Dr. James Trosko received his Ph.D. in radiation genetics. Later, Dr. Trosko did a postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1963-66) under Drs. Ernest Chu, Sheldon Wolf, and Richard B. Setlow in DNA damage/repair and in vitro mutagenesis. He issued the first paper showing that normal human cells could repair their UV-damaged DNA. Moreover, He was highlighted on the cover of Cancer Research as one of the researchers who linked gap junctions to the carcinogenesis process.
He created the term, “epigenetic toxicology”, after showing that most of the toxic chemicals in the environment (TCDD, PBB, PCB, DDT, Dieldrin, Adrin, toxaphene, pthalates, PFOA, etc.) were (a) not genotoxic and (b) could inhibit GJIC, reversibly at non-cytotoxic concentrations.
Also, his lab discovered that oncogenes, such as src, ras, raf, neu, could stably inhibit GJIC, while tumor suppressor genes , as well as multiple cancer chemo-preventive agents ( green tea components, caffeic acid ethyl ester, genistein, beta-sitosterol, resveratrol, retinoids, carotinoids, kaempherol, etc.) [15-20], and even some chemotherapeutic agents ( Lovastatin ,SAHA) [21, 22], could either prevent the inhibition of GJIC by tumor promoters or increase GJIC in tumor cells, deficient in GJIC.