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David Williams

david.williams [at]

Office: 541-737-3277

Linus Pauling Science Center

Linus Pauling Science Center 473

2900 Southwest Campus Way

2900 Southwest Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331

My research interests focus on environmental carcinogens with an emphasis on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), formed from the incomplete combustion of carbon materials (coal, wood, petroleum, etc.).  We seek to determine not only how these chemicals cause cancer but also approaches for prevention and intervention, primarily by diet.  Past studies have employed trout, zebrafish and mice.  Currently, we are utilizing accelerator mass spectrometry, capable of detection at attomole (10-18) to zeptomole (10-21) levels allowing us to safely (FDA-IND) dose humans with carcinogens at levels at or below average daily exposures.  This allows, for the first time, to study the absorption, metabolism and excretion of these chemicals in humans which will benefit regulatory agencies such as the EPA that are required to set safe limit of exposure but currently have to rely on animal data employing typically a million-times the average exposure.  I am an Investigator in The Linus Pauling Institute and in this study we are examining how phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables can protect humans from these chemical carcinogens by reducing their absorption or enhancing the rate of detoxication and excretion.

GRANT SUPPORT (as PI or project leader)

Past Support:

NIH‑R23 HL35473, "A Novel FAD‑Containing Monooxygenase in Lung", $152,950 (total), 8/1/86‑7/31/89 (this New Investigator Research Award was converted to a FIRST Award on 4/1/87).

OSU Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center, "Peroxidative Pathways of Carcinogenesis in Trout", $14,992, 2/1/88-1/31/89.

  1. Lung Association of Oregon, "Metabolism of Xenobiotics by Lung Flavin‑Containing Monooxygenase", $14,130, 6/1/88‑5/31/89.

NIH‑R29 HL38650, "Novel FAD‑Containing Monooxygenase in Lung", $507,450 (total), 4/1/87‑3/31/92.

NIH-P01 ES04766, "Rainbow Trout: A Model for Environmental Carcinogenesis", Dr. Williams, PI on Project 6, "Peroxidative Pathways of Carcinogenesis in Trout", $549,120 (total for project 6), 9/1/88-4/30/94.

NIH-R01 HL38650, "Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase in Lung", $524,163 (total), 4/1/92-6/30/97.

OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center, "Xenobiotic Metabolism by Nasal Monooxygenases", $13,490,


OSU Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center, "Carcinogenicity of Fumonisin B1 in Trout", $15,000, 7/1/96-6/30/97.

OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center, "Dietary Ginseng as a Modulator of Carcinogenesis", $24,993, 7/1/96-6/30/97.

NIH-R01 HL38650, "Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase in Lung", $1,600,790 (total), 7/1/97-6/30/05.

NIH-T35 ES007316, “Short-Term Research Training for Minority Students”, $81,000 (total), 04/01/98-3/31/03

NIH‑P01 ES04766, "Rainbow Trout: A Model for Environmental Carcinogenesis", Dr. Williams PI on Project 3, "Promotion by Indole-3-Carbinol and Ah Receptor Agonists", $809,300 (total for Project 3), 5/1/94‑4/30/00.

Oregon State University, Building Use Credits, “Building Tank Aeration System for the Food Toxicology and Nutrition Laboratory”, $31,376 (FY 2001-2002).

Oregon State University, Building Use Credits, “Renovation of Weniger 427 for a Fish Culture Lab”, $13,318, (FY 2002-2003).

NIH-T32 ES07060-26, "Mode of Action of Environmental Toxicants", $2,603,200 (total), 7/1/04-6/30/09 (PI until 6/30/06). Note- This training grant was voluntarily transferred to another PI.

NIH-P30 ES03850-19, “Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center”, $2,175,000 (total), 4/1/04-3/31/09. Note: The NIEHS combined the two Centers at Oregon State University; as part of that agreement, Dr. Williams (PI) gave up this P30 two years early.

NIH-P01 CA90890-06, “Comparative Mechanisms of Cancer Chemoprevention”, Dr. Williams PI on Project 2, “Transplacental Chemoprotection and GI Bioavailability”, $1,448,560 (total), 3/1/03-2/29/08.

NIH- R01 ES013534, “Ultra-Low Dose Carcinogen Testing with the Trout Model”, $1,988,400 (total), 7/1/05-9/30/09.

NIH- P42 ES016465-05S1, K.C. Donnelly Supplement to SRP, $10,800 (total) 04/01/13-03/31/14.

NIH- P42 ES016465-05S2, K.C. Donnelly Supplement to SRP, $10,800 (total) 04/01/13-03/31/14.

Allergan- ATX ALGN 1205 Williams Drugs Development, “ALGN Activity of Monooxygenases”, $44,706 (total), 4/1/2005-12/31/2005.

NIH-R01 HL38650-24, “Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase in Lung”, $1,460,000 (total), 3/1/10-2/28/14

NIH- P01 CA90890-11 Rod Dashwood (PI) NIH/NCI- “Comparative Mechanisms of Cancer Chemoprevention (competing renewal)”, Dr. Williams, Director of Project 2- “Epigenetic Mechanisms of Transplacental Cancer Chemoprevention:”, $1,752,000 (total) for project 2, 4/1/10-3/31/16.

OHSU/OSU Cancer Prevention and Control Initiative Pilot Projects- “Zebrafish as a Model for Chemoprevention of T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL)”, $50,00, 1/1/16-12/31/16.

Role (PI)

OSU Agriculture Research Foundation (ARF), “Phytochemical Supplement From Cruciferous Vegetables and Protection of the Fetus from Exposure to Carcinogens: Role of Long Non-Coding RNAs”, $12,500, 02/1/16-1/31/18.

Role (PI)


Current Support:

NIH- P42 ES016465-07, “PAHs: New Technologies and Emerging Health Risks”, $3.1 million (annual total), 4/1/09-3/31/19.

NIH- T32ES007060-37, “Integrated Regional Training Program in Environmental Health Sciences”, This training grant provides funding for 5 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees.

Role (Co-I)

NIH- NIEHS, “Benzo[a]pyrene Micro-dosing of Humans: A New Tool for Exposure, Risk Assessment and Prevention”, R01 ES028600-01A1, 01-01-2018-11/30/2022, $2.51 million (total), Williams, PI, Smith and Tilton, co-Is.