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

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 in Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and an Associate Faculty with the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/CFS3 . Dr Turner is also the Director of Graduate Studies for the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmnetal Health.

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 Tanazania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon, The Gambia, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Iran, China, Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, France and the UK, Fundamental research question include (a) understanding the mechanism(s) of observational data on dose related aflatoxin growth faltering; (b) understanding synergistic interactions between aflatoxin and hepatitis virus in liver cancer risk; (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


Dr Paul Turner was a disccussion leader at both the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins;  Stonehill College Easton, MA, June 16-21st 2019; and a career panelist at the linked Gordon Research Seminar , June 15-16th 2019.  


GRC:   Risk and Regulation in a Multi-Toxin Exposure World                                                                

GRS:   Deciphering Biotoxin Production, Cell Mechanisms and Mitigation in a Changing Environment


Education and Training

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

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

Associateship of the University of Surrey for Industrial Year Training in Environmental Biochemistry and Toxicology


MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health

MIEH 720 Principles of Toxicology

MIEH 735 / NSFC 735 Food Toxicology


MIEH 688 Seminar in Environmental Health


Peer Reviewed Manuscripts - Overall h-index 36, Cited >4000 times according to Web of Science 



Phillips EL, Kassim N, Smith LE, Ngure FM, Makule E, Turner PC, Nelson RJ, Kimanya M,. Stoltzfus R. (2020). Randomized mitigation trial to restrict mycotoxin exposure in Kongwa, Tanzania: Study Design. BMC Public Health 20:598



Wan MLY, Turner PC, Co VA, Wang MF, Amiri KMA, El-Nezami H. (2019) Schisandrin A protects intestinal epithelial cells from deoxynivalenol-induced cytotoxicity, oxidative damage and inflammation. Scientific Reports (Nature). 9; 19173 doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55821-4.
Ezekiel CN, Sulyok M, Ogara IM, Abia WA, Warth B, Šarkanj B, Turner PC, Krska R. (2019) Mycotoxins in uncooked food and ready-to-eat household diets from rural northern Nigeria. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 128:171-9.
Craddock H, Huang D, Quiros-Alcala, L, Turner PC, Payne-Sturges D. (2019) Trends in neonicotinoid pesticide residues in food and water in the United States, 1999-2015. Environmental Health. 8(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s12940-018-0441-7. 



Braun D, Ezekiel CN, Abia WA, Degen GH, Turner PC, Marko D, Warth B. Pilot application of a novel LC-MS/MS assay for monitoring mycotoxin mixtures in Nigerian breast milk samples. Environment International. 90(24): 14569-77.

Šarkanj B, Sulyok M, Ezekiel CN, Turner PC, Abia WA, Rychlik M, Krska R, Sulyok M, Warth B. Ultra-sensitive, stable isotope assisted quantification of multiple mycotoxin exposure biomarkers. Analytica Chimica Acta. 1019: 84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.02.036. 



Smith L, Prendergast A, Turner PC, Humphrey JH, Stoltzfus R. (2017) Aflatoxin exposure in pregnancy, maternal anaemia and adverse birth outcomes: a review. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 96(4): 770-6.

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 and 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 and Nutritional Food Research. (doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201601049.

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. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 65: 7115-7120.



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 Res. Toxicology. 29: 1087–97.

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. Journal of Functional Foods. 22: 34-43.



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. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu019.



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) Biomonitoring of mycotoxin exposure in Cameroon using a urinary multi-biomarker approach. Food and Chemical Toxicology 62: 927-34.

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.

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.

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 and Chemical Toxicology 57: 276-283.

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 and Environmental Microbiology. 79: 2225-32.



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 and Contaminants Part A 29: 962-71.

Hepworth SJ, Hardie LJ, Fraser LK, Burley VJ, Mijal RS, Wild CP, Azad R, McKinney PA, †Turner PC. (2012) Deoxynivalenol exposure assessment in a cohort of pregnant women from Bradford, UK. Food Additives and Contaminants Part A Part A 29(2): 269-76.

Hopton R, Oswald IP, Hardie LJ, Turner PC, Fisher J (2012). Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of glucose levels in weanling piglets plasma as a function of deoxynivalenol exposure. ISRN Anal. Chem. Article ID 132543, doi:10.5402/2012/132543.



Nielsen JKS, Vikström AC, Turner PC, Knudsen LE (2011). Deoxynivalenol transport across the human placental barrier. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 49: 2046-52. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.05.016.

Turner PC, Ji BT, Shu XO, Zheng W, Chow WH, Gao YT, Hardie LJ (2011). A biomarker survey of urinary deoxynivalenol in China: the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Food Additives and Contaminants Part A  28: 1220-3.

Turner PC, Hopton R, White KLM, Fisher J, Cade JE, Wild CP (2011). Assessment of deoxynivalenol metabolite profiles in UK adults. Food and Chemical Toxicology 49: 132-135.



Turner PC (2010) Deoxynivalenol and nivalenol occurrence and exposure assessment. World Mycotoxin Journal. Special Edition 3: 315-321.

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: 553-562.

Turner PC, Hopton R, Lecluse Y, White KLM, Fisher J, Lebailly P (2010) Determinants of urinary deoxynivalenol in male farmers from Normandy, France Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry 58: 5206-12.

