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Bill D. Roebuck, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Clemson University, BS 1968
Massachussetts Institute of Technology, MS 1971
Massachussetts Institute of Technology, PHD 1975

Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine


Contact Information

7650 Remsen
Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dartmouth Medical School
Hanover NH 03755

Office: Remsen 518
Phone: 603-650-1676
Fax: 603-650-1129
Email: bill.roebuck@dartmouth.edu

Asst. Phone: 603-650-1667

Professional Interests

Modulation of toxic processes by dietary factors or nutritional status; evaluation of the effects of dietary dithiolethiones on prevention of liver cancer; chemoprevention of cancer.

Work in Dr. Roebuck's laboratory is in the area of chemical carcinogenesis and cancer chemoprevention. He conducts experiments in two different models of cancer, namely, the rat/aflatoxin model for liver cancer. The common theme of his studies is the modulation of cancer development by nutritional factors or chemicals that would or could be added to the diet of animals including humans. Experimental effects are quantified by mitotic activity, number and size of putative preneoplastic lesions, and incidence and multiplicity of cancers.

With respect to the study of liver carcinogenicity, experimental focus is on the inhibition of aflatoxin-induced hepatic cancer in rats and the mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Aflatoxin is the most potent of the naturally occurring carcinogens and is associated with liver cancer in many populations worldwide. It is widely believed that the total elimination of this carcinogen from the human environment is not possible. The prevention of liver cancer by the inclusion of various antioxidants and enzyme inducers into the diet is under investigation. In collaboration with Dr. Thomas J. Curphey at Dartmouth Medical School, we are chemically synthesizing and evaluating the structure-activity relationship of a class of chemoprotective chemicals, the dithiolethiones, in an effort to understand the molecular features that result in cancer chemoprotection against aflatoxin-induced liver cancer. This work involves extensive collaboration with Drs. T.W. Kensler and J.D. Groopman of Johns Hopkins University.

Grant Information

NIH/NCI CA39416 (Kensler, P.I.; subcontract from Johns Hopkins University) 02/01/99-01/31/04 Molecular Mechanisms of Chemoprevention: Dithiolethiones

Courses Taught

Toxicology lectures; Medical Pharmacology Course
Global Environmental Health


Dr. Roebuck received his B.S. from Clemson University in South Carolina in 1968 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971 and 1975 respectively. He received further training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University Medical School and the Department of Pathology. In 1979 he joined the faculty at Dartmouth where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College. He is certificated in General Toxicology by the American Board of Toxicology.

Selected Publications


  • Kensler TW, Curphey TJ, Maxiutenko Y, Roebuck BD. Chemoprotection by organosulfur inducers of phase 2 enzymes: Dithiolethiones and dithins. Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2000;17(1-4):3-22. Review. (view details in PubMed)

  • Stoner G, Casto B, Ralston S, Roebuck B, Pereira C, Bailey G. Development of a multi-organ rat model for evaluating chemopreventive agents: Efficacy of indole-3-carbinol. Carcinogenesis. 2002 Feb;23(2):265-72. (view details in PubMed)

  • James PE, Madhani M, Roebuck BD, Jackson SK, Swartz HM. Endotoxin-induced liver hypoxia: defective oxygen delivery versus oxygen consumption. Nitric Oxide. 2002 Feb;6(1):18-28. (view details in PubMed)

  • Yates MS, Kwak MK, Egner PA, Groopman JD, Bodreddigari S, Sutter TR, Baumgartner KJ, Roebuck BD, Liby KT, Yore MM, Honda T, Gribble GW, Sporn MB, Kensler TW. Potent protection against aflatoxin-induced tumorigenesis through induction of Nrf2-regulated pathways by the triterpenoid 1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole. Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;66(4):2488-94. (view details in PubMed)

  • Johnson DN, Egner PA, Obrian G, Glassbrook N, Roebuck BD, Sutter TR, Payne GA, Kensler TW, Groopman JD. Quantification of urinary aflatoxin B1 dialdehyde metabolites formed by aflatoxin aldehyde reductase using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Chem Res Toxicol. 2008 Mar;21(3):752-60. Epub 2008 Feb 12. (view details in PubMed)

  • Bodreddigari S, Jones LK, Egner PA, Groopman JD, Sutter CH, Roebuck BD, Guengerich FP, Kensler TW, Sutter TR. Protection against aflatoxin B1-induced cytotoxicity by expression of the cloned aflatoxin B1-aldehyde reductases rat AKR7A1 and human AKR7A3. Chem Res Toxicol. 2008 May;21(5):1134-42. Epub 2008 Apr 15. (view details in PubMed)