Amanda K. McCullough, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
  • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
  • Co-Director, Molecular & Medical Genetics Graduate Program
  • Molecular and Medical Genetics Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Cancer Biology Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine


Dr. McCullough received her doctoral degree in Cellular and Molecular biology from the University of Vermont. She completed postdoctoral training at Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Research in the McCullough laboratory is focused on the biochemical mechanisms of DNA repair systems and the regulation and roles of DNA repair in cellular responses to environmental stress. Ultimately, we are interested in correlating alterations in these systems with human cancers, aging and other disease states. Currently our research is focused on:  1) cellular pathways for the tolerance and repair of DNA-protein crosslinks; 2) biochemical mechanisms and therapeutic applications of ultraviolet (UV) light-induced DNA damage-specific glycosylases; and 3) mechanisms and regulation of human oxidative DNA damage-specific repair and how defects in these pathways contribute to colorectal cancers and metabolic disease.

Education and training

    • Ph.D., 1992, University of Vermont School of Medicine

Areas of interest

  • Genome Instability and Cancer
  • DNA Repair
  • Environmental Exposures and Human Disease
  • DNA Damage Response Pathways and Cancer Therapeutics
  • Ultraviolet light-induced carcinogenesis

Honors and awards

  • Excellence in Teaching – Graduate Studies Program, OHSU, 2017


Selected publications

  • Minko IG, Vartanian VL, Tozaki NN, Coskun E, Coskun SH, Jaruga P, Yeo J, David SS, Stone MP, Egli M, Dizdaroglu M, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. Recognition of DNA adducts by edited and unedited forms of DNA glycosylase NEIL1. 2019. Accepted and in production at DNA Repair.
  • Schaser AJ, Osterberg VR, Dent SE, Stackhouse TL, Wakeham CM, Boutros SW, Weston LJ, *Owen N, Weissman TA, Luna E, Raber J, Luk KC, McCullough AK, Woltjer RL, Unni VK. Alphasynuclein is a DNA binding protein that modulates DNA repair with implications for Lewy body disorders. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 29;9(1): 10919. PMCID: PMC6662836.
  • Minko IG, Vartanian VL, Tozaki NN, Linde OK, Jaruga P, Coskun SH, Coskun E, Qu C, He H, Xu C, Chen T, Song Q, Jiao Y, Stone MP, Egli M, Dizdaroglu M, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. Characterization of rare NEIL1 variants found in East Asian populations. DNA Repair (Amst). 2019 May 3;79:32-39. PMCID: PMC6677271.
  • McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. Mechanisms underlying aflatoxin-associated mutagenesis - Implications in carcinogenesis. DNA Repair (Amst). 2019 May;77:76-86
  • Minko, IG, Christov, PP, Li L, Stone, MP, McCullough, AK, Lloyd RS. Processing of N5-substituted formamidopyrimidine DNA adducts by DNA glycosylases NEIL1 and NEIL3. DNA Repair 2019 Jan; 73:49-54. PMCID: PMC6588396.
  • Juarez, E, Chambwe, N, Tang, W, Mitchell, AD, Owen, N, Kumari, A., Monnat, RJ, McCullough, AK. An RNAi screen in human cell lines reveals conserved DNA damage repair pathways that mitigate formaldehyde sensitivity. DNA Repair 2018 Dec; 72:1-9. PMCID: PMC6652219.
  • Sha Y, Vartanian V, *Owen N, Mengden Koon SJ, *Calkins MJ, Thompson CS, Mirafzali Z, Mir S, Goldsmith LE, He H, Luo C, Brown SM, Doetsch PW, Kaempf A, Lim JY, McCullough, AK, Lloyd RS. Modulation of UVB-induced Carcinogenesis by activation of alternative DNA repair pathways. Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 15;8(1):705. PMCID: PMC5768739.
  • Vartanian V, Minko IG, Chawanthayatham S, Egner PA, Lin YC, Earley LF, Makar R, Eng JR, Camp MT, Li L, Stone MP, Lasarev MR, Groopman JD, Croy RG, Essigmann JM, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. NEIL1 protects against aflatoxin-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Apr 3. PMCID: PMC5402411.
  • Lin YC, Owen N, Minko IG, Lange SS, Li L, Stone MP, Wood RD, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. DNA polymerase exposure. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 29;113(48):13774-13779. PMCID: PMC5137696.
  • Calkins MJ, Vartanian V, Owen N, Kirkali G, Jaruga P, Dizdaroglu M, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS. Enhanced sensitivity of Neil1-/-mice to chronic UVB exposure. DNA Repair (Amst). 2016 Dec;48:43-50. PMCID: PMC5499380.