Photo of Mitchell Turker, Ph.D., J.D.

Mitchell Turker Ph.D., J.D.

  • (503) 494-2168
    • Professor Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
    • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics School of Medicine
    • Molecular and Medical Genetics Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Cancer Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine

Dr. Turker received his PhD in Pathology from the University of Washington (UW) and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He served as a Research Instructor in the Department of Pathology at UW. He went on to the University of Kentucky where he served as an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology/Immunology and Director, Experimental Pathology. Prior to joining CROET, he was a visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University.Research ActivitiesI am interested in the mechanisms of abnormal gene inactivation and the relevance of these events to cancer and aging. Cancer and aging are linked because the incidence of cancer increases as we get older, but the reasons for this link are not understood. One possible mechanism that can explain this link is aberrant gene inactivation, because it is known that gene inactivation plays a critical role in cancer, and it is believed that the frequency of gene inactivation increases as a function of age. Abnormal gene inactivation results from two distinct types of events. The first is DNA mutation, which represents a change in the structure of DNA that alters expression of a given gene. The second type of event is DNA methylation, which causes silencing of a gene without affecting the gene sequence. My laboratory is using the autosomal mouse Aprt gene to study both mutational and DNA methylation events. With regard to mutational events, we are interested in both endogenous and exogenous genotoxins that can affect the frequency and types of mutations that occur within the animal. Our work with DNA methylation focuses on how methylation patterns are formed and on how perturbations of these patterns can lead to silencing of genes.

Areas of interest

  • Biological effects of ionizing radiation
  • Space radiation
  • Mutagenesis
  • Environmental epigenetics
  • Circadian rhythm epigenetics

Education

  • J.D., Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland Oregon 2008
  • Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle Washington 1984

Honors and awards

  • Jefferson Science Fellow, US Department of State, 2010-2011
  • 2014-2015 Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides ­-Tenth Biennial Update

Memberships and associations

  • AACRRadiation Research Society

Publications

  • "Bi-directional and shared epigenomic signatures following proton and Fe irradiation." Scientific Reports  In: , Vol. 7, No. 1, 10227, 01.12.2017.
  • "Simulated space radiation-induced mutants in the mouse kidney display widespread genomic change." PLoS ONE  In: , Vol. 12, No. 7, e0180412, 01.07.2017.
  • "Induction of the long noncoding RNA NBR2 from the bidirectional BRCA1 promoter under hypoxic conditions." Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis In: , Vol. 796, 01.02.2017, p. 13-19.
  • "Short- and long-term effects of Fe irradiation on cognition and hippocampal DNA methylation and gene expression." BMC Genomics  In: , Vol. 17, No. 1, 825, 24.10.2016.
  • "Charged particle mutagenesis at low dose and fluence in mouse splenic T cells." Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis In: , 18.02.2016.
  • "Galactic cosmic ray simulation at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory." Life Sciences in Space Research In: , Vol. 8, 01.02.2016, p. 38-51.
  • "Proton irradiation induces persistent and tissue-specific DNA methylation changes in the left ventricle and hippocampus." BMC Genomics  In: , Vol. 17, No. 1, 273, 2016.
  • "Sex- and dose-dependent effects of calcium ion irradiation on behavioral performance of B6D2F1 mice during contextual fear conditioning training." Life Sciences in Space Research In: , 12.12.2015.
  • "Oxygen irradiation enhances cued fear memory in B6D2F1 mice." Life Sciences in Space Research In: , Vol. 7, 01.11.2015, p. 61-65.
  • "Accelerated Ti Ions Induce Autosomal Mutations in Mouse Kidney Epithelium at Low Dose and Fluence." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 184, No. 4, 01.10.2015, p. 367-377.
  • "Silicon Irradiation Impairs Contextual Fear Memory in B6D2F1 Mice." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 183, No. 6, 01.06.2015, p. 708-712.
  • "Silencing of the DNA Mismatch Repair Gene MLH1 Induced by Hypoxic Stress in a Pathway Dependent on the Histone Demethylase LSD1." Cell Reports In: , Vol. 8, No. 2, 24.07.2014, p. 501-513.
  • "Autosomal mutants of proton-exposed kidney cells display frequent loss of heterozygosity on nonselected chromosomes." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 181, No. 5, 2014, p. 452-463.
  • "Epigenetic patents : A stressful environment for an emerging science." Biotechnology Law Report In: , Vol. 32, No. 5, 01.10.2013, p. 302-312.
  • "Autosomal mutations in mouse kidney epithelial cells exposed to high-energy protons in vivo or in culture." Radiation Research  In: , Vol. 179, No. 5, 05.2013, p. 521-529.
  • "Comparative analysis of cell killing and autosomal mutation in mouse kidney epithelium exposed to 1 GeV protons in vitro or in vivo." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 179, No. 5, 05.2013, p. 511-520.
  • "Hypoxia-induced epigenetic regulation and silencing of the BRCA1 promoter." Molecular and Cellular Biology In: , Vol. 31, No. 16, 08.2011, p. 3339-3350.
  • "Marked aneuploidy and loss of multiple chromosomes are common in autosomal mutants isolated from normal mouse kidney epithelium." Genes Chromosomes and Cancer In: , Vol. 50, No. 4, 04.2011, p. 239-249.
  • "Aberrantly silenced promoters retain a persistent memory of the silenced state after long-term reactivation." Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis In: , Vol. 706, No. 1-2, 10.01.2011, p. 21-27.
  • "Erratum : Comparison of autosomal mutations in mouse kidney epithelial cells exposed to iron ions in situ or in culture. (Radiation Research (2009) 172 (558-566))." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 173, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 124.
  • "In Utero Life and Epigenetic Predisposition for Disease."  C ed. Unknown Publisher, 2010. 21 p. (Advances in Genetics; Vol. 71, No. C).
  • "Monoketone analogs of curcumin, a new class of Fanconi anemia pathway inhibitors." Molecular Cancer In: , Vol. 8, 133, 31.12.2009.
  • "Comparative analysis of cell killing and autosomal mutation in mouse kidney epithelium exposed to 1 GeV/nucleon iron ions in vitro or in situ." Radiation Research In: , Vol. 172, No. 5, 11.2009, p. 550-557.
  • "Comparison of autosomal mutations in mouse kidney epithelial cells exposed to iron ions in situ or in culture." Radiation Research  In: , Vol. 172, No. 5, 11.2009, p. 558-566.
  • "Aberrant epigenetic silencing is triggered by a transient reduction in gene expression." PLoS One In: , Vol. 4, No. 3, e4832, 12.03.2009.
  • "DNA repair modulates the vulnerability of the developing brain to alkylating agents." DNA Repair In: , Vol. 8, No. 3, 01.03.2009, p. 400-412.
  • "The frequency of CC to TT tandem mutations in mismatch repair-deficient cells is increased in a cytosine run." Mutagenesis In: , Vol. 23, No. 2, 03.2008, p. 87-91.
  • "The spectra of large second-step mutations are similar for two different mouse autosomes." Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis In: , Vol. 637, No. 1-2, 01.01.2008, p. 66-72.
  • "High frequency induction of CC to TT tandem mutations in DNA repair-proficient mammalian cells." Photochemistry and Photobiology In: , Vol. 84, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 222-227.
  • "Age-related accumulation of autosomal mutations in solid tissues of the mouse is gender and cell type specific." Aging Cell  In: , Vol. 6, No. 1, 02.2007, p. 73-86.

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