Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 2234J
Phone: 301-405-6583 |
Laboratory Website: 
Chemical Exposure Assessment Laboratory

Dr Paul Turner is Chair of the upcoming Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins;  Stonehill College Easton, MA, June 18-23rd 2017. To Register for this important meeting use

GRC Conference Title: Understanding the Exposure and Global Health Risks Associated with Naturally Occurring Environmental Biotoxins in a Rapidly Changing World

Students/postdoc are strongly encouraged to attend the GRC, but should additionally present at the pre-GRC Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) June 17-18th 2017 at


Dr Paul C Turner is an associate professor within the Maryland Institute for Applied and Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at College Park, with an affiliate appointment as assistant professor, Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of exposure assessment and molecular epidemiology of chronic disease. In particular he is interested in dietary toxins that are linked to cancer, immune suppression, growth retardation and reproductive toxicology. Toxins of particular concern include aflatoxins, fumonisins and deoxynivalenol. These are global dietary contaminants, with most of the health concerns restricted to developing countries where agricultural and food security is limited. Child and infant health in Africa has been a major focus over the last 10 years. Research has involved activities in The Gambia, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Iran, China, Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, France and the UK, Fundamental research question include (a) understanding synergistic interactions between aflatoxin and hepatitis virus in liver cancer risk; (b) understanding the mechanism(s) of observational data on dose related aflatoxin growth faltering; (c) understanding the potential contribution that aflatoxin plays in early life morbidity and mortality in developing countries, including modulations in susceptibility to infections; (d) development and implementation of sustainable interventions to restrict exposure in the most vulnerable groups; (e) understanding of global climate change models and their impact on changing world patterns and levels of toxin exposure.

Read more about Dr Turner's recent research

MIAEH Researcher Contributes to WHO Agency Report Linking Dietary Fungal Toxins to Poor Child Growth

New Research Investigates Dietary Fungal Toxins and Poor Child Growth

Upcoming meetings where you can connect with Dr Turner

1. American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, Caloifornia, US. March 13-17th 2016.

2. Workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa” African Union Commission Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 23 – 24, 2016.

3. Presentation at the Pediatric Grand Rounds at the School of Medicine, University of Maryland in Baltimore. November 3rd, 2016.

4. Gordon Research Seminar, Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins. Stonehill College Easton, MA, June 17-18  2017.

5. Gordon Research Conference: Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins. Stonehill College, Easton, MA, June 18-23  2017.

Education and Training

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

B.Sc. (with honors), Biochemistry and Toxicology, University of Surrey, United Kingdom


MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health

MIEH 688 Seminar in Environmental Health

MIEH 720 Principles of Toxicology

MIEH 735 / NSFC 735 Food Toxicology


Recent Books/Book Chapters

Human exposure to aflatoxins and fumonisins. In: Mycotoxin control in low- and middle-income countries IARC Working Group Report 9 (2016). Turner - WP1 Co-chair. Eds. CP Wild, JD Miller, JD Groopman. IARC/WHO. 

Turner PC (2015). Aflatoxin B1 chemoprevention strategies in countries with frequent exposure to mycotoxins. In Mycored : Mycotoxin Reduction in Grain Chains: A Practical Guide,  Edited by J.F. Leslie and A. Logrieco Eds. ISBN: 978-0-8138-2083-5.

Turner PC & Pasturel BZ (2013). Development and validation of exposure biomarkers to dietary contaminants mycotoxins: A case for aflatoxin and impaired child growth. In: Lee M-LT, Gail M, Pfeiffer R, Satten G, Cai T, Gandy A, Eds. Risk assessment and evaluation of predictions. NY, US: Springer. p. 333–47.

Turner PC, Van Der Westhuizen L, Nogueira Da Costa A. (2011) Biomarkers of Exposure: Mycotoxins – aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol and fumonisins; in L. E. Knudsen and D. F. Merlo, Biomarkers and Human Biomonitoring, Vol 2 Chapter 6, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK.

Selected Peer Reviewed Manuscripts

Abia W, Warth B, Ezekiel CN, Sarkanje B, Turner PC, Krska R, Sulyoka M. (2017) Uncommon toxic microbial metabolite patterns in traditionally home-processed maize porridge (fufu) consumed in rural Cameroon. Food & Chemical Toxicology. 107: 10-19.

