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Person Details: Cliona M. McHale

Superfund Research Program

Cliona M. McHale

University of California-Berkeley
School of Public Health
Environmental Health sciences Division
384 Li Ka Shing Center
Berkeley, California 94720-3370
Phone: 510-643-5100




  • Germolec DR, Lebrec H, Anderson SE, Burleson GR, Cardenas A, Corsini E, Elmore S, Kaplan BL, Lawrence BP, Lehmann GM, Maier CC, McHale CM, Myers LP, Pallardy M, Rooney AA, Zeise L, Zhang L, Smith MT. 2022. Consensus on the key characteristics of immunotoxic agents as a basis for hazard identification. Environ Health Perspect 130(10):105001. doi:10.1289/EHP10800 PMID:36201310 PMCID:PMC9536493
  • Phillips RV, Wei L, Cardenas A, Hubbard AE, McHale CM, Vermeulen R, Wei H, Smith MT, Zhang L, Lan Q, Rothman N. 2022. Epigenome-wide association studies of occupational exposure to benzene and formaldehyde. Epigenetics 1-19. doi:10.1080/15592294.2022.2115604 PMID:36017556


  • Lind L, Araujo JA, Barchowsky A, Belcher SM, Berridge BR, Chiamvimonvat N, Chiu WA, Cogliano VJ, Elmore S, Farraj AK, Gomes AV, McHale CM, Meyer-Tamaki KB, Posnack NG, Vargas HM, Yang X, Zeise L, Zhou C, Smith MT. 2021. Key characteristics of cardiovascular toxicants. Environ Health Perspect 129(9):95001. doi:10.1289/EHP9321 PMID:34558968 PMCID:PMC8462506
  • Rider CV, McHale CM, Webster TF, Lowe L, Goodson III WH, La Merrill MA, Rice G, Zeise L, Zhang L, Smith MT. 2021. Using the key characteristics of carcinogens to develop research on chemical mixtures and cancer. Environ Health Perspect 129(3):35003. doi:10.1289/EHP8525 PMID:33784186 PMCID:PMC8009606
  • Zhao Y, Magana L, Cui H, Huang J, McHale CM, Yang X, Looney MR, Li R, Zhang L. 2021. Formaldehyde-induced hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell toxicity in mouse lung and nose. Arch Toxicol 95(2):693-701. doi:10.1007/s00204-020-02932-x PMID:33084937 PMCID:PMC7878325
  • Zhao Y, Wei L, Tagmount A, Loguinov AV, Sobh A, Hubbard AE, McHale CM, Chang C, Vulpe CD, Zhang L. 2021. Applying genome-wide CRISPR to identify known and novel genes and pathways that modulate formaldehyde toxicity. Chemosphere 269:128701. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128701 PMID:33189395 PMCID:PMC7904579


  • Smith MT, Guyton KZ, Kleinstreuer N, Borrell A, Cardenas A, Chiu WA, Felsher DW, Gibbons CF, Goodson III WH, Houck K, Kane AB, La Merrill MA, Lebrec H, Lowe L, McHale CM, Minocherhomji S, Rieswijk L, Sandy MS, Sone H, Wang A, Zhang L, Zeise L, Fielden MR. 2020. The Key Characteristics of Carcinogens: Relationship to the Hallmarks of Cancer, Relevant Biomarkers, and Assays to Measure Them. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 29(10):doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1346 PMID:32152214 PMCID:PMC7483401


  • Luderer U, Eskenazi B, Hauser R, Korach KS, McHale CM, Moran-Messen FM, Rieswijk L, Solomon G, Udagawa O, Zhang L, Zlatnik M, Zeise L, Smith MT. 2019. Proposed key characteristics of female reproductive toxicants as an approach for organizing and evaluating mechanistic data in hazard assessment. Environ Health Perspect 127:75001. doi:10.1289/ehp4971 PMID:31322437 PMCID:PMC6791466


  • McHale CM, Osborne G, Morello-Frosch R, Salmon AG, Sandy MS, Solomon G, Zhang L, Smith MT, Zeise L. 2018. Assessing health risks from multiple environmental stressors: moving from G x E to I x E. Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res 775:11-20. doi:10.1016/j.mrrev.2017.11.003 PMID:29555026 PMCID:PMC5863617
  • Schiffman C, McHale CM, Hubbard AE, Zhang L, Thomas R, Vermeulen R, Li G, Shen M, Rappaport SM, Yin S, Lan Q, Smith MT, Rothman N. 2018. Identification of gene expression predictors of occupational benzene exposure. PLoS One 13(10):e0205427. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0205427 PMID:30300410


