Gabriele Sabbioni


Gabriele Sabbioni, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
1440 Canal Street, Suite 2100
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 988-2771
Fax: (504) 988-1726


Research Interests:

Biological monitoring: urinary metabolites, protein adducts, DNA adducts; metabolism; quantitative structure activity relationships

Professional Achievements:


  • Member of the Editorial Board for Biomarkers
  • Member of the Working Group Analytical Chemistry of the German Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area

Educational Background:


  • Postdoctoral lecturer diploma (Habilitation), toxicology, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
  • Postdoctorate, toxicology, M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Postdoctorate, organic chemistry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • PhD, organic chemistry, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • High school teacher diploma, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • M.S., chemistry, University of Berne, Switzerland

Selected Publications: 

Sabbioni G, Dongari N, Schneider S, Kumar A. Synthetic Approaches To Obtain Amino Acid Adducts of 4,4'-Methylenediphenyl Diisocyanate. Chem Res Toxicol. 2012 Nov 26.

Kumar A, Vineis P, Sacerdote C, Fiorini L, Sabbioni G. (2010) Determination of new biomarkers to monitor the dietary consumption of isothiocyanates. Biomarkers, 15, 739-745.

Sabbioni G, Dongari N, Kumar A. (2010) Determination of a new biomarker in subjects exposed to 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate. Biomarkers, 15, 508-515.

Kumar A, Sabbioni G. (2010) New biomarkers for monitoring the levels of isothiocyanates in humans. Chem. Res. Toxicol., 23, 756-765.

Kumar A, Dongari N, Sabbioni G. (2009) New isocyanate-specific albumin adducts of 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) in rats. Chem Res. Toxicol., 22, 1975-1983.

Sabbioni G, Wesp H, Lewalter J, Rumler R. (2007) Determination of isocyanate biomarkers in construction site workers. Biomarkers, 12, 468-483.

Sabbioni G, Rumler R. (2007) Biomonitoring of workers cleaning up ammunition waste sites. Biomarkers, 12, 559-573.

Sabbioni G, Sepai O, Hirvonen A, Norppa H, Järventaus H, Yan H, Brooks LR, Warren SH, DeMarini DM, Liu YY. (2007) Comparison of biomarkers in workers exposed to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene. Biomarkers, 12, 21-37.

Jones CR, Sepai O, Liu YY, Yan H, Sabbioni G. (2007) Urinary metabolites and health effects in workers exposed chronically to chloronitrobenzene. Biomarkers, 12, 1-20.

Beyerbach, A., Farmer, PB, Sabbioni G. (2006) Biomarkers for isocyanate exposure: synthesis of isocyanate DNA adducts. Chem. Res. Toxicol., 19, 1611-1618.

Beyerbach A, Rothman N, Bhatnagar VK, Kashyap R, Sabbioni G. (2006) Hemoglobin adducts in workers exposed to benzidine and azo dyes. Carcinogenesis, 27, 1600-1606.

Sabbioni G, Jones CR, Sepai O, Hirvonen A, Norppa H, Järventaus H, Glatt HR, Pomplun D, Yan H, Brooks LR, Warren SH, DeMarini DM,  Liu YY. (2006) Biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility in workers exposed to nitrotoluenes. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers & Prev., 15, 559-566.

Jones CR, Liu YY, Sepai O, Yan H, Sabbioni G. (2006) Internal exposure, health effects and cancer risk of humans exposed to chloronitrobenzene. Environ. Science & Technol., 40, 387-394. 

Sabbioni G, Liu YY, Yan H, Sepai O. (2005) Hemoglobin adducts, urinary metabolites, and health effects in 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene exposed workers. Carcinogenesis, 26, 1272-1279.

Jones CR, Sepai O, Liu YY, Yan H, Sabbioni G. (2005) Urinary metabolites of workers exposed to nitrotoluenes. Biomarkers, 10, 10-28. 15. Jones CR, Liu YY, Sepai O, Yan H, Sabbioni G. (2005) Hemoglobin adducts in workers exposed to nitrotoluenes. Carcinogenesis, 26, 133-143.

Jones CR, Sabbioni G. (2003) Identification of DNA adducts using HPLC/MS/MS following in vitro and in vivo experiments with arylamines and nitroarenes. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 16, 1251-1263.

Jones CR, Beyerbach A, Seffner W, Sabbioni G. (2003) Hemoglobin and DNA adducts in rats exposed to 2-nitrotoluene. Carcinogenesis, 24, 779-787.

Sabbioni G, Jones CR. (2002) Biomonitoring of arylamines and nitroarenes. Biomarkers, 7, 347-421.

Sabbioni G, Hartley R,  Schneider S. (2001) Synthesis of adducts with amino acids as potential dosimeters for the biomonitoring of humans exposed to toluenediisocyanate. Chem. Res. Toxicol., 14, 1573-1583.

Bolognesi C, Baur X, Marczynski B, Norppa H,  Sepai O, Sabbioni G. (2001) Carcinogenic risk of toluene diisocyanate and 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate: epidemiological and experimental evidence. Crit. Rev. Toxicol., 31, 737-772.

Sabbioni G, Beyerbach A. (2000) Hemoglobin adducts of aromatic amines: diamines and polyaromatic amines J. Chromatogr. B., 744, 377-387.

Sabbioni G, Hartley R, Henschler D, Hoellrigl-Rosta A, Koeber R, Schneider S. (2000) Isocyanate-specific hemoglobin adduct in rats exposed to 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate. Chem. Res. Toxicol., 13, 82-89.  


Personal Statement:


In cooperation with other groups, we could demonstrate that blood protein adducts of aflatoxin are good markers of exposure and good markers of the target dose (liver DNA). We were able to find such adducts in humans living in regions with high liver cancer incidences: Africa and China.

Our biomonitoring studies also involved other compounds: nitroaromatics, aromatic amines, isocyanates, urea and carbamate pesticides, cyproterone acetate and leflunomide. After developing the methods in rat experiments, we quantified blood protein-adducts and urine metabolites in workers. In some studies we were able to compare the air levels, the urine metabolites and the protein-adducts with the individual genotypes (N-acetyltransferase, glutathiontransferases), with the early biological effects (cytogenetic) and with biological effects (liver, spleen), exposed to the following compounds:

1. Workers from a isocyanate factory exposed to 4,4'-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate in Germany.
2. Workers from a factory manufacturing products with polyurethane in Germany.
3. Workers from construction sites exposed to polyurethanes in Germany.
4. Workers exposed to 4,4'-methylenedianiline in Germany.
5. Workers from a rubber factory exposed to 2-methylaniline and aniline, USA.
6. Workers from two Chinese ammunition factories exposed to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene.
7. Workers exposed to ammunition waste in soil, Germany.
8. Workers exposed to dinitrotoluenes in China.
9. Workers exposed to 4-chloronitrobenzene in China.
10. Workers exposed to benzidine and azodyes in India.
11. Field workers exposed to pesticides, Sanremo, Italy.
12. People exposed to aflatoxins, China, Kenia, Gambia.

In order to analyze DNA-adducts of carcinogens in vivo, we have synthesized several deoxyguanosine adducts of arylamines. We are working on methods such as HPLC/MS/MS, HPLC-ECD, and 32P-postlabeling, for low level detection of DNA modifications in vivo. For the prediction of the mutagenicity, toxicity, and carcinogenicity, we are studying the physico-chemical properties of several heterocyclic arylamines, arylamines and nitroarenes. In structure activity studies we determined the electronic parameters which show a correlation with these biological endpoints.


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