Smith LE, Mbuya MNN, Prendergast AJ, Turner PC, Ruboko S, Humphrey JH, Nelson RJ, Chigumira A, Kembo G, Stoltzfus RJ. (2017) Determinants of urinary aflatoxin M1 in pregnant women in rural Zimbabwe.   Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201601049. [Epub ahead of print])

Turner PC, Solfrizzo M, Gost A, Gambacorta L, Olsen M, Wallin S, Kotova N. (2017) Comparison of single and multi-analyte methods for determination of urinary total deoxynivalenol in human samples. J. Agricultural Food Chemistry. 65: 7115020. DOI 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04755 

Smith L, Prendergast A, Turner PC, Humphrey JH, Stoltzfus R. (2017) Aflatoxin exposure in pregnancy, maternal anaemia and adverse birth outcomes: a review. American. J. Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 96(4): 770

Wan ML, Turner PC, El-Nezami H. (2016) Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG modulates intestinal mucosal barrier and inflammation in mice following combined dietary exposure to deoxynivalenol and zearalenone. J. Functional Foods. 22: 34-43.

Warth B, Braun D, Ezekiel CN, Turner PC, Degen GH, Marko D. (2016). Bio-monitoring of mycotoxins in human breast milk: Current state and future perspectives. Chemical Research in Toxicology 29: 1087–97

Smith LE, Prendergast AJ, Turner PC, Mbuya MN, Mutasa K, Kembo G, Stoltzfus RJ (2015). The potential role of mycotoxins as a contributor to stunting in the SHINE Trial. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 61 Suppl 7:S733-7.

Ezekiel C, Warth B, Ogara IM, Abia W, Ezekiel VC, Sulyok M, Turner PC, Krska R, Tayo G (2014) Exposure to mycotoxins in rural residents in northern Nigeria: a pilot, multi-urinary biomarker study. Environment International  66: 138-45.

Wan ML, Allen KJ, Turner PC, El-Nezami H. (2014). Modulation of mucin mRNA (MUC5AC and MUC5B) expression and protein production and secretion in Caco-2/HT29-MTX co-cultures following exposure to individual and combined Fusarium mycotoxins. Toxicological Sciences 139:83-98.

Turner PC. (2013) The molecular epidemiology of chronic aflatoxin driven impaired child growth. Scientifica 2013; PMC3881689.

Abia W, Warth B, Sulyok M, Krska R, Tchana A,  Njobeh PB, Turner PC, Kouanfack P, Eyongetah M, Dutton M, Moundipa PF (2013) A mycotoxin co-exposure survey using human urine from Cameroon and a multi-biomarker approach. Food & Chemical Toxicology 62:927-34.

Wan LYM, Woo JCS, Allen K, Turner PC, El-Nezami H (2013). Modulation of porcine β-defensins 1 and 2 upon individual and combined Fusarium toxin exposure in a swine jejunal epithelial cell line. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 79: 2225-32. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03277-12. PMC3623212.

Wan LYM, †Turner PC, El-Nezami H (2013). Individual and combined cytotoxic effects of Fusarium toxins (deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, zearalenone and fumonisins B1) on swine jejunal epithelial cells. Food & Chemical Toxicology. 57: 276-283.

Wan LYM, Woo JCS, †Turner PC, Wan JMF, El-Nezami H (2013). Individual and combined effects of Fusarium toxins on the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in swine jejunal epithelial cells. Toxicology Letters 220:238-46.

Wallin S, Hardie LJ, Kotova N, Warensjö Lemming E, Nälsén C., Ridefelt P, Turner PC, White KLM, Olsen M (2013) A biomonitoring study of deoxynivalenol exposure and its association with typical cereal consumption in Swedish adults World Mycotoxin Journal 6 (4): 439-448.

Turner PC, Flannary B, Issit K, Ali M, Pestka J (2012).The role of biomarkers in evaluating human health concerns from fungal contaminants in food. Nutrition Research Reviews 25: 162-79.

Turner PC, Gong YY, Pourshams A, Jafaric E, Routledge MN, Malekzadeh R, Wild CP, Boffettae P, Islami F (2012) A pilot survey for Fusarium mycotoxin biomarkers in women from Golestan, northern Iran. World Mycotoxin Journal. 5: 195-9.

Piekkola S, Turner PC, Abdel-Hamid M, Ezzat S, El-Daly M, El-Kafrawy S, Savchenko E, Poussa T, Woo JC, Mykkänen H, El-Nezami H (2012). Characterisation of aflatoxin and deoxynivalenol exposure among pregnant Egyptian women. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A. 29: 962-71.

Nielsen JKS, Vikström AC, Turner PC, Knudsen LE (2011). Deoxynivalenol transport across the human placental barrier. Food & Chemical Toxicology 49(9):2046-52.

Turner PC, White KLM, Burley V, Hopton R, Rajendram A, Fisher J, Cade JE, Wild CP (2010) A comparison of deoxynivalenol intake and urinary deoxynivalenol in UK adults. Biomarkers 15(6): 553-562.

