Office of the Director
Toxicology Core Lead
Associate Professor and Vice-Chair
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Igor Koturbash is an associate professor and vice-chair in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. He received his medical degree from the State Medical University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine (2001), and his doctorate in Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Lethbridge, Canada (2008). Koturbash completed his training as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Research (ORISE) Fellow at the National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration in Jefferson, AR.
Being both MD and PhD, Igor has a long lasting interest in diet and dietary supplements and their impact on human health. Therefore, the major focus of his research is safety, efficacy and mechanisms of action of dietary supplements and understanding how diet and dietary supplements can modulate tissue response to cancer therapy. Igor is heavily involved in a number of safety and efficacy studies on various dietary supplements and herbs, including methionine supplementation, green tea extract and cannabidiol (CBD), to name a few.
Dr. Koturbash has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Igor’s research has received uninterrupted extramural funding since the beginning of his independent career. Dr. Koturbash is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honors, including the Michael Fry Award from the Radiation Research Society and an Award for Faculty Excellence in Research from UAMS. Igor is a Past President of the South-Central Chapter of the Society of Toxicology and serves as an Associate Editor for peer-reviewed journals Journal of Dietary Supplements and Radiation Research.
Bill Gurley, Ph.D.
Pharmacology Core Lead
National Center for Natural Products Research,
University of Mississippi, Oxford
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Bill J. Gurley is professor and vice-chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy, director of the UAMS Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory, and chair of the UAMS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. He is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, as well as the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention’s Expert Panel on Dietary Supplements. He has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, and book chapters in the areas of pharmacokinetics, analytical method development, therapeutic drug monitoring, herbal dietary supplements and herb-drug interactions. His research interests include mechanisms of herb-drug interactions, toxicity of multiple-component herbal dietary supplements, phytochemical modulation of human drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transport proteins, pharmacokinetics of phytochemcials in humans and botanical supplement use in special populations. Gurley has been conducting pre-clinical and clinical research on botanical dietary supplements for more than 20 years.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Mitch McGill is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. He earned his doctorate in Toxicology from the University of Kansas Medical Center under the guidance of Hartmut Jaeschke, Ph.D., a world-renowned expert in drug-induced liver injury. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. During that time, his basic research with Brian Finck, Ph.D., focused on the role of lipid metabolism in hepatotoxicity and subsequent tissue repair, while his clinical training included development, validation, interpretation and troubleshooting of biomarker results from clinical laboratory tests. McGill’s research laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has three major interests: 1) developing and validating novel biomarkers of drug-induced liver injury, 2) understanding basic mechanisms of drug- and supplement-induced liver injury and repair and 3) understanding xenobiotic metabolism and toxicity in various other tissues. McGill has published more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 10 chapters in medical and scientific textbooks. He has also received several honors and awards, including a Pinnacle Research Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Foundation.
Marjan Boerma, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Marjan Boerma, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the UAMS Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She received her doctorate from Leiden University, The Netherlands. Her graduate research focused on cell culture and animal models of radiation toxicity in the heart. She completed her post doctoral training in pre-clinical animal models of cardiac toxicity at the UAMS Department of Surgery. Boerma is an expert in cardiac toxicity of radiation and chemotherapy and is involved in the development of natural products to prevent and mitigate radiation-induced toxicities.
Epidemiology of Dietary Supplements
Associate Director, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
Department of Epidemiology
Joseph Su, a professor at the Department of Epidemiology in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, is a nutritional epidemiologist that specializes in dietary assessment, nutrient biomarkers and observational studies of dietary components and cancer risk. His previous analytical pathology laboratory had extensive experience examining biomarkers of carotenoids and tocopherols. He has also been involved in studies involving the effect of folic acid and health, including a follow-up of the folic acid supplement trial for neural tube prevention in China and a recently NIH-funded study to examine unmetabolized folic acid on the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. His laboratory is equipped to examine biomarkers of heavy metals from dietary sources, including dietary supplements, as well as genotyping capacity.
Intawat Nookaew, PhD
Intawat Nookaew is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine. He received his PhD degree from King’s Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. (2008). Intawat completed his training as of postdoctoral fellow in Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden in the area of systems biology.
He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Intawat’s research has been focus on development bioinformatics & computational biology frameworks to uncover secrets of life from large-scale data in the area of biotechnology and clinical/biomedical research. His research is also focused on microbiome analysis using whole genome shotgun sequencing to understand impact of microbiome on health and diseases.
Stefanie Kennon-McGill, PhD
Stefanie Kennon-McGill is an instructor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. She received her doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Kansas Medical Center, and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in child neurodevelopment at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine before coming to UAMS in 2017.
While at UAMS, she has studied the extrahepatic effects of acetaminophen, particularly in the nervous system. Dr. Kennon-McGill’s latest efforts focus on her Translational Research Institute KL2 funded project, which evaluates the effects of prenatal cannabinoid use on infant neurodevelopment in the first year of life. Her areas of expertise include neurodevelopment, sensory systems, and drug metabolism in the nervous system.
Charles Skinner, BS
Charles Skinner is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Dietary Supplements Research, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, UAMS. He received his degrees in Biology and Molecular Bio-technology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2000 and 2001. He has over 20 years of experience working in multiple fields of scientific research. He helped to establish the Molecular Biology Core at Arkansas Children’s Hospital before serving as its director. He joined UAMS in 2003, where he took a position in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. He would later serve in the Cancer institute’s Myeloma Center, where he would oversee multiple human-clinical trials focused on the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. Since joining Dr. Igor Koturbash’s lab in 2015, his research has been mainly focused on the field of dietary supplements and the effects of cannabidiol-rich cannabis extracts on the tissues and organs of mice and humans. The recent addition of Emulate’s organ-on-chip technology to the Koturbash lab, allows him to look at the effects of dietary supplements and CBD on human tissues.