Mitchell S. Turker, PhD, JD
- Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
- Professor, Molecular & Medical Genetics, OHSU School of Medicine
- Graduate Faculty, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis
- RJH 1590
I am interested in the mechanisms of abnormal gene inactivation and the relevance of these events to cancer. 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 epigenetic silencing, which involves loss of gene expression without alteration of the gene sequence. With regards 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. A current focus is on how accelerated particles in space cause large-scale genomic damage that could affect astronauts during prolonged space travel. Our work with epigenetic silencing focuses on how silencing is initiated and determining the pathways that cause active genes to become aberrantly turned off.
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 the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, he was a visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University. Dr. Turker received a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School in May 2008 with a certificate in Environmental Law. Dr. Turker served as a Jefferson Science Fellow in the Department of State in Washington DC from summer 2010 to summer 2011.