Photo of David WilliamsPrincipal Investigator and Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Cancer Prevention, Linus Pauling Institute 
Professor, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Office: 473 Linus Pauling Science Center
Telephone: 541-737-3277
Fax: 541-737-0497
Email Address:

Mailing/Express Delivery Address:
David Williams, Ph.D.
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
307 Linus Pauling Science Center
Corvallis, OR 97331

Research Interests

My research interests are in the characterization and regulation of microsomal monooxygenase enzymes (Cytochromes P450 and Flavin-Containing Monooxygenases) active in drug metabolism and their involvement in the detoxication and/or bioactivation of drugs, xenobiotics, and endogenous compounds. In addition, a major focus of current research efforts is on diet and cancer. These studies employ both trout, mouse, and human cell culture models to address mechanistic questions. Currently, we are working on a model that addresses the issue of maternal diet on cancer risk for the fetus in later life.


1982 Ph.D., Biochemistry, Oregon State University
1981 M.S., Biochemistry, Oregon State University
1975 B.A., Biology, Reed College

Professional Experience

1998-present Principal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute
2009-2015 Director, Superfund Research Program
2002-2009 Director, NIEHS Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center, Oregon State University
1998-2001 Chief, Cancer Chemoprevention Program, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University
1997-present Professor, Dept. Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University
2007- Interim Dept. Head, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University
1995-1997 Professor, Dept. Food Sci.& Tech. and Toxicology Prog., Oregon State University
1994-2006 Director, NIEHS Toxicology Training Grant, Oregon State University
1991-2001 Deputy Director, Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center, Oregon State University
1991-1995 Associate Professor, Dept. Food Sci. & Tech., and Toxicology Prog., Oregon State University
1987-1991 Assistant Professor, Dept. Food Sci. & Tech., and Toxicology Prog., Oregon State University
1986-1987 Assistant Professor (Sr. Res.), Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Oregon State University
1985-1986 Research Assistant Professor, Dept. Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
1984-1985 Instructor, Dept. Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin
1982-1984 Research Associate, Dept. Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin; under the direction of Dr. Bettie Sue Masters

Awards and Honors

1996 Earl Price Award for Excellence in Research, Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences
  Certificate of Merit for Authorship of "Potential Mechanisms for Food-Related Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens," a Scientific Status Summary, Institute of Food Technologists
1992 Gary E. Costley Award in Nutrition, Kellogs
1990 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Emerging Scholar Faculty Award, Oregon State University
1984-1986 Parker B. Francis Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pulmonary Research, the Puritan Bennett Foundation

Editorial Boards

Editorial Advisory Board, “An Evidence-based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals” (2006) Thieme Medical Publishers 
Associate Editor, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2004-present)
Editorial Advisory Board, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (1998-2004)
Consulting Editor, Cell Biology and Toxicology (2000-present)

Professional Societies

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2002-present)
Councilor, Drug Metabolism Division (2004-2007)
Secretary/Treasurer, Food Safety Specialty Section (1998-2000)
Oregon State Legislative Committee (1998-2000)
Toxicology Education Foundation (1998-1999)
Co-Chair K-12 Education Committee (1997-1998), Chair (1998-1999)
Education Committee (1997-1999)
American Chemical Society (1996-2000)
American Association for Cancer Research (1989-present)
American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1989-1998)
Institute of Food Technologists (1988-1997)
Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists (1986-present): President (1996-1997) President Elect (1995-1996), Vice President Elect (1994-1995), Secretary/Treasurer (1990-1992)
Society of Toxicology (1986-present)
International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (1984-present)

Research Projects

Project 1 - PAH Mixtures as Carcinogens

The focus of this project is on PAH-dependent cancers of skin in adults and transplacentally, lung, liver and lymphoid tissue and the potential for chemoprevention in reducing PAH-dependent cancer mortality.

Selected Recent Publications

Kim E, Bisson WH, Löhr CV, Williams DE, Ho E, Dashwood RH, Rajendran P. (2016) Histone and non-histone targets of dietary deacetylase inhibitors. Curr Top Med Chem 16:714-731.

Watson GW, Wickramasekara S, Fang Y, Maier CS, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Perez VI, Ho E. (2015) HDAC6 activity is not required for basal autophagic flux in metastatic prostate cancer cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) Epub ahead of print.

Harper TA Jr, Morré J, Lauer FT, McQuistan TJ, Hummel JM, Burchiel SW, Williams DE. (2015) Analysis of dibenzo[def,p]chrysene-deoxyadenosine adducts in wild-type and cytochrome P450 1b1 knockout mice using stable-isotope dilution UHPLC-MS/MS. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 782:51-56.

Tilton SC, Siddens LK, Krueger SK, Larkin AJ, Löhr CV, Williams DE, Baird WM, Waters KM. (2015) Mechanism-based classification of PAH mixtures to predict carcinogenic potential. Toxicol Sci 146:135-145. 

Atwell LL, Beaver LM, Shannon J, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Ho E. (2015) Epigenetic regulation by sulforaphane: Opportunities for breast and prostate cancer chemoprevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep 1:102-111.

Siddens LK, Bunde KL, Harper TA Jr, McQuistan TJ, Löhr CV, Bramer LM, Waters KM, Tilton SC, Krueger SK, Williams DE, Baird WM. (2015) Cytochrome P450 1b1 in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-induced skin carcinogenesis: Tumorigenicity of individual PAHs and coal-tar extract, DNA adduction and expression of select genes in the Cyp1b1 knockout mouse. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 287:149-160.

