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

James Huff, Ph.D.

Office of Risk Assessment Research

James Huff, Ph.D.
James Huff, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Chemical Carcinogenesis

Tel (919) 541-3780
Fax (919) 541-5002

P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop A2-01
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Delivery Instructions

After serving four years as a medic in the U.S. Air Force Military Service, James Huff received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Science and Pharmacy in 1963 and Master of Science Degree in Pharmaceutics in 1965 from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His MS thesis: "In vitro and in vivo evaluations of meprobamate formulations."

He is a pharmacist, and while attending undergraduate and graduate school he worked in the Pharmaceutical Production Unit of Wyeth Laboratories and in the Investigational Products Laboratory of Smith, Kline, and French Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Huff earned his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Bionucleonics, with emphasis on pharmacologic mechanisms, in 1968 from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. His Ph.D. thesis: "A tracer investigation of the metabolism, distribution, and excretion of amobarbital in stressed and non-stressed rats."

After an 18 month post-doctoral appointment at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology [FASEB] in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Huff joined Dr. Harold Hodge on the faculty of the University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, New York as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He was involved in the clinical toxicology of commercial products, effects of high altitudes on erythropoietin activity, and the persistence of cholinesterase effects of carbamate pesticides. In 1973 he began work in the Biology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He developed and was Chief of four units involved in the assessment of risks associated with the broad scope of toxicologic activities of chemicals and other environmental and occupational exposures. During that time he was involved with Dr. Henry Kissman at the National Library of Medicine in building the online TOXLINE data files.

In 1977 Dr. Huff became Chief of the IARC Monographs Program on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. While at IARC, working with Dr Lorenzo Tomatis, he helped to establish the initial categories used within the IARC Monographs Program to classify exposures according to the epidemiologic and experimental evidence of carcinogenicity. Further, Dr. Huff was instrumental in strengthening and expanding the scientific content and carcinogenesis evaluations of the Monographs Program.

Returning to the United States in 1980 at the behest of Dr. David Rall, he joined the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program. Dr. Huff was the first person hired by Dr. Rall, primarily to help establish the newly created NTP into a world-renowned scientific and public health-oriented program. He was a lead person for the transition of the bioassay program from the National Cancer Institute to the NTP. Dr. Huff introduced and established the NTP levels of evidence of carcinogenicity for the experimental chemical carcinogenesis bioassays for evaluating results, and as still utilized in the bioassay technical reports. While with the NTP he wrote or led the preparation and evaluation of more than 200 carcinogenesis bioassay technical reports. Along with Dr Hans Falk and later joined by Dr Vladimer Vouk, Dr Huff helped establish the Congressionally mandated NTP Report on Carcinogens, now in its 10th edition, into a science-based and globally accepted collection of chemicals and exposure circumstances considered as either known to be as carcinogenic to humans or as reasonably anticipated to be carcinogenic to humans.

Dr. Huff currently resides in the Office of the Director, NIEHS. His major research interests center on chemical carcinogenesis and their possible impact on environmental, occupational, and general public health. These activities include: conducting and evaluating long-term chemical carcinogenesis bioassays; exploring mechanisms of carcinogenic activity; identifying potential human carcinogens; conducting, evaluating, and refining in vitro and in vivo systems to improve cancer hazard predictions and risk assessments; pursuing environmental, occupational, and lifestyle causes of cancer; and examining issues and controversies in the quest to improved public health. He continues these activities by continuing to commit and dedicate his expertise, energy, and experience to reducing the cancer burden from chemicals and other environmental carcinogenic exposure circumstances.

Dr. Huff is an elected member of the Collegium Ramazzini, an international community of 180 scholars in honor of Bernardino Ramazzini, to advance the study of occupational and environmental health issues around the world. Ramazzini Days are held annually in his birthplace Carpi, Italy. Dr. Huff has been an invited speaker, chairperson, or organizer at numerous national and international workshops, symposia, and conferences, and has authored or coauthored upwards of 300 scientific publications. In addition to these, and the nearly 350 corporate toxicology documents, IARC Monographs, and NTP Technical Reports, he initiated and was the lead editor on a book on hormonal carcinogenesis: Huff J, Boyd J, Barrett JC [Editors]. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of hormonal carcinogenesis: environmental influences. Prog Clin Biol Res 1996;394:i-xix; 1-479.

