Miriam C. Poirier, Ph.D.

Miriam C. Poirier, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Dr. Poirier pioneered antibody-based methodologies for determining chemical carcinogen-induced DNA damage in humans. Cell culture, animal models and human subjects were employed to elucidate factors associated with human cancer risk. Information on DNA adduct processing in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA was correlated with:  tumorigenesis, clinical response, toxicity, and integrity of organelles. The carcinogens of intensive investigation included:  the environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); the adjuvant chemotherapeutic drug tamoxifen (TAM); and the antiretroviral nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) used for therapy of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).

Areas of Expertise

1) chemical carcinogenesis 2) carcinogen-DNA damage 3) biomarker dosimetry 4) molecular epidemiology 5) mitochondrial toxicology 6) transplacental exposure


Selected Key Publications

Detection of carcinogen-DNA adducts by radioimmunoassay

Poirier, M.C., Yuspa, S.H., Weinstein, I.B and Blobstein, S.
Nature. 270: 186-188, 1977. [ Journal Article ]

Transplacental effects of 3'-azido-2', 3'-dideoxythymidine (AZT): tumorigenicity in mice and genotoxicity in mice and monkeys

Olivero, O.A., Anderson, L.M., Diwan, B.A., Haines, D.C., Harbaugh, S.W., Moskal, T.J., Jones, A.B., Rice, J.M., Riggs, C.W., Logsdon, D, Yuspa, S.H., and Poirier, M.C.
J. National Cancer Inst.. 89: 1602-1608, 1997. [ Journal Article ]

Transplacentally-exposed human and monkey newborn infants show sunukar evudence of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-induced mitochondrial toxicity

Divi, R.L., Leonard, S.L., Kuo, M., Nagashima, K., Chandrasekhar, T., St. Claire, M.C., Wade, N.A., Walker, V.E. and Poirier, M.C.
Environ Mol Mutagen. 48: 224-238, 2007. [ Journal Article ]

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure and DNA adduct semi-quantitation in archived human tissues

Pratt MM, John K, MacLean AB, Afework S, Phillips DH, Poirier MC.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 8: 2675-91, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Perinatal exposure of patas monkeys to antiretroviral nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors induces genotoxicity persistent for up to 3 years of age

Olivero OA, Rivera Torres L, Gorjifard S, Momot D, Marrogi E, Divi RL, Liu Y, Woodward RA, Sowers MJ, Poirier MC.
J. Infect. Dis. 208: 244-248, 2013. [ Journal Article ]