Szymańska K, Chen JG, Cui Y, Gong YY, Turner PC, Villar S, Wild CP, Parkin DM, Hainaut P (2009). TP53 mutations at codon 249, exposure to aflatoxin, and subsequent occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in a cohort of chronic hepatitis B virus carriers from Qidong, China: a nested case-control study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 18(5): 1638-43.

Turner PC, Rothwell JA, White KLM, Cade JE, Wild CP (2008). Urinary deoxynivalenol is correlated with cereal intake in individuals from the United Kingdom. Environmental Health Perspectives. 116: 21-25.

Turner PC, Burley VJ, Rothwell JA, White KLM, Cade JE, Wild CP (2008) Dietary wheat reduction decreases the level of urinary deoxynivalenol in UK adults. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology  18: 392–399.

Gong Y, Torres-Sanchez L. Lopez-Carrillo l, Peng JH, Sutcliffe AE, White KLM, Turner PC Humpf H. Wild CP (2008). Association between tortilla consumption and human urinary fumonisin B1 levels in a Mexican population. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 17:688-694.  

Turner PC, Collinson AC, Cheung YB, Gong YY, Hall AJ, Prentice AM, Wild CP (2007). Aflatoxin exposure in utero causes growth faltering in Gambian infants. International Journal of Epidemiology. 36: 1119-1125.

Gratz S, Wu QK, El-Nezami H, Juvonen RO, Mykkänen H, Turner PC (2007) Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG reduces aflatoxin B1 transport, metabolism and toxicity in Caco-2 cells. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 73(12) 3958-3964.

Scholl PF, Turner PC, Sutcliffe AE, Sylla A, Diallo MS, Friesen MD, Groopman JD, Wild CP (2006). Quantitative comparison of aflatoxin B1 serum albumin adducts in humans by isotope dilution mass spectrometry and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 15(4): 823-826.

Turner PC, Sylla A, Gong YY, Diallo MS, Sutcliffe AE, Hall AJ, Wild CP (2005). Reduction in exposure to carcinogenic aflatoxins by simple post-harvest intervention measures in West Africa. Lancet  365: 1950-56.

Kirk G, Turner PC, **Gong YY, Lesi OA, Mendy M, Goedert JJ, Hall AJ, Whittle H, Hainaut P, Montesano R, Wild CP (2005). Hepatocellular carcinoma and polymorphisms in carcinogen-metabolizing and DNA repair enzymes in a population with aflatoxin exposure and hepatitis B virus endemicity. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 14: 373-379.

Turner PC, Sylla A, Kuang SY, Marchant CL, Diallo MS, Hall AJ, Groopman JD, Wild CP (2005) Absence of TP53 codon 249 mutations in Guinean infants with high aflatoxin exposure Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 14: 2053-55.

Wojnowski L, Turner PC, Pedersen B, Hustert E, Brockmöller J, Mendy M, Whittle HC, Kirk G, Wild CP (2004). Increased levels of aflatoxin-albumin adducts are associated with CYP3A5 polymorphisms in The Gambia, West Africa. Pharmacogenetics 14(10): 691-700.

Gong YY, Hounsa A, Egal S, Turner PC, Sutcliffe AE, Hall AJ, Cardwell K, Wild CP (2004) Post-weaning exposure to aflatoxin results in impaired child growth: a longitudinal study in Benin, West Africa. Environmental Health Perspectives. 112(13) 1334-8.

Gong YY, Egal S, Hounsa A, Turner PC, Hall AJ, Cardwell K, Wild CP (2003). Determinants of aflatoxin exposure in young children from Benin and Togo, West Africa: the critical role of weaning. International Journal of Epidemiology. 32(4): 556-562.

Turner PC, Moore SE, Hall AJ, Prentice AM, Wild CP (2003). Modification of immune function through exposure to dietary aflatoxin in Gambian children. Environmental Health Perspectives. 111(2): 217-220.

Wild CP and Turner PC (2002). The toxicology of aflatoxins as a basis for public health decisions. Mutagenesis 17(6): 471-481.

Gong YY, Cardwell K, Hounsa A, Egal S, Turner PC, Hall AJ, Wild CP (2002). Dietary Aflatoxin Exposure and Impaired Growth in Young Children from Benin and Togo, West Africa: cross sectional study. British Medical Journal. 325: 20-21.

Turner PC, Mendy M, Whittle H, Fortuin M, Hall AJ, Wild CP (2000). Hepatitis B Infection and aflatoxin biomarker levels in Gambian children. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 5(12) 837-41.

Wild CP, Yin F, Turner PC, Chemin I, Chapot B, Mendy M, Whittle H, Hall AJ (2000). Environmental and genetic determinants of aflatoxin-albumin adducts in The Gambia. International Journal of Cancer. 86: 1-7.