For 2002, Dr Huff has been selected by the 55,000-member American Public Health Association to receive the David P Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health for his long-term and consistent efforts to raise awareness about the reduction and prevention of environmentally associated diseases, especially exposure to environmental carcinogens. According to the APHA, the David Rall Award "recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to public health through science-based advocacy."

Back to top Back to top

Selected Publications

  1. Huff J, Lunn RM, Waalkes MP, Tomatis L, Infante PF. Cadmium-induced Cancers in Animals and in Humans. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health : official journal of the International Commission on Occupational Health 2007;2:202-212. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  2. Huff J. Benzene-induced cancers: Abridged history and occupational health impact. International journal of occupational and environmental health : official journal of the International Commission on Occupational Health 2007;2:213-221. [Abstract] ( Exit NIEHS
  3. Huff J. Absence of toluene carcinogenicity in rodents following long-term inhalation exposure. Int J Occup Environ Health 2002; [in press]
  4. Huff J. Arsenic carcinogenicity: "paradox" or misconception? Mutat Res 2002 [in press].
  5. Huff J. TCDD/Dioxins and Mammalian Carcinogenesis. Chapter In: Schecter A [ed]. Dioxins and Health. Plenum Press, NY 2002 [in press]
  6. Huff J. Chemical Carcinogenesis Bioassays, Cancer Prevention, and Environmental Health. J Biomed Biotech [in press]
  7. Huff J. Chemical carcinogenesis bioassays and the precautionary principle. [in press]
  8. Tomatis L, Huff J. Evolution of research on cancer etiology. Chapter 9:189-201. In: Coleman WB, Tsongalis GJ [eds]. The molecular basis of human cancer: Genomic Instability and Molecular Mutation in Neoplastic Transformation. Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2002.
  9. Huff J. Sawmill Chemicals and Carcinogenesis. Environ Health Perspect 2001 Mar;109(3):109-212.
  10. Tomatis L, Melnick RL, Haseman J, Barrett JC, Huff J. Alleged misconceptions' distort perceptions of environmental cancer risks. FASEB J. 2001 Jan 1;15(1):195-203.
  11. Huff J. Carcinogenicity of Bisphenol-A in Fischer Rats and B6C3F1 Mice. Odontology 2001 Nov;89[1]:12-20.
  12. Haseman JK, Melnick RL, Tomatis L, Huff J. Carcinogenesis bioassays - study duration and biological relevance. Food Chem Toxicol 2001 July; 39(7):739-44.
  13. Tomatis L, Huff J. .Evolution of cancer etiology and primary prevention. Environ Health Perspect 2001 Oct; 109[10]:A458-A460.
  14. Huff J. Chan P, Nyska, A. Is the human carcinogen arsenic carcinogenic to laboratory animals? Toxicol Sci 2000;55:17-23.
  15. Huff J. The Legacy of David Platt Rall. Scientific, environmental, public health, and regulatory contributions. Eur J Oncol 2000;5[2]:85-100.
  16. Huff J. Breast Cancer Risks from Environmental Chemicals. Eur J Oncol 2000;5[2]:127-132.
  17. Huff J. Long-term chemical carcinogenesis bioassays predict human cancer hazards. Issues, controversies, and uncertainties. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;895:56-79.
  18. Huff J. Chemicals associated with tumours of the kidney, urinary bladder and thyroid gland in laboratory rodents from 2000 US National Toxicology Program/National Cancer Institute bioassays for carcinogenicity. IARC Sci Publ. 1999;(147):211-25
  19. Huff JE [1999]. Value and validity of carcinogenesis studies for predicting and confirming carcinogenic risks to humans. Chapter 2: 21-124. In: Testing, Predicting, and Interpreting Chemical Carcinogenicity [Kitchen KT, ed], Marcel Dekker.
