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David McCormick

David McCormick, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Senior Vice President and Director, IIT Research Institute








B.A. Middlebury College
Ph.D. New York University

Research & Accomplishments 

My research program is focused on the preclinical development of drugs, natural products, and hormonal manipulations for the prevention and therapy of cancer. Studies are conducted in animal models for cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, oral cavity, skin, urinary bladder, and hematopoietic system, as well as in preclinical models for drug safety assessment.  Research in areas other than cancer prevention and therapy includes studies to evaluate the possible health effects of non-ionizing radiation (radiofrequency [cell phone] and 60 Hz [power frequency] magnetic fields), preclinical safety assessments of novel therapeutics, and studies in the general area of environmental toxicology.


  • Toxicology
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cancer biology
  • Preclinical drug development
  • Biological effects of non-ionizing radiation


The following are active projects.

  • National Cancer Institute, N01-CM-201100027, Preclinical Toxicology and Pharmacology of Drugs Developed for Cancer and Other Diseases, 2011-2016, $10,968,029.
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (National Toxicology Program), N01-ES-55544, Studies to Evaluate the Toxic and Carcinogenic Potential of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation, 2005-2015, $25,019,697.
  • National Cancer Institute, HHSN261201200025, Preclinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Studies, 2012-2015, current funding, $166,990.
  • National Cancer Institute, HHSN2612012000161, Preclinical Efficacy and Intermediate Biomarkers, 2012-2015, current funding, $1,309,245.
  • National Cancer Institute, N01-CM-42202, Preclinical Toxicology and Pharmacology of Drugs Developed for Cancer, AIDS, and AIDS-related Illnesses, 2004-2014, $18,587,393. 


  • United States Public Health Service Predoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences, New York University, 1974 to 1976
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, New Investigator Research Award, 1982 to 1985
  • Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology, 1983; recertified 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008
  • IIT Research Institute Presidential Award for Science and Technology, 2000
  • American College of Toxicology President's Award, for "Best Paper Published in the International Journal of Toxicology", 2004


The following are selected publications.

  • “Inhibition of proliferation and induction of autophagy by atorvastatin in PC3 prostate cancer cells correlate with downregulation of Bcl2 and upregulation of miR-182 and p21.”  PLoSOne, 8: e70442. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070442, 2013.  X. Peng, W. Li, L. Yuan, R.G. Mehta, L. Kopelovich, and D.L. McCormick.
  • “Preclinical evaluation of carcinogenicity using the two-year bioassay.”  In:  A Comprehensive Guide to Toxicology in Preclinical Drug Development, A.S., Faqi (Ed.), Elsevier, 2013, pp.  423-436. D.L. McCormick.
  • “Preclinical evaluation of carcinogenicity using genetically engineered animals.”  In:  A Comprehensive Guide to Toxicology in Preclinical Drug Development, A.S., Faqi (Ed.), Elsevier, 2013, pp. 437-449.  D.L. McCormick.
  • “Pharmacokinetics and tissue and tumor exposure of CP-31398, a p53 stabilizing agent, in rats.”  Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol., 36, 1301-1306, 2012.  I.M. Kapetanovic, M. Muzzio, D.L. McCormick, T.N. Thompson, W.D. Johnson, A. Mohammed, C.V., Rao, and L. Kopelovich.
  • “Identification and experimental validation of molecular targets for prostate cancer chemoprevention.”  In:  Prostate Cancer:  Biology, Carcinogenesis and Prevention, T. Shirai, M.C. Bosland, Y. Sugimura, T. Tsukamoto, H. Nakagama, and K. Wakabayashi (Eds), Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund, Tokyo, pp 88-94, 2012.  D. L. McCormick.
  • “Subchronic oral toxicity and metabolite profiling of the p53 stabilizing agent, CP-31398, in rats and dogs.” Toxicology, 289, 141-150, 2011.  W.D. Johnson, M. Muzzio, C.J. Detrisac, I.M. Kapetanovic, L. Kopelovich, and D.L. McCormick.
  • “Subchronic oral toxicity and cardiovascular safety pharmacology studies of resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol with cancer preventive activity.”  Food Chem. Toxicol., 49, 3319-3327, 2011.  W.D. Johnson, R.L. Morrissey, A.L. Usborne, I. Kapetanovic,  J.A. Crowell, M. Muzzio, and D.L. McCormick.
  • “Overexpression of COX-2 in rat oral cancers and prevention of oral carcinogenesis in rats by selective and non-selective COX Inhibitors.”  Cancer Prevention Res., 3, 73-81, 2010.  D. L. McCormick, J. M. Phillips, T. L. Horn, W. D. Johnson, V. E. Steele, and R. A. Lubet.
  • "Animal Models for the Study of Childhood Leukemia: Considerations for Model Identification and Optimization to Identify Potential Risk Factors." Int. J. Toxicol., 23: 149-161, 2004. D. L. McCormick and R. Kavet. [Winner of the 2004 "Best Paper" Award from the American College of Toxicology]

Editorial Boards 

  • Toxicology - Editorial Board
  • Nutrition and Cancer - Editorial Board
  • Public Library of Science One - Academic Editor

Professional Societies 

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Society of Toxicology
  • American College of Toxicology
  • Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • International Association for Breast Cancer Research


  • Since 1982, my research programs have been funded by more than 40 grants and contracts from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and other branches of the NIH.