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Position: Home > Faculty & staff > Faculty-PhD. Supervisor > Content     

Name:Michael N Routledge


Address:7.28 LIGHT building,Leeds, UK



BSc Cell Biology (Hons) - University of Newcastle upon Tyne 1986
DPhil - University of York 1991

I obtained my degree in cell biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1986 and went on to complete a DPhil in chemical carcinogenesis at the University of York in 1991. I completed postdoctoral fellowships at the NCI Frederick Cancer Research & Development Center in Frederick, Maryland, the University of York and the University of Leicester.

Professional Experience
I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Toxicology at De Montfort University, from 1998-2000. In 2000 I moved to the School of Medicine at Leeds as a Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology. I was appointed Associate Professor in 2013 and now focus on mycotoxin research (exposure and health effects, especially for aflatoxin in Africa) and toxicity of urban particulate matter. I am also lead in several student education areas for the School and University.

Academic Sub-Dean Year 2 MBChB
Discovery Theme Lead Mind & Body Theme
ICU Lead for Body Systems Year 1 MBChB

Scientific Research Field

1.    Areas of expertise
My areas of expertise include environmental toxicology; biomarkers of exposure; aflatoxin exposure and health; mycotoxins; nanoparticle toxicity; air pollution particulate toxicity.

2.    Research interests
Mycotoxins are produced by fungi that grow on food crops. Although they occur around the globe, the most toxic, such as aflatoxin, are a major health concern in warm humid countries such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
In the cross-faculty Mycotoxin Research Group, we use laboratory analytical methods to measure biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure in blood or urine from exposed populations, and epidemiological methods to assess the health impact of this exposure.
Social academic post and honor

We have worked closely with colleagues in Tanzania and the Gambia to study health impacts on children. One of these impacts is on impairment of child growth: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6164-4.
I have also worked on the toxicity of urban particulate matter for several years. Ultrafine particles such as those present in traffic exhaust emissions contribute greatly to the toxic effects of air pollution. They can induce DNA damage, a first step in carcinogenesis. Recently we have investigated the impact of particulates on blood clotting, as a possible mechanism by which particles can induce cardiovascular events such as heart attack.
DOI: 10.1160/TH17-05-0362

Teaching Courses

As Associate Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the School of Medicine at Leeds, I am involved in teaching medical science to students in the first year of their medical degree and has a pastoral role for second year students.

I am involved in teaching medical courses related to my expertise (environmental toxicology; biomarkers of exposure; aflatoxin exposure and health; mycotoxins; nanoparticle toxicity; air pollution particulate toxicity).

MOOCs and Free Online Courses:
Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment
Causes of Human Disease: Transmitting and Fighting Infection

Published papers
1. Publications
Watson S, Moore SE, Darboe MK, Chen G, Tu Y-K, Huang Y-T, Eriksen KG, Bernstein RM, Prentice AM, Wild CP, Xu Y, Routledge MN, Gong YY. 2018. Impaired growth in rural Gambian infants exposed to aflatoxin: a prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health. 18  

Xu Y, Gong YY, Routledge MN. 2018. Aflatoxin exposure assessed by aflatoxin albumin adduct biomarker in populations from six African countries. World Mycotoxin Journal; Mycotoxins in Africa. 11(3), pp. 411-419  

Deng C, Li C, Zhou S, Wang X, Xu H, Wang D, Gong YY, Routledge MN, Zhao Y, Wu Y. 2018. Risk assessment of deoxynivalenol in high-risk area of China by human biomonitoring using an improved high throughput UPLC-MS/MS method. Scientific Reports. 8  

Chen G, Gong YY, Kimanya ME, Shirima CP, Routledge MN. 2018. Comparison of urinary aflatoxin M1 and aflatoxin albumin adducts as biomarkers for assessing aflatoxin exposure in Tanzanian children. Biomarkers. 23(2), pp. 131-136  

Pan X, Gong YY, Xu Y, Ariens RAS, Routledge MN. 2018. Urban Particulate Matter Induces Changes in Gene Expression in Vascular Endothelial Cells that Are Associated with Altered Clot Structure In Vitro. Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 118(2), pp. 266-278  

Van Baak TE, Coarfa C, Dugué P-A, Fiorito G, Laritsky E, Baker MS, Kessler NJ, Dong J, Duryea JD, Silver MJ, Saffari A, Prentice AM, Moore SE, Ghantous A, Routledge MN, Gong YY, Herceg Z, Vineis P, Severi G, Hopper JL, Southey MC, Giles GG, Milne RL, Waterland RA. 2018. Epigenetic supersimilarity of monozygotic twin pairs. Genome Biology. 19  

Xu Y, Doel A, Watson S, Routledge MN, Elliott CT, Moore SE, Gong YY. 2017. Study of an Educational Hand Sorting Intervention for Reducing Aflatoxin B? in Groundnuts in Rural Gambia. Journal of Food Protection. 80(1), pp. 44-49  

Watson S, Gong YY, Routledge M. 2017. Interventions Targeting Child Undernutrition in Developing Countries May Be Undermined by Dietary Exposure to Aflatoxin. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 57(9), pp. 1963-1975  

Pan X, Gong YY, Martinelli I, Angelici L, Favero C, Bertazzi PA, Mannucci PM, Ari?ns RAS, Routledge MN. 2016. Fibrin clot structure is affected by levels of particulate air pollution exposure in patients with venous thrombosis. Environment International. 92-93, pp. 70-76  

