Gillings School Directory
Leena Nylander-French, PhD

Leena Nylander-French, PhD, CIH

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
Occupational Exposure Science and Industrial Hygiene Program
  • 159 Rosenau Hall
  • CB# 7431
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Dr. Nylander-French's research and teaching program is focused on understanding the consequences of human exposure to toxic substances. Her 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. They are developing sophisticated mathematical, statistical, and toxicokinetic exposure-modeling tools in an effort to standardize and improve exposure and risk assessment. Currently, they 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.

Representative Courses

Biological Monitoring in Exposure Assessment, ENVR 770

Health Effects of Environmental Agents, ENVR 430

Research Activities

Occupational health

Key Publications

Factors affecting variability in the urinary biomarker 1,6-hexamethylene diamine in workers exposed to 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate. Kenneth Fent, Sheila Flack, Linda Gaines, Leena Nylander-French, Jennifer Thomasen, Stephen Whittaker (2011). Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 13(1), 119-127.

The utility of naphthyl-keratin adducts as biomarkers for jet-fuel exposure. et al., Tatyana Borisova, Mary Butler, Yi-Chun Chao, Peter Egeghy, Lynn Frame, John French, Juei-Chuan Kang-Sickel, Wang Li, Leena Nylander-French, Stephen Rappaport, Berrin Serdar, Christine Toennis (2011). Biomarkers, 16(7), 590-599.

Occupational exposure to HDI: Progress and challenges in biomarker analysis. Louise Ball, Sheila Flack, Leena Nylander-French (2010). Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 878(27), 2635-2642.


Postdoctoral Program, Exposure Assessment, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996

PhD, Occupational and Industrial Hygiene, Royal Institute of Technology, 1994

MSc, Environmental Hygiene, University of Kuopio, 1987

BSc, Environmental Hygiene, University of Kuopio, 1986

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