CENIC's Biomarkers Core

The Tobacco Constituent and Biomarker Assessment Core provides a unique resource for all CENIC projects. Investigators in this Core comprise one of the leading academic laboratories in the world for chemical analysis of tobacco constituents and related metabolites and biomarkers. The following biomarkers are being quantified:

  • nicotine equivalents (the total of nicotine, cotinine, and trans-3’-hydroxycotinine and their glucuronides),
  • total NNAL (the total of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol and its glucuronides),
  • total NNN (the total of free and glucuronidated N’-nitrosonornicotine),
  • mercapturic acids of the volatile carcinogens 1,3-butadiene, benzene, acrolein, crotonaldehyde, and ethylene oxide,
  • and the inflammation and oxidative damage biomarkers 11-α-hydroxy-9,15-dioxo-2,3,4,5-tetranorprostane-1,20-dioic acid (PGE-M) and 9,11,15-trihydroxyprosta-5,13-dien-1-oic acid.

The Core is also quantifying the formaldehyde-DNA adduct, N6-hydroxymethyldeoxyadenosine in leukocyte DNA, and minor tobacco alkaloids in urine. These biomarkers will provide crucial information for the research being carried out in the CENIC projects.

Core Leaders:

  • Dr. Stephen Hecht, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Sharon Murphy, University of Minnesota


Dr. Eric Donny

4119 Sennott Square
210 S. Bouquet St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami

Tobacco Research Programs
717 Delaware Street SE, Room 258-02
Minneapolis, MN 55414-2959