Hopton RP, Turner E, Burley VJ, Turner PC, Fisher J (2010). Urine metabolite analysis as a function of deoxynivalenol exposure: an NMR-based metabolomics investigation. Food Additives and Contaminants Part A 27: 255-261.



Turner PC, Taylor F, White KLM, Cade JE, Wild CP (2009). A comparison of 24 hour urinary deoxynivalenol with recent versus usual cereal consumption for UK adults British Journal of Nutrition 102: 1276–9.

Szymańska K, Chen JG, Cui Y, Gong YY, Turner PC, Villar S, Wild CP, Parkin DM, Hainaut P (2009). TP53 mutations at codon249, 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 and Prevention 18: 1638-43.



Nikiema PN, Worrilow L, Traore AS, Wild CP, Turner PC (2008) Fumonisin exposure and the Shinganine/Sphingosine ratio in urine, serum and buccal cells in adults from Burkina Faso, West Africa. World Mycotoxin Journal. 1: 483-491.

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 Sciences and Environmental Epidemiology  18: 392–399.

Turner PC, Wu QK, Piekkola S, Gratz S, Mykkänen H, El-Nezami  H (2008). Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG restores alkaline phosphatase activity in differentiating Caco-2 cells dosed with the potent mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. Food and Chemical Toxicology  46: 2112-7.

Turner PC, Loffredo C, El-Kafrawy S. Ezzat S, Eissa S, Abdel-Latif S, el-Daly M, Nada O. Abdel-Hamid M. (2008). Pilot survey of aflatoxin-albumin adducts in sera from Egypt. Food Additives and Contaminants Part A. 5: 583-587.

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 and Prevention 17: 88-694.

Polychronaki N, Wild CP, Mykkänen H, Amra H, Abdel-Wahhab M, Sylla A, Diallo M, El-Nezami H, Turner PC (2008). Urinary biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure in young children from Egypt and Guinea. Food and Chemical Toxicology  46: 519-526.

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). Deoxynivalenol: Rationale for development and application of a urinary biomarker. Food Additives & Contaminants Pt A. 25: 864-71.



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 J. Epidemiology 36: 1119-25.

Polychronaki N, West RM, Turner PC, Amra H, Abdel-Wahhab M, Mykkänen H, El-Nezami H (2007). Longitudinal assessment of aflatoxin M1 excretion in breast milk of selected Egyptian mothers.  Food and Chemical Toxicology  45: 1210-1215.

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 and Environmental Microbiology 73: 3958-3964.



Gratz S, Täubel M, Juvonen RO, Viluksela M, Turner PC, Mykkänen H, El-Nezami H (2006). Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG modulates intestinal absorption of aflatoxin B1 and its fecal excretion and toxicity in rats.   Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 72: 7398-7400.

Polychronaki N, Turner PC, Hannu M, Gong Y, Amra H, Abdel-Wahhab M, El-Nezami H (2006). Determinants of aflatoxin M1 in breast milk in a selected group of Egyptian mothers Food Additives and Contaminants  23: 700-8.

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 and Prevention 15: 823-6.



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.

Egal S, Hounsa A, Gong YY, Turner PC, Wild CP, Hall AJ, Hell K, Cardwell K (2005). Dietary exposure to aflatoxin from maize and groundnut in young children from Benin and Togo, West Africa. International Journal of Food Microbiology 104: 215-24.   

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 and Prevention 14: 2053-5.

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 and Prevention 14: 373-379.



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: 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: 1334-8.

Nikièma PN, Worrillow L, Traoré AS, Wild CP, Turner PC (2004) Fumonisin contamination of maize in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Food Additives and Contaminants. 21: 865-870.

Cupid BC, Lightfoot TJ, Russell, D, Gant, SJ, Turner PC, Dingley KH, Curtis KD, Leveson SH, Turtletaub KW, Garner RC (2004) The formation of AFB1-macromolecular adducts in rats and humans at dietary levels of exposure. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 42: 59-569.



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: 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: 17-220.

Meky FA, Turner PC, Ashcroft AE, Miller JD, Qiao YL, Roth MJ, Wild CP (2003). Development of a urinary biomarker of human exposure to deoxynivalenol. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 41: 265-73.


2002 and earlier

Turner PC, Sylla A, Diallo MS, Castegnaro JJ, Hall AS, Wild CP (2002). The role of aflatoxins and hepatitis viruses in the aetiopathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma: a basis for primary prevention in Guinea-Conakry, West Africa. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 17: S441-S448.

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

White, KLM, Chalmers, DM, Martin, IG, Everett, SM, Neville PM, Naylor G, Sutcliffe AE, Dixon MF, Turner PC, Schorah CJ (2002). Dietary antioxidants and DNA damage in patients on long term acid suppression therapy: A randomised control study. British Journal of Nutrition. 88: 265-71.

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 and International Health. 5: 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 J.  Cancer. 86: 1-7.

Turner PC, Nikiema P, Wild CP (1999) Fumonisin Contamination of food: progress in development of biomarkers to better assess human health. Mutation Research 443: 81-93.

Books/Book Chapters

Turner PC (2016) 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. Wild, Miller, 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.