Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences


Oxidative Stress and Genomic Instability


Prior to his move to Florida International University (FIU) in July 2014, Dr. Marcus Cooke led of one of the foremost groups in the UK undertaking oxidative stress research, specifically studying DNA damage. This expertise is now firmly established at FIU. He is internationally recognised as a leader in understanding the source, significance, and measurement of modified (oxidised) DNA and extracellular nucleobases, and (2’-deoxy)nucleosides which, in our hands, can be minimally/non-invasive biomarkers of genotoxicity (e.g. oxidative stress).  More recently, I pioneered the novel approach of urinary DNA adductomics, incorporating targeted and non-targeted approaches into my lab’s portfolio.

He is a member of the following EU-funded COST Actions: EU-ROS (€ 64 million COST Action; 2012 – 2016) and hCOMET. From a total of 119 publications, 94 are original primary data articles, the majority of which are in the top three journals for the field. He is an inventor on three granted patents, one pending patent, and a recipient of two license agreements. He is as a co-editor of one book and a guest editor of a special DNA damage edition of Free Radical Research (2012), and guest associate editor for a special edition of Frontiers in Chemistry (2019), on “Mass Spectrometry for Adductomic Analysis”.

He is also an editorial board member for Scientific Reports and Biomarkers and a peer reviewer for more than 98 journals and major funding bodies, such as National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.World Cancer Research Fund; EPSRC; Italian Telethon Foundation; Wellcome Trust, BBSRC; Medical Research Council; International Union Against Cancer, and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.


The Oxidative Stress Group studies the formation and repair of oxidatively damaged nuclear and mitochondrial DNA: from basic mechanisms to translational application of validated biomarkers. Specifically, the formation and repair of damage to nuclear/mitochondrial DNA and the nucleotide precursor pools; and the development and application of DNA adductomics i.e. (i) the totality of DNA adducts in cellular DNA, and urine; (ii) the genome-wide mapping of DNA damage.

Using these approaches we aim to identify environmental disease risk markers, and understand their underlying mechanisms, at the individual and population levels.

We actively promote the commercial exploitation of research findings and expose  all who work in the lab to this concept.


  • Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath).
  • University of Leicester/Medical Research Council Centre for Mechanisms of Human Toxicity, MSc Molecular Pathology and Toxicology, PhD.
  • Liverpool Polytechnic, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences.


Links to publications can be found here:



Recent Publications:

In press

Troccoli, CI., Samaranayake, GJ., Zhang, L., Huynh, M., Jayaraj, C., Ji, D., McPherson, L., Onishi, Y., Nguyen, DM., Robbins, DJ., Karbaschi, M., Cooke, MS., Barrientos, A., Kool, ET. and Rai, P. The existence of MTH1-independent 8-oxodGTPase activity in cancer cells as a compensatory mechanism against on-target effects of MTH1 inhibitors. Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics (in press).


Hu, C-W., Chang, Y-J., Cooke, MS. and Chao, M-R. DNA crosslinkomics: a tool for the comprehensive assessment of inter-strand crosslinks using high resolution mass spectrometry.  Analytical Chemistry. 91, 15193-15203.

(an NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month, Jan 2020).

Ji, Y., Karbaschi, M. and Cooke, MS. (2019) Mycoplasma infection of cultured cells induces oxidative stress and attenuates cellular base excision repair activity. Mutation Research – Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis. 845, 403054-.

Alhegaili, AS., Ji, Y., Karbaschi, M., Tempest, HG., Sylvius, N., Blades, MJ. Jones, GDD. and Cooke, MS. (2019) Genome-wide adductomics analysis reveals heterogeneity in the induction and loss of cyclobutane thymine dimers across the both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20, 5112-.

Karbaschi, M., Ji, Y., Abdulwahed, AMS., Alohaly, A., Bedoya, JF., Burke, SL., Boulos, TM., Tempest, HG. and Cooke, MS. (2019) Evaluation of major steps in the conventional protocol for the comet assay. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20, 6072-.