  • Shen H, McHale CM, Haider SI, Jung C, Zhang S, Smith MT, Zhang L. 2016. Identification of genes that modulate susceptibility to formaldehyde and imatinib by functional genomic screening in human haploid KBM7 cells. Toxicol Sci 151(1):10-22. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfw032 PMID:27008852 PMCID:PMC4914802


  • Ji Z, McHale CM, Bersonda J, Tung J, Smith MT, Zhang L. 2015. Induction of centrosome amplification by formaldehyde, but not hydroquinone, in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells. Environ Mol Mutagen 56(6):535-544. doi:10.1002/em.21947 PMID:25821186
  • Lan Q, Smith MT, Tang X, Guo W, Vermeulen R, Ji Z, Hu W, Hubbard AE, Shen M, McHale CM, Qiu C, Liu S, Reiss B, Beane-Freeman L, Blair AE, Ge Y, Xiong J, Li L, Rappaport SM, Huang H, Rothman N, Zhang L. 2015. Chromosome-wide aneuploidy study of cultured circulating myeloid progenitor cells from workers occupationally exposed to formaldehyde. Carcinogenesis 36(1):160-167. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgu229 PMID:25391402 PMCID:PMC4291049
  • Shen H, McHale CM, Smith MT, Zhang L. 2015. Functional genomic screening approaches in mechanistic toxicology and potential future applications of CRISPR-Cas9. Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res 764:31-42. doi:10.1016/j.mrrev.2015.01.002 PMID:26041264 PMCID:PMC4456615



  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Lan Q, Thomas R, Hubbard AE, Vermeulen R, Li G, Rappaport SM, Yin S, Smith MT, Rothman N. 2013. Toxicogenomic and systems biology approaches in the understanding of toxicity and leukemogenesis induced by benzene. The Toxicologist, Society of Toxicology Meeting, March 2013.
  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Thomas R, Smith MT. 2013. Analysis of the transcriptome in molecular epidemiology studies. Environ Mol Mutagen 54(7):500-517. doi:10.1002/em.21798 PMID:23907930 PMCID:PMC5142298
  • Ren X, Ji Z, McHale CM, Yuh J, Bersonda J, Tang M, Smith MT, Zhang L. 2013. The impact of FANCD2 deficiency on formaldehyde-induced toxicity in human lymphoblastoid cell lines. Arch Toxicol 87(1):189-196. doi:10.1007/s00204-012-0911-6 PMID:22872141 PMCID:PMC4312773
  • Thomas R, McHale CM, Lan Q, Hubbard AE, Zhang L, Vermeulen R, Li G, Rappaport SM, Yin S, Rothman N, Smith MT. 2013. Global gene expression response of a population exposed to benzene: A pilot study exploring the use of RNA-sequencing technology. Environ Mol Mutagen 54(7):566-573. doi:10.1002/em.21801 PMID:23907980 PMCID:PMC4353497
  • Zhang L, Bassig BA, Mora JL, Vermeulen R, Ge Y, Curry JD, Hu W, Shen M, Qiu C, Ji Z, Reiss B, McHale CM, Liu S, Guo W, Purdue MP, Yue F, Li L, Smith MT, Huang H, Tang X, Rothman N, Lan Q. 2013. Alterations in serum immunoglobulin levels in workers occupationally exposure to trichloroethylene. Carcinogenesis 34(4):799-802. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgs403 PMID:23276795 PMCID:PMC3616671



  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Hubbard AE, Smith MT. 2011. Transcriptomic studies in human populations. Chapter 9 in: Applications of toxicogenomics in safety evaluation and risk assessment. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ. pp.177-206.
  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Lan Q, Vermeulen R, Li G, Hubbard AE, Porter KE, Thomas R, Portier CJ, Shen M, Rappaport SM, Yin S, Rothman N, Smith MT. 2011. Global gene expression profiling of a population exposed to a range of benzene levels. Environ Health Perspect 119:628-634. doi:10.1289/ehp.1002546 PMID:21147609 PMCID:PMC3094412
  • Ren X, McHale CM, Skibola CF, Smith AH, Smith MT, Zhang L. 2011. An emerging role for epigenetic dysregulation in arsenic toxicity 
and carcinogenesis. Environ Health Perspect 119(1):11-19. doi:10.1289/ehp.1002114 PMID:20682481 PMCID:PMC3018488
  • Smith MT, Zhang L, McHale CM, Skibola CF, Rappaport SM. 2011. Benzene, the exposome and future investigations of leukemia etiology. Chem Biol Interact 192(1-2):155-159. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2011.02.010 PMID:21333640 PMCID:PMC3461963
  • Zhang L, Lan Q, Guo W, Hubbard AE, Li G, Rappaport SM, McHale CM, Shen M, Vermeulen R, Yin S, Rothman N, Smith MT, Ji Z. 2011. Chromosome-wide aneuploidy study (CWAS) in workers exposed to an established leukemogen, benzene. Carcinogenesis 32:605-612. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq286 PMID:21216845 PMCID:PMC3066415


