James E. Klaunig

James Klaunig

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Professor, School of Public Health, Indiana University
Center for Research on Ingredient Safety

James E. Klaunig, Ph.D., ATS, IATP
School of Public Health
Indiana University

Dr. Klaunig received his B.S. degree in Biology from Ursinus College in 1973, a M.A. in Biology from Montclair State University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of Maryland in 1980 (mentor Benjamin F Trump). He did postdoctoral work for two years at the Medical University of Ohio in Toledo, Ohio (mentor Gary Stoner). This led to his first faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Medical University of Ohio in 1982. In 1986, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Pathology with tenure, in addition to having a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. From 1990-1991, he did sabbatical work at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT) in North Carolina (mentor James Popp).  In 1991, he was offered and accepted the position of Professor of Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He was also appointed as the State Toxicologist for the State of Indiana and named Director of the Toxicology at IU and Director of the Indiana State Department of Toxicology, the latter providing forensic toxicology services to the state of Indiana. In 2006, he was named the Robert Forney Professor of Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2010, he was recruited as the Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the newly formed School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington. In 2012, he returned to the full-time professorial rank and he was also awarded Adjunct Appointment in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

         Dr. Klaunig’s research has focused on understanding the toxicological and pathological effects of chemical agents including pharmaceuticals. His work has concentrated primarily in the area of chemically induced carcinogenesis with particular interest in the mechanisms by which agents induce liver and lung cancer. A foundation of his mechanistic studies has been the application of these results to further understanding and producing scientifically based human risk assessment. His laboratory has been continually funding since 1984. Since joining Indiana University in 1991, he has been responsible for the acquisition of over $25 million in extramural funding. His funding sources have been from the Department of Defense, NIH, US EPA, the State of Indiana and corporate sources. The Klaunig Lab Laboratory (klauniglab.com) has produced over 210 peer-reviewed papers, as well as, numerous meeting abstracts and over 15 book chapters. His chapter on carcinogenesis in the standard graduate textbook for toxicology (Casarett and Doull), is read by the majority of graduate and post-doctoral students in the field of toxicology. His publications are highly referenced and cited as is evident by his designation in 2013, 2015, and again in 2017 as a highly cited author in pharmacology and toxicology by the Thomson Reuters’. This honor ranks him in the top 130 authors that published in the field of pharmacology and toxicology during the 2002-2012 , 2004- 2014 and 2006- 2016 timespans, respectively (http://hcr.stateofinnovation.thomsonreuters.com/).  His research involves the application of systems biology, pathology and toxicology and is highly hypothesis driven.


In addition to his research portfolio, Dr. Klaunig is recognized as a highly effective teacher and mentor for graduate students. He initiated and developed the Ph.D. and Master’s program in Toxicology at the Medical University of Toledo. Upon coming to Indiana University School of Medicine, he revitalized the Ph.D. and Master’s program in Toxicology that was originally founded by Dr. Robert Forney and upon his arrival to the School of Public Health at IU Bloomington he developed and initiated the Ph.D. program in Environmental Health.  Dr. Klaunig has taught graduate students, medical students, applied health students, public health students and undergraduate students throughout his career. Dr. Klaunig has mentored over 75 graduate and post-doctoral fellows, most of who have gone on to leadership positions in academic, government and industry. He was the first faculty member from the School of Public Health to offer a course at the IU Honors College (toxicology and Society). His teaching has been recognized by his awarding of the IU Trustee’s Teaching Award in 2005. He has also been active in education outside of the university setting, as is evident by his election to and tenure on the Society of Toxicology Education Committee and his service as the chair of that committee during his final year of service.


Dr. Klaunig has served both his academic community, the state, national, and scientific societies. On the academic side, he was elected Secretary of the faculty during his time at the Medical University of Toledo, and was also Director of the Graduate Program in Toxicology in the Department of Pathology. Upon arriving at the Indiana University School of Medicine, he served as the graduate advisor for the toxicology program as well as his state position as Director of Toxicology and State Toxicologist. He has served on departmental, school and university promotion and tenure committees throughout his career. At the state level, Dr. Klaunig has been called upon by elected officials of the state, including the Governor, to serve on various panels where his expertise in toxicology was needed this included the Indiana Pesticide Review Board, the Control Substances Advisory Board, and the Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving. He has also served on numerous US EPA scientific advisory panels and was a member of the scientific advisory board of the agency. He has served as a member of the NTP Board of Scientific Councilors for the NIEHS and has participated ad hoc and as a permanent member for multiple study sections for the NIH Grant Review Program. He is frequently called upon to serve on scientific review panels including those of the California EPA, the National Academy of Sciences, the FDA and the World Health Organization (IARC). Dr. Klaunig has also served and continues to serve as a manuscript reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed publications and is currently on several editorial boards of toxicological journals. He was one of the original associate editors of Toxicological Sciences and also served as Editor-in-Chief of Toxicologic Pathology. He has served in numerous elected and appointed positions for the Society of Toxicology, including serving as a member of council, Treasurer and currently is President of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section. He is also a long-term board member and is currently President of the Toxicology Forum. Dr. Klaunig has served for over 15 years as both board member and scientific advisor and is the current Editor-in-Chief for the Health Environmental Scientific Institute of the International Life Sciences Institute (HESI ILSI).


His research, teaching and service work, both to the scientific community and societies, has been recognized through various honors bestowed upon him, including the Sagamore of the Wabash by the Governor of Indiana and the Annual Service Award for he role in combating Impaired and Dangerous Driving by the Attorney General of Indiana (Chairman’s Award, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute). He has received awards from Indiana University including, the Trustees Teaching Award, as well as, the Otis Bowen Leadership Award at the IU School of Medicine. He was also honored in 2006 to his high school Hall of Fame (Freehold NJ), has been recognized as the Midwest Toxicologist of the Year in 2004 through the recipient of the Ken Dubois Award of the Midwest Society of Toxicology, was awarded Outstanding Senior Researcher in 2016 by the IU School of Public Health. He has also received in 2009 the George H. Scott Award from the Toxicology Forum. More recently he was elected a fellow to the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of  Science (2019). He was also awarded the Education Award from the Society of Toxicology (2020), received the Mid-Atlantic Society of Toxicology (MASOT) Ambassador of Toxicology Award in 2019 and the  International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Achievement Award.