Cooke, MS., Hu, C-W. and Chao, M-R. Editorial: Mass Spectrometry for Adductomic Analysis.  Frontiers Chemistry (in press).

Shih, Y-M., Cooke, MS., Pan, C-H., Chao, M-R. and Hu, C-W. (2019) Clinical relevance of guanine-derived urinary biomarkers of oxidative stress, determined by LC-MS/MS.  Redox Biology. 20, 556-565.

Tenenbaum, RB., Agarwal, R., Cooke, MS., Agarwal, M., Maddux, M. and Burke, SL. (2019) Utilisation of complementary and alternative therapies in youth with developmental disabilities. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.


Cooke, MS*., Chao, M-R., Chang, Y-J. and Hu, C-W*. (2018) Urinary DNA Adductomics – A Novel Approach for Exposomics.  Environment International. 121, 1033-1038.  *Contributed equally.

Olinski, R., Gackowski, D. and Cooke, MS. (2018) Endogenously generated DNA nucleobase modifications: source, and significance as possible biomarkers of malignant transformation risk, and role in anticancer therapy. BBA. Reviews on Cancer 1869, 29-41.

Delinassios, G., Karbaschi, M., Cooke, MS*. and Young, AR*. (2018) Vitamin E inhibits the UVAI induction of “light” and “dark” cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, and oxidatively generated DNA damage, in keratinocytes. Scientific Reports 8, 423, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-18924-4. *Co-corresponding authors.

Kim, G., Karbaschi, M., Cooke, MS. and Gaitas, A. (2018) Evaluation of three light based whole blood pathogen inactivation methods enabled by a recirculating flow system. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 94, 744-751. DOI: 10.1111/php.12899

Cooke, MS. (2018) Mycosporine-like amino acids: does Nature make a better sunscreen? (Invited commentary.) British Journal of Dermatology 178, 1239.

Hu, C-W., Cooke, MS., Chang, Y-J. and Chao, M-R. Direct-acting DNA ethylating agents in cigarette smoke primarily originate by transfer from the tobacco itself, not combustion. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 358, 397-404. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.07.011

Chang, Y-J., Cooke, MS., Hu, C-W. and Chao, M-R. (2018) Novel approach to integrated DNA adductomics for the assessment of in vitro and in vivo environmental exposures. Archives of Toxicology. 92, 2665-2680.

Chao, M-R*., Cooke, MS*., Chang, Y-J., Pan, C-H, Liu, H-H. Yang, H-J., Chiang, Y-C. and Hu, C-W. (2018) Children are particularly vulnerable to environmental tobacco smoke exposure: evidence from biomarkers of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and oxidative stress. Environment International. 120, 238-245. *Contributed equally.

Shih, BB., Farrar, MD., Cooke, MS., Osman, J., Langton, AK., Kift, R., Webb, AR., Berry, JL., Watson, REB., Vail, A., de Gruijl, FR. and Rhodes, LE. Sub-sunburn produces vitamin D and DNA damage equivalently but with absent to strong damage gradients in human skin types I-VI. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (in press). doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.04.015.