Silver MJ, Kessler NJ, Hennig BJ, Dominguez-Salas P, Laritsky E, Baker MS, Coarfa C, Hernandez-Vargas H, Castelino JM, Routledge MN, Gong YY, Herceg Z, Lee YS, Lee K, Moore SE, Fulford AJ, Prentice AM, Waterland RA. 2015. Independent genomewide screens identify the tumor suppressor VTRNA2-1 as a human epiallele responsive to periconceptional environment. Genome Biology. 16  

Hernandez-Vargas H, Castelino J, Silver MJ, Dominguez-Salas P, Cros MP, Duramd G, Le Calvez-Kelm F, Prentice AM, Wild CP, Moore SE, Hennig BJ, Herceg Z, Gong YY, Routledge MN. 2015. Exposure to aflatoxin B1 in utero is associated with DNA methylation in white blood cells of infants in The Gambia. International Journal of Epidemiology. 44(4), pp. 1238-1248  

Shirima CP, Kimanya ME, Routledge MN, Srey C, Kinabo JL, Humpf H-U, Wild CP, Tu Y-K, Gong YY. 2015. A Prospective Study of Growth and Biomarkers of Exposure to Aflatoxin and Fumonisin during Early Childhood in Tanzania. Environmental Health Perspectives. 123(2), pp. 173-178  

Mu Q, Hondow NS, Krzemiński L, Brown AP, Jeuken LJC, Routledge MN. 2012. Mechanism of cellular uptake of genotoxic silica nanoparticles.. Part Fibre Toxicol. 9, p. 29  

Gong YY, Wilson S, Mwatha JK, Routledge MN, Castelino JM, Zhao B, Kimani G, Kariuki HC, Vennervald BJ, Dunne DW, Wild CP. 2012. Aflatoxin exposure may contribute to chronic hepatomegaly in Kenyan school children.. Environ Health Perspect. 120(6), pp. 893-896  

Metassan S, Routledge MN, Lucking AJ, Uitte de Willige S, Philippou H, Mills NL, Newby DE, Ari?ns RA. 2010. Fibrin clot structure remains unaffected in young, healthy individuals after transient exposure to diesel exhaust.. Part Fibre Toxicol. 7, p. 17

Forchhammer L, Johansson C, Loft S, M?ller L, Godschalk RWL, Langie SAS, Jones GDD, Kwok RWL, Collins AR, Azqueta A, Phillips DH, Sozeri O, Stepnik M, Palus J, Vogel U, Wallin H, Routledge MN, Handforth C, Allione A, Matullo G, Teixeira JP, Costa S, Riso P, Porrini M, M?ller P. 2010. Variation in the measurement of DNA damage by comet assay measured by the ECVAG inter-laboratory validation trial.. Mutagenesis. 25(2), pp. 113-123

Metassan S, Charlton AJ, Routledge MN, Scott DJA, Ari?ns RAS. 2010. Alteration of fibrin clot properties by ultrafine particulate matter.. Thromb Haemost. 103(1), pp. 103-113

Whibley C, Odell AF, Nedelko T, Balaburski G, Murphy M, Liu Z, Stevens L, Walker JH, Routledge M, Hollstein M. 2010. Wild-type and human HUPKI (human P53 knock-in) murine embryonic fibroblasts: P53/ARF pathway disruption in spontaneous escape from senescence.. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285, pp. 11326-11335

Davies J, Burke D, Olliver JR, Hardie LJ, Wild CP, Routledge MN. 2007. Methylene blue but not indigo carmine causes DNA damage to colonocytes in vitro and in vivo at concentrations used in clinical chromoendoscopy. Gut. 56(1), pp. 155-156

(To see other papers, please refer to the attached documents)

Main Scientific Research Projects

Aflatoxin exposure and associated immune function damage in young children (ongoing):
Goal: This project examines the mechanisms through which aflatoxin exposure cause immune system dysregulation in young children using human epidemiological studies and in vitro bioassays.

Biomarker diagnosis of a recent aflatoxicosis outbreak in Tanzania (archived):
Goal: Our research Lab was involved in analysing blood samples collected by World Health Organisation (WHO) for aflatoxin-albumin adduct biomarker during the aflatoxicosis outbreak in Tanzania in 2016. During this outbreak, at least 14 deaths linked to the Dodoma and Manyara incidents were recorded while there were 53 suspected cases.

Evaluation of Dietary Exposure to Mycotoxins in Young Children (archived):
Goal: This project evaluated the contribution of mycotoxins to child health burden in Tanzania.

Assessing health burdens of aflatoxin in Tanzania and developing models to predict aflatoxin risk - capacity building and pump priming research (ongoing):
Goal: The proposed pump-priming research is anticipated to provide a research framework and methodology to the GCRF-AFRICAP project. The project will estimate health risk by investigating aflatoxin in food and exposure biomarkers in Tanzanian children utilising an established cohort, and calculate the expected health burden using the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) according to the WHO food-borne disease burden estimate method.

Mycotoxins as a Risk Factor in Childhood Growth Impairment Worldwide (ongoing):
The project is geared towards understanding the mechanistic pathways through which mycotoxins contribute to child growth impairment.

Scientific Research Achievements and Awards

Our work has made an impact on awareness and policy-making in sub-Saharan Africa, through collaboration with the East Africa Community and the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa.

The above information update

Sep. 29,2019


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