Watson GW, Wickramasekara S, Fang Y, Palomera-Sanchez Z, Maier CS, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Perez VI, Ho E. (2015) Analysis of autophagic flux in response to sulforaphane in metastatic prostate cancer cells. Mol Nutr Food Res 59:1954-1961. 

Larkin A, Williams DE, Kile ML, Baird WM. (2015) Developing a smartphone software package for predicting atmospheric pollutant concentrations at mobile locations. Comput J 58:1431-1442.

Rajendran P, Dashwood WM, Li L, Kang Y, Kim E, Johnson G, Fischer KA, Löhr CV, Williams DE, Ho E, Yamamoto M, Lieberman DA, Dashwood RH. (2015) Nrf2 status affects tumor growth, HDAC3 gene promoter associations, and the response to sulforaphane in the colon. Clin Epigenetics 7:102.

Watson GW, Wickramasekara S, Maier CS, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Ho E. (2015) Assessment of global proteome in LNCaP cells by 2D-RP/RP LC-MS/MS following sulforaphane exposure. EuPA Open Proteom 9:34-40.

Atwell LL, Hsu A, Wong CP, Stevens JF, Bella D, Yu TW, Pereira CB, Löhr CV, Christensen JM, Dashwood RH, Williams DE, Shannon J, Ho E. (2015) Absorption and chemopreventive targets of sulforaphane in humans following consumption of broccoli sprouts or a myrosinase-treated broccoli sprout extract.  Mol Nutr Food Res 59:424-433.

Madeen E, Corley RA, Crowell S, Turteltaub K, Ognibene T, Malfatti M, McQuistan TJ, Garrard M, Sudakin D, Williams DE. (2014) Human in vivo pharmacokinetics of [14C]dibenzo[def,p]chrysene by accelerator mass spectrometry following oral microdosing.  Chem Res Toxicol 28:126-134.

Beaver LM, Buchanan A, Sokolowski El, Riscoe AN, Wong CP, Chang JH, Löhr CV, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Ho E. (2014) Transcriptome analysis reveals a dynamic and differential transcriptional response to sulforaphane in normal and prostate cancer cells and suggests a role for Sp1 in chemoprevention. Mol Nutr Food Res 58:2001-2013.

Henderson MC, Siddens LK, Krueger SK, Stevens JF, Kedzie K, Fang WK, Heidelbaugh T, Nguyen P, Chow K, Garst M, Gil D, Williams DE. (2014) Flavin-containing monoxygenase S-oxygenation of a series of thioureas and thiones.  Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 278:91-99.

Siddens LK, Krueger SK, Henderson MC, Williams DE. (2014) Mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) as a source of hydrogen peroxide. Biochem Pharmacol [Epub ahead of print].

Wong CP, Hsu A, Buchanan A, Palomera-Sanchez Z, Beaver LM, Houseman EA, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Ho E. (2014) Effects of sulforaphane and 3,3'-diindolylmethane on genome-wide promoter methylation in normal prostate epithelial cells and prostate cancer cells. PLoS One 9:e86787.

Watson GW, Beaver LM, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Ho E. (2013) Phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables, epigenetics, and prostate cancer prevention. AAPS J 15:951-961.

Crowell SR, Sharma AK, Amin S, Soelberg JJ, Sadler NC, Wright AT, Baird WM, Williams DE, Corley RA. (2013) Impact of pregnancy on the pharmacokinetics of dibenzo[def,p]chrysene in mice. Toxicol Sci 135:48-62.

Benninghoff AD, Williams DE. (2013) The role of estrogen receptor β in transplacental cancer prevention by indole-3-carbinol. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 6:339-348.

Kaur P, Shorey LE, Ho E, Dashwood RH, Williams DE. (2013) The epigenome as a potential mediator of cancer and disease prevention in prenatal development. Nutr Rev 71:441-457.

Rajendran P, Kidane AI, Yu TW, Dashwood WM, Bisson WH, Löhr CV, Ho E, Williams DE, Dashwood RH. (2013) HDAC turnover, CtIP acetylation and dysregulated DNA damage signaling in colon cancer cells treated with sulforaphane and related dietary isothiocyanates. Epigenetics 8:612-623.

Shorey LE, Madeen EP, Atwell LL, Ho E, Löhr CV, Pereira CB, Dashwood RH, Williams DE. (2013) Differential modulation of dibenzo[def,p]chrysene transplacental carcinogenesis: maternal diets rich in indole-3-carbinol versus sulforaphane. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 270:60-69.

Larkin A, Siddens LK, Krueger SK, Tilton SC, Waters KM, Williams DE, Baird WM. (2013) Application of a fuzzy neural network model in predicting polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-mediated perturbations of the Cyp1b1 transcriptional regulatory network in mouse skin. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 267:192-199.

Wang R, Löhr CV, Fischer K, Dashwood WM, Greenwood JA, Ho E, Williams DE, Ashktorab H, Dashwood MR, Dashwood RH. (2013) Epigenetic inactivation of endothelin-2 and endothelin-3 in colon cancer. Int J Cancer 132:1004-1012.