  • Ji Z, Zhang L, Peng V, Ren X, McHale CM, Smith MT. 2010. A comparison of the cytogenetic alterations and global DNA hypomethylation induced by the benzene metabolite, hydroquinone, with those induced by melphalan and etoposide. Leukemia 24(5):986-991. doi:10.1038/leu.2010.43 PMID:20339439 PMCID:PMC4353491
  • Zhang L, McHale CM, Rothman N, Li G, Ji Z, Vermeulen R, Hubbard AE, Ren X, Shen M, Rappaport SM, North M, Skibola CF, Yin S, Vulpe CD, Chanock SJ, Smith MT, Lan Q. 2010. Systems biology of human benzene exposure. Chem Biol Interact 184(1-2):86-93. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2009.12.011 PMID:20026094 PMCID:PMC2846187


  • Ji Z, Zhang L, Guo W, McHale CM, Smith MT. 2009. The benzene metabolite, hydroquinone and etoposide both induce endoreduplication in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells. Mutagenesis 24(4):367-372. doi:10.1093/mutage/gep018 PMID:19491217 PMCID:PMC2701990
  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Lan Q, Li G, Hubbard AE, Forrest MS, Vermeulen R, Chen J, Shen M, Rappaport SM, Yin S, Smith MT, Rothman N. 2009. Changes in the peripheral blood transcriptome associated with occupational benzene exposure identified by cross-comparison on two microarray platforms. Genomics 93(4):343-349. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.12.006 PMID:19162166 PMCID:PMC2693268


  • McHale CM, Zhang L, Hubbard AE, Zhao X, Baccarelli A, Pesatori AC, Smith MT, Landi MT. 2007. Microarray analysis of gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from dioxin-exposed human subjects. Toxicology 229:101-113. PMID:17101203


  • Smith MT, McHale CM, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Gunn L, Skibola CF, Ma X, Buffler PA. 2005. Molecular biomarkers for the study of childhood leukemia. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 206(2):237-245. PMID:15967214


  • McHale CM, Smith MT. 2004. Prenatal origin of chromosomal translocations in acute childhood leukemia: Implications and future directions. Am J Hematol 75(4):254-257. PMID:15054823
  • Zhang L, Hayes RB, Guo W, McHale CM, Yin S, Wiencke JK, O'Neill JP, Rothman N, Li G, Smith MT. 2004. Lack of increased genetic damage in 1,3-butadiene-exposed Chinese workers studied in relation to EPHX1 and GST genotypes. Mutat Res 558(1-2):63-74. PMID:15036120


  • McHale CM, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Ma X, Buffler PA, Feusner J, Matthay KK, Dahl GV, Smith MT. 2003. Prenatal origin of childhood acute myeloid leukemias harboring chromosomal rearrangements t(15;17) and inv(16). Blood 101(11):4640-4641. PMID:12756163
  • McHale CM, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Ma X, Buffler PA, Guo W, Loh ML, Smith MT. 2003. Prenatal origin of TEL-AML1-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children born in California. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer 37(1):36-43. PMID:12661004
  • Smith MT, Wiencke JK, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Ma X, McHale CM, Buffler PA. 2003. Molecular epidemiology of childhood leukemia. Environ Mol Mutagen 41(3):206.


  • Curry JD, McHale CM, Smith MT. 2002. Low efficiency of the Moloney murine leukemia virus reverse transcriptase during reverse transcription of rare t(8;21) fusion gene transcripts. Biotechniques 32(4):768-775. PMID:11962598
  • McHale CM, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Ma X, Buffler PA, Smith MT. 2002. Prenatal origin of TEL-AML positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children born in California. In: Proceedings of the Ninety Third (AACR) American Association for Cancer Research, April 6-10, 2002, San Francisco. San Franciso, CA. pp.4566.
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