  20. Huff JE [1998]. NTP Report on carcinogens: history, concepts, procedures, processes. Eur J Oncol 3: 343-355.
  21. Huff JE, Waalkes M, Chan P [1998]. Arsenic: Evidence of Carcinogenicity in Animals. Environ Health Perspect 106:A582-A583
  22. DeMarini DM, Huff JE [1998]. Genetic toxicity assessment, in: Stellman JM (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety 4th Edition, Vol. I., International Labour Office, Geneva, pp. 33.43-33.45.
  23. Huff JE [1998]. Carcinogenesis results in animals predict cancer risks to humans, 543-550; 567-569. In: Wallace RB [ed], Maxcy-Rosenau-Last's Public Health & Preventive Medicine. Fourteenth Edition. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CT.
  24. Huff JE [1997]. Carcinogenicity of chemicals used for polyethylene terphthalate plastic drink bottles. Eur J Oncol 2:515-520.
  25. Haseman JK, Boorman GA, Huff JE [1997]. Value of historic control data and other issues related to the evaluation of long-term rodent carcinogenicity studies. Toxicol Pathol 25: 524-527 [invited paper; one of top 10 cited over 25 years of this journal].
  26. Tsutsui T, Hayashi N, Maizumi H, Huff JE, & Barett JC [1997]. Benzene-, catechol-, hydroquinone-, and phenol-induced cell transformation, gene mutations, chromosome aberrations, aneuploidy, sister chromatid exchanges, and unscheduled DNA synthesis in Syrian hamster embryo cells. Mutat Res 373:113-123.
  27. Melnick RL, Kohn MC, Huff JE [1997]. Weight of evidence versus weight of speculation to evaluate the a2u-globulin hypothesis. Environ Health Perspect [letter] 105:904-906.
  28. Tomatis L, Huff JE, Hertz-Picciotto I, Sandler D, Bucher J, Boffetta P, Axelson O, Blair A, Taylor J, Stayner L, Barrett JC [1997]. Avoided and avoidable risks in cancer. Carcinogenesis 18: 95-105.
  29. Chan P, Huff JE [1997]. Arsenic carcinogenesis in animals and in humans: mechanistic, experimental, and epidemiological evidence. Environ Carcino Ecotox Revs C15[2]:83-122.
  30. Huff JE, Boyd JA, & Barrett JC [eds] [1996]. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of hormonal carcinogenesis: environmental influences. Wiley-Liss. 479 pages
  31. Huff JE [1996]. Chemically induced cancers in hormonal organs of laboratory animals and of humans. Chapter 5: 77-102. In: Huff JE, Boyd JA, & Barrett JC [eds]; see above ref.
  32. Huff JE [1996]. a2u-Globulin nephropathy, posed mechanisms, and white ravens. Environ Health Perspect 104:1264-1267.
  33. Infante PF, Schuman LD, Huff JE [1996]. Fibrous glass insulation and cancer: response and rebuttal. Amer J Indust Med 30:113-120.
  34. Huff JE, Weisburger E, Fung VA [1996]. Multicomponent criteria for predicting carcinogenicity: dataset of 30 NTP chemicals. Environ Health Perspect 104[Suppl 5]:1005-1112.
  35. Wolff M, Coleman G, Barrett JC, Huff JE [1996]. Breast cancer and environmental risk factors: epidemiological and experimental findings. Ann Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 36:573-596
  36. Huff JE [1995]. Mechanisms, chemical carcinogenesis, and risk assessment: cell proliferation and cancer. Amer J Indust Med 27:293-300.
  37. Fung VA, Barrett JC, Huff JE [1995]. The carcinogenesis bioassay in perspective: application in identifying human cancer hazards. Environ Health Perspect 103:680-683.
  38. Huff, J. E. [1993]. Chemicals and Cancer in Humans: First Evidence in Experimental Animals. Environ. Health Perspect. 100: 201-210.

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 14, 2007