure to Total Hydrocarbons During Cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Risk of Heart Attack Across 5 Years of Follow-up. Strelitz J, Sandler DP, Keil AP, Richardson DB, Heiss G, Gammon MD, Kwok RK, Stewart PA, Stenzel MR, Engel LS (2019). Am J Epidemiol, 188(5), 917-27.

Insecticide Use and Breast Cancer Risk among Farmers' Wives in the Agricultural Health Study. Engel LS, Werder E, Satagopan J, Blair A, Hoppin JA, Koutros S, Lerro CC, Sandler DP, Alavanja MC, Beane Freeman LE (2017). Environ Health Perspect, 125(9), 097002.

Polychlorinated biphenyl levels in peripheral blood and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a report from three cohorts. Engel LS, Laden F, Andersen A, Strickland PT, Blair A, Needham LL, Barr DB, Wolff MS, Helzlsouer K, Hunter DJ, Lan Q, Cantor KP, Comstock GW, Brock JW, Bush D, Hoover RN, Rothman N (2007). Cancer Res, 67(11), 5545-52.


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington-Seattle, 1999
  • MS, Epidemiology, University of Washington-Seattle, 1996
  • BS, Genetics, University of California-Berkeley, 1986