Cohen Lab - Pulmonary/Immunotoxicology

Mitchell Cohen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine

Contact Info:

Address: 57 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo, NY 10987
Phone: 845-731-3527
Fax: 845-731-3527



Key Interests

World Trade Center dust/health effects, Vandium, Chromium, Pollutant metals/mixtures, Cytokines, Immune cells, Inhalation, Ozone

Biographic Details:

Graduate Education: Toxicology (Food Science/Human Nutrition Dept.), University of Florida (1988)

Postdoctoral Training:
Post-doctoral research fellow at New York University Medical Center
- Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, Department of Environmental Medicine (1988)
- Laboratory of Pulmonary Biology and Toxicology, Department of Environmental Medicine (1990)

Academic Appointments:
1992-2001 Assistant Research Professor, NYU School of Medicine, Dept. of Environ. Medicine, Tuxedo, NY
2001-2006 Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine, Department of Environmental Medicine, Tuxedo, NY
2006-pres. Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine, Department of Environmental Medicine, Tuxedo, NY

Major Responsibilities: Health and Safety (Chair)

Research Interests:

Inhaled polluted air may account for a large number of respiratory diseases; with each breath, local lung cell populations are directly exposed to the various metals present. Individual metals can then, in turn, trigger a variety of biological effects that may be involved in the diseases and pathogeneses. Among these is an impaired pulmonary immunocompetence evolving from modified structural, functional, or biochemical properties of local immune cells, i.e., alveolar macrophages (AM).

Dr. Cohen's labs are performing studies to prove that, (A) apart from dose (i.e., amount of metal delivered to lung), the potential for a metal (at fixed dose) to be a pulmonary immunotoxicant depends on select physicochemical properties and that (B) valency and redox behavior are key factors governing if a metal affects AM function and determinative in the magnitude of effect(s) imparted on overall pulmonary immune responses. Our findings also revealed that select metals caused shifts in lung iron (Fe) homeostasis that appeared to correspond with changes in host ability to resist/clear an infection.

Most recently, Dr. Cohen's labs have performed studies to investigate the toxicities of World Trade Center (WTC) dusts and how select properties of the dusts (i.e., particle diameter, alkalinity, etc.) were likely factors underlying the increased incidence of airway hyper-responsiveness, as well as sarcoid-like granulomatous pulmonary disease (SLGPD) development, documented in exposed First Responders. Collaborative studies with Investigators in the department, NYUSOM, and outside universities are underway to take advantage of various tissues/biologic samples generated in the dust-exposed model systems utilized.

Selected Publications:

Health effects of World Trade Center (WTC) Dust: An unprecedented disaster's inadequate risk management. M. Lippmann, M.D. Cohen, and L.C. Chen. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2015 Jul;45(6):492-530. doi: 10.3109/10408444.2015.1044601.

Iron diminishes the in vitro biological effect of vanadium. A.J. Ghio, J. Stonehuerner, J.M. Soukup, L.A. Dailey, M.J. Kesic, and M.D. Cohen. J Inorg Biochem. 2015 Jun;147:126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2015.03.008. Epub 2015 Mar 25

Impact of Acute Exposure to WTC Dust on Ciliated and Goblet Cells in Lungs of Rats. M.D. Cohen, J. M. Vaughan, B. Garrett, C. Prophete, L. Horton, M. Sisco, A. Ghio, J. Zelikoff, and L.C. Chen. Inhal Toxicol. 2015 Jun;27(7):354-61. doi: 10.3109/08958378.2015.1054531. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Acute High-level Exposure to WTC Particles Alters Expression of Genes Associated with Oxidative Stress and Immune Function in the Lung. M.D. Cohen, J. M. Vaughan, B. Garrett, C. Prophete, L. Horton, M. Sisco, U. Kodavanti, W. Ward, R.E. Peltier, J. Zelikoff, and L.C. Chen. J Immunotoxicol. 2015 Apr-Jun;12(2):140-53. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2014.914609. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

A Novel System to Generate WTC Dust Particles for Inhalation Exposures. J.M. Vaughan, B.J. Garrett, C. Prophete, L. Horton, M. Sisco, J.M. Skolup, J. Zelikoff, A. Ghio, R.E. Peltier, L.C. Chen, and M.D. Cohen. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2014 Jan-Feb;24(1):105-12. doi: 10.1038/jes.2013.68. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

Comparison of WTC Dust Size on macrophage inflammatory cytokine release In vivo and In vitro. Weiden, Michael D; Naveed, Bushra; Kwon, Sophia; Segal, Leopoldo N; Cho, Soo Jung; Tsukiji, Jun; Kulkarni, Rohan; Comfort, Ashley L; Kasturiarachchi, Kusali J; Prophete, Colette; Cohen, Mitchell D; Chen, Lung-Chi; Rom, William N; Prezant, David J; Nolan, Anna. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40016. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040016. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

How environment affects drug activity: Localization, compartmentalization and reactions of a vanadium insulin-enhancing compound, dipicolinato-oxovanadium(V). Crans, Debbie C.; Trujillo, Alejandro M.; Pharazyn, Philip S.; Cohen, Mitchell D. Coordination chemistry reviews Volume 255, Issues 19–20, October 2011, Pages 2178–2192. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2011.01.032.

WTC dust induces GM-CSF in serum of fdny rescue workers with accelerated decline of lung function and in cultured alveolar macrophages. Naveed, B; Comfort, A L; Ferrier, N; Segal, L N; Kasturiarachchi, K J; Kwon, S; Chen, L C; Gordon, T; Cohen, M D; Prophete, C; Rom, W N; Prezant, D J; Nolan, A; Weiden, M. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011 May; 183(Meeting Abstracts):A4770.

Interactive effect of cigarette smoke extract and World Trade Center dust particles on airway cell cyto-toxicity. Xu, Alice; Prophete, Colette; Chen, Lung-Chi; Emala, Charles W; Cohen, Mitchell D. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011;74(14):887-902. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.573719.

2011 Annual Report on 9/11. L. Gibbs, T. Farley, T.K. Aldrich, M.D. Cohen, J. Difede, K.H. Gelberg, C., Greene, E.J. Kleinman, P.J., Landrigan, R.R. Leinhardt, D. Prezant, R. Raju, J. Reibman, P. Sadler, M.S. Slone, and L. Thorpe (World Trade Center Medical Working Group). 2011. Health.

Roles of MAPK pathway activation during dytokine induction in BEAS-2B cells exposed to fine World Trade Center (WTC) dust. 2010. S. Wang, C. Prophete, J.M. Soukup, L. Chen, M. Costa, A. Ghio, Q. Qu, M.D. Cohen, and H. Chen. J Immunotoxicol. 2010 Oct-Dec;7(4):298-307. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2010.509289. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

See All Publications

Lab Members:

Maureen Sisco
Mianhua Zhong