Aaron Barchowsky

  • Professor
  • Faculty in Environmental and Occupational Health

The primary focus of current research is investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying human diseases caused by environmental exposures to metals and chronic changes in cellular redox status. In vivo and cell cultured based studies focus on the molecular pathology and etiology of vascular disease and lost regenerative capacity caused by chronic exposure to low levels of arsenic in drinking water. The cell signaling pathways that mediate arsenic-stimulated pathogenic phenotypic changes in endothelial, muscle, and stem cells are being investigated. Research is also focused on critical questions of how environmental arsenic exposures promote unhealthy aging, limit tissue maintenance, and impair tissue stem cell function. A goal of improving mechanistic understanding of disease mechanisms is to identify effective interventions that limit the global burden of arsenic-promoted diseases.


1978 | North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC | BS Zoology
1984 | Duke University, Durham, NC | PhD Pharmacology


I currently direct the Pitt Public Health core curriculum course in Environmental Health and Disease (EOH 2013). Dr. Alison Sanders and I have created a new course for the BSPH program titled Molecules of Life, Sickness and Health (PUBHT 0422). I also lecture in a range of courses in Pitt Public Health and the School of Medicine in areas including environmental epidemiology, environmental exposures, risk assessment, molecular cell signaling pathways, pathophysiology, toxicology, angiogenesis, and medical pharmacology. In addition, I direct the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health MS and PhD program in Environmental Health Sciences.

Selected Publications

Sarker MK, SR Tony, AE Siddique, MR Karim, N Haque, Z Islam, MS Islam, M Khatun, J Islam, S Hossain, Z Alam Saud, H Miyataka, D Sumi,A Barchowsky, S Himeno, K Hossain. Arsenic secondary methylation capacity is inversely associated with arsenic exposure-related muscle mass reduction.Int J Environ Res Pub Heath 18: 9370, 2021 doi:10.3390/ijerph18189730

Lind L, JA Araujo,A Barchowsky, S Belcher, BR Berridge, N Chiamvimonvat, WA Chiu, VJ Cogliano, S Elmore, AK Farraj, AV Gomes, CM McHale, KB Meyer-Tamaki, NG Posnack, HM Vargas, X Yang, L Zeise, C Zhou, MT Smith. Key Characteristics of Cardiovascular Toxicants.Environ Health Perspect129: 095001, 2021. DOI: 10.1289/EHP9321

Clemens Z, S Sivakumar, A Pius, A Sahu, S Shinde, H Mamiya, N Luketich, J Cui, JD Hoeck, S Kreuz, M Franti,A Barchowsky, F Ambrosio. The biphasic and age-dependent impact of Klotho on hallmarks of aging and skeletal muscle function.eLife 10: e61138, 2021. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.61138

Anguiano T, A Sahu, B Qian, WY Tang, F Ambrosio,A Barchowsky. Arsenic directs stem cell fate by imparting Notch signaling into the extracellular matrix niche.Toxicol Sci. 177: 494-505, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfaa106, PMID: 3264788

Cheiki A, C Wallace, C St Croix, C Cohen, WY Tang, P Wipf, PV Benos, F Ambrosio,A Barchowsky. Mitochondria are a substrate of cellular memory. Free Radic Biol Med. 130:528-541, 2019 PMID: 30472365

Oberoi S, B Devleesschauwer, HJ Gibb,A Barchowsky. Global burden of cancer and coronary heart disease resulting from dietary exposure to arsenic, 2015. Environ Res 171:185-192, 2019. PMID: 30665120

Stearns-Reider K; D’Amore A; Beezhold K; Rothrauff BB; Cavalli L; Wagner W; Vorp DA; Tsamis A; Shinde, S; Zhang C;A Barchowsky; Rando TA; Tuan RS; Ambrosio F. Aging of the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix drives a stem cell fibrogenic conversion. Aging Cell 16:518-528, 2017. PMID: 28371268

Zhang C, R Ferrari, K Beezhold, K Stearns-Reider, A D’Amore, M Haschak, DB Stolz, PD. Robbins,A Barchowsky, F Ambrosio. Arsenic promotes NF-kB-mediated fibroblast dysfunction and matrix remodeling to impair muscle stem cell function. Stem Cells 34:732-42, 2015. PMID: 26537186

Cronican AA, NF Fitz, A Carter, M Saleem, S Shiva,A Barchowsky, R Koldamova, J Schug, and I Lefterov. Genome-wide alteration of histone H3K9 acetylation pattern in mouse offspring prenatally exposed to arsenic. PLOS ONE 8(2):e53478, 2013 PMID: 23405071.

Straub AC, KA Clark, MA Ross, AG Chandra, S Li, X Gao, PJ Pagano, DB Stolz, and A Barchowsky. Arsenic-stimulated liver sinusoidal capillarization in mice requires NADPH oxidase-generated superoxide. J. Clin. Invest. 118:3980-9, 2008. PMID:19033667