Theo de Kok
Field of interest: Genetic toxicology, molecular mechanisms in colorectal carcinogenesis and dietary chemoprevention
Prof. Theo de Kok graduated in 1988 as biologist at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with Microbiology and Toxicology as majors. He received his PhD in 1992 at the University of Limburg, after 4 years of investigating the relationship between dietary habits, the endogenous formation of carcinogenic compounds and colorectal cancer risk. From 1992 until 1997 he was appointed as course team manager at the Open University of the Netherlands, where he developed distance teaching materials in the field of Food and Toxicology, Environmental Medicine and Occupational Health. As a member of a Copernicus/WHO steering group for the promotion of environmental health teaching and innovation medical curricula, he organized several meetings and courses for university teachers in several countries. In the same period, he was also involved in several research projects at Maastricht University. In 1997, he was appointed as assistant professor at this University and became coordinator of the Environmental Health Sciences programme. He continued his research I the field of genetic toxicology and gene-environment interactions. In 1998 he was registered as Toxicologist by the National Committee for Post-Doctoral Medical-Biological Research training in The Netherlands (SMBWO).
His major research interests include:
- Molecular mechanisms in colorectal cancer, particularly related to dietary habits and exposures;
- Role of (oxidative) DNA damage in cancer risk and evaluation of chemopreventive action of dietary antioxidants e.g green tea polyphenols, vitamin C and flavonoids;
- Chemical characterization and toxicological evaluation of ambient particulate matter.
In 2008 he was appointed as Associate Professor at the Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, of Maastricht University. His research interests are in unraveling environment-gene interactions with respect to the process of cancer formation and prevention. Currently, his research focuses particularly on the molecular mechanisms in colorectal cancer development and prevention; the evaluation of chemopreventive action of dietary phytochemicals; modulation of the endogenous formation of carcinogenic nitroso-compounds in the human colon by diet and inflammatory bowel disease; and the risk-benefit analysis of Natural AhReceptor agonists, using genomics approaches.
He is a member of the Netherlands Society of Toxicology (Genetic Toxicology Section and the Toxicology and risk evaluation section), the Netherlands Society of Environmental Medicine, the European Environmental Mutagen Society, and the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology.