James Jacobus


I joined the Human Toxicology Program at the University of Iowa in 2005.

Prior to graduate school, I gained real-world experience as an Environmental Scientist in an engineering firm, focusing on remediation of petroleum underground storage tanks. The amount of pollution I witnessed lurking beneath some of the most innocuous-looking gas stations was staggering, and I could not help but speculate regarding the environmental and human health effects. While working with project managers at the Illinois EPA to define toxicant plumes and migration, I developed an intense interest in how basic science discoveries are translated into practical definitions of “safe” and “unsafe” levels in the soil and groundwater of a community. Toxicology appeals to me as an interdisciplinary field where diverse specialties are required to understand our current complex environmental issues.

Current Research Description

Poster Presentations (selected): 

JA Jacobus, A Klingelhutz, LW Robertson and G Ludewig. THE END DRAWS NEAR: TELOMERE SHORTENING INDUCED BY A QUINONE METABOLITE OF PCB3. Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, March 16-20, 2008.

JA Jacobus, L Lehmann, HL Esch, LW Robertson and G Ludewig. ASSESSMENT OF 4-CHLOROBIPHENYL IN VIVO USING THE BIG BLUE RAT MODEL: MUTAGENICITY, GENE EXPRESSION, AND HISTOLOGY. Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 25-29, 2007.

JA Jacobus, L Lehmann, HL Esch, LW Robertson and G Ludewig. DETECTION
USING THE BIG BLUE RAT MODEL. Superfund Basic Research Program Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, December 11-12, 2006.

Thesis Title: Exploring novel interactions between 4-chlorobiphenyl and deoxyribonucleic acids at the organismal, cellular, and molecular level

AdvisorLarry Robertson, Ph.D.

Year of Graduation: 2009

Program: Ph.D.

Current Position: Research Scientist / Environmental Toxicologist

Current Employer/Institution: Health Risk Assessment Unit, Minnesota Department of Health

Publications: Jacobus, J. A., Flor, S., Klingelhutz, A., Robertson, L. W., and Ludewig, G. (2008). 2-(4'-Chlorophenyl)-1,4-Benzoquinone Increases the Frequency of Micronuclei and Shortens Telomeres. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 25, 267-272

Luthe, G., Jacobus J.A., and Robertson, L.W. (2008). Receptor interactions by polybrominated diphenyl ethers versus polychlorinated biphenyls: A theoretical structure-activity assessment. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 25, 202-210.

Luthe, G., Garcia Boy, R., Jacobus, J., Smith, B. J., Rahaman, A., Robertson, L. W., and Ludewig, G. (2008). Xenobiotic geometry and media pH determine cytotoxicity through solubility. Chem Res Toxicol 21, 1017-27.

Jacobus, JA; Wang, B; Maddox, C; Esch, H; Lehmann, L; Robertson, LW; Wang, K; Kirby, P; Ludewig, G. 3-Methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and 4-chlorobiphenyl (PCB3) genotoxicity is gender-related in Fischer 344 transgenic rats. (2010). Environmental International 36(8) SI:970-9.

Senthilkumar, PK; Klingelhutz, AJ; Jacobus, JA; Lehmler, H; Robertson, LW; Ludewig, G. Airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) reduce telomerase activity and shorten telomere length in immortal human skin keratinocytes (HaCat). (2011). Toxicology Letters 204(1):64-70.

Awards and Honors: Society of Toxicology Carcinogenesis Study Section Second Place Prize – 2008 Annual Meeting

SOT Student Travel Award, 2007 Annual Meeting

Best Biomedical Poster Presentation, 2006 Superfund Annual Meeting

Pilot grant award from the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination to study telomere effects of PCBs

James Jacobus
B.S. Environmental Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001