Irina Stepanov, Ph.D. is a Mayo Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health. Dr. Stepanov received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Moldova State University (Republic of Moldova). She completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Hecht at the University of Minnesota and continued working as a research associate with Dr. Hecht at the Masonic Cancer Center.
Dr Stepanov's primary research focus is on tobacco carcinogenesis and the mechanisms underlying inter‐individual differences in cancer risk due to tobacco use. Other areas include DNA damage due to oxidative stress and inflammation, and the role of metal exposures in neurobehavioral outcomes in children.
In her research program, she applies the fundamental concepts of science and analytical technologies to incorporate biochemical measurements, such as biomarkers of exposure, harm, and susceptibility to disease, into epidemiological and community-based studies and intervention trials. Such integration can provide important insights into human-environment interactions and offer effective tools for addressing critical issues in public health, such as identification of at-risk populations, public education, and the development of public health policies and regulations.