Skip Navigation
National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesNational Institutes of Health
Increase text size Decrease text size Print this page


Photosensitization Reactions

Colin F. Chignell, Ph.D.
Colin F. Chignell, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Tel (919) 541-4575
Fax (919) 541-5750

P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop F0-03
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Delivery Instructions

Research Summary

The Photochemistry & Photobiology Group studies the photosensitization reactions (phototoxicity and/or photoallergy) that occur in exposed tissues such as the skin and eyes as a result of the absorption of ultraviolet and/or visible radiation by endogenous and exogenous chemical agents. The group uses a variety of molecular biology approaches as well as sophisticated spectroscopic techniques such as fluorescence, phosphorescence, electron spin resonance, laser and conventional flash photolysis in its studies.

Major areas of research:

  • The phototoxicity and/or photoallergy of chemical photosensitizers such as a topical agents, environmental chemicals and therapeutic agents
  • The response of keratinocytes to UVA (320-400 nm)
  • The effect of visible light on the lens and blue light on the retina
  • The photochemical and photophysical properties of nanoparticles

Current projects:

  • Interaction of fullerene (C60) and fullerenol [C60(OH)24] with the skin in the absence or presence of light
  • The role of PTEN in the response of keratinocytes to UVA and its involvement in the development of skin cancer
  • The influence of surface derivatization procedures on the fate of quantum dots (highly fluorescent nanoparticles) in biological systems
  • Interaction of fullerene and fullerenol with human lens cells in the absence or presence of light

Colin F. Chignell, Ph.D., heads the Photochemistry & Photobiology Group within the Laboratory of Pharmacology. He received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of London in 1962. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed articles in leading biomedical journals, as well as nore than 30 book chapters and reviews. In 1973 he was awarded the John J. Abel prize by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). He was a Research Pharmacologist in the Molecular Pharmacology Section, Pulmonary Branch, of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH before joining NIEHS in 1977.

Back to top Back to top Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health
This page URL:
NIEHS website:
Email the Web Manager at
Last Reviewed: November 30, 2007