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Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD

Department Chair and Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences) and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and of Environment; Director, Yale Superfund Research Center; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Cancer Center; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Co-Director, Environmental Health Sciences Track, Executive MPH

Contact Information

Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Environmental Health Sciences

    60 College St.

    New Haven, CT 06510

    United States



Vasilis Vasiliou, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He received his BSc in Chemistry (1983) and PhD in Biochemical Pharmacology (1988) from the University of Ioannina, Greece. He then trained in gene-environment interactions, molecular toxicology and pharmacogenetics at the Department of Environmental Health in the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (1991-1995). In 1996, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy where he rose through the ranks to become Professor and Director of the Toxicology Graduate Program. Since 2008, he was also Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In July 2014, he joined the faculty of Yale University in his new position.

Professor Vasiliou has established an internationally-recognized research program that has been continuously funded by NEI/NIH and NIAAA/NIH since 1997, and recently NIEHS. His research interests include the etiology and molecular mechanisms of environmentally-induced human disease, such as liver disease, obesity & diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on the means by which the exposome (total exposures throughout life), metabolism (specifically aldehyde dehydrogenases and cytochrome P-450s) and antioxidants (glutathione and catalase) contribute to human health and disease. His laboratory utilizes state-of-the-art integrated system approaches that include metabolomics, lipidomics, exposomics, tissue imaging mass spectrometry, deep-learning, as well as human cohorts and genetically-engineered mouse models in order to elucidate mechanisms, and to discover biomarkers and novel interventions for human disease.

Dr Vasiliou is the director of the NIEHS-funded P42 Yale Superfund Research Center and also the director of the NIAAA-funded R24-Resource Center for Mouse Models and Metabolomics Tools to Investigate Alcohol Metabolism and Tissue Injury.

Dr. Vasiliou has published over 250 papers and edited three books on Alcohol and Cancer. Dr. Vasiliou is the editor of Human Genomics and serves on the editorial boards of several toxicology and visual sciences journals.

Professor Vasiliou is committed to training the next generation of scientists. At the University of Colorado, he was the Director of the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Graduate Program for 15 years. At Yale he leads an NIAAA-funded T32 Translational Alcohol Research Program (TARP) Training Program for post-doctoral fellows, and an NIHES -funded R25 Summer Research Experience in Environmental Health (SREEH) Training Program that introduce undergraduate students in Connecticut (CT) to Environmental Health Research. Dr. Vasiliou has trained mentored and advised more than 60 trainees ranging from MPH and PhD students to postdoctoral fellows and junior faculties.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of Ioannina (1988)


  • Alcohol and Colon Cancer
    Germany; Japan 2013
    Project with Drs. Helmut Seitz and Sebastian Mueller and Drs. Akira Yokoyama and Takesi Misukami that examines the role of genes encoding alcohol metabolizing enzymes in human colon cancer.
  • Role of ALDHs in Diabetes
    Germany 2011
    Project with Dr. Antony Gavalas (University of Dresden) on the involvement of ALDH1B1 and other aldehyde dehydrogenases in diabetes.
  • Structural/Chemical Biology of Aldehyde Dehydrogenases
    United Kingdom 2007
    Collaboration with Professor Udo Oppermann on elucidation of crystal structures of various aldehyde dehydrogenases, the results of which will be used in drug discovery.

Departments & Organizations