Egea, J., Fabregat, I., Frapart, Y.M., Ghezzi, P., Görlach, A., Kietzmann, T., Kubaichuk, K., Knaus, U. G., Lopez, M.G., Olaso-Gonzalez, G., Petry, A., Schulz, R., Vina, J., Winyard, P., Abbas,K., Ademowo, S., Afonso, C.B., Andreadou, L., Antelmann, H.,Antunes, F., Aslan, M., Bachschmid, M.M., Barbosa, R. M., Belousov, V., Berndt, C., Bernlohr, D., Bertrán, E., Bindoli, A., Bottari, S.P., Brito, P.M., Carrara, G., Casas, A.I., Chatzi, A., Chondrogianni, N., Conrad, M., Cooke, M.S., Costa. J.G., 34, Cuadrado, A., Dang, P.M., Smet, B.D., Debelec–Butuner, B., Dia, I., Dunn, J.D., Edson, A.J, Assar, M.E., Benna, J.E., Ferdinandy, P., Fernandes, A.S., Fladmark, K.E., Förstermann, U., Giniatullin, R., Giricz, Z., Görbe, A., Griffiths, H., Hampl, V., Herget, J., Hernansanz-Agustín, P., Hillion, M., Huang, J., Ilikay, S., Jansen-Dürr, P., Jaquet, V., Joles, J.A., Kalyanaraman, B., Kaminskyy, D., Karbaschi, M., Kleanthous, M., Klotz, L.O., Korac, B.,Korkmaz, K.S., Koziel, R., Kračun, D., Krause, K.H., Křen, V., Krieg, T., Laranjinha, J., Lazou, A., Li, H., Martínez-Ruiz, A., Matsui, R., McBean, G.J., Meredith, S.P., Messens, J., Miguel, V., Mikhed, Y., Milisav, I., Milković, L., Miranda-Vizuete, A.,Mojović, M., Monsalve, M., Mouthuy, P.A., Mulvey, J., Münzel, T., Muzykantov, V., Nguyen, I.T.N., Oliveira, N.G., Palmeira, C.M., Papaevgeniou, N., Pavićević, A., Pedre, B., Peyrot, F., Phylactides, M., Pircalabioru, G.G., Pitt, A.R., Poulsen, H.E., Prieto, I., Rigobello, M.P., Robledinos-Antón, N., Rodríguez-Mañas, L., Rolo, A.P., Rousset, F., Ruskovska, T.,Saraiva, N., Sasson, S., Schröder, K., Semen, K., Seredenina, T., Shakirzyanova, A., Smith, G.L., Soldati, T., Sousa, B.C., Spickett, C.M., Stancic, A., Stasia, M.J., Steinbrenner, H., Stepanić, V., Steven, S., Tokatlidis, K., Tuncay, E., Turan, B., Ursini, F., Vacek, J., Vajnerova, O., Valentová, K., Varisli, L., Veal, E.A., Weber, A., Yalçın, A.S., Yelisyeyeva, O., Žarković, N., Zatloukalová, M., Zielonka, J., Touyz, R.M., Papapetropoulos, A., Grune, T., Lamas, S.,Schmidt, H.H., Lisa, F.D., and Daiber, A. (2017) Position paper by the EU-ROS consortium on RONS in health and disease: European Contribution to the study of ROS: A Summary of the Findings and Prospects for the Future from the COST Action BM1203 (EU-ROS). Redox Biology. 13, 94-162.


Rossner, Jr., P., Orhan, H., Santella, RM., Sakai, K., Koppen, G., Ambroz, A., Rossnerova, A., Sram, RJ., Ciganek, M., Neca, J. and Cooke, MS. (2016) Urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine analysis by an improved ELISA: does assay standardization reduce inter-laboratory variability? Free Radic. Biol. Med. 95, 169-179.

Felton, SJ., Cooke, MS., Kift, R., Berry, JL., Webb, AR., Lam, PMW., de Gruijl, FR., Vail, A. and Rhodes, LE. (2016) Concurrent beneficial (vitamin D production) and hazardous (cutaneous DNA damage) impact of low level summer sunlight exposures. Br. J. Dermatol. 175, 1320-1328. DOI: 10.1111/bjd.14863.

Evans, MD., Misty, V., Singh, R., Gackowski, D., Różalskic, R., Siomek-Goreckac, A., Phillips, DH., Zuod, J., Mullenders, L., Pines, A., Nakabeppu, Y., Sakumi, K., Sekiguchi, M., Tsuzuki, T., Bignami, M., Oliński, R. and Cooke, MS. (2016) Nucleotide excision repair of oxidised genomic DNA is not the primary source of urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2’-deoxyguanosine. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 99, 385-391.


Hu, C-W., Cooke, MS., Tsai, Y-H. and Chao, M-R. (2015) Comparison of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine concentrations in various human body fluids measured by isotope-dilution LC-MS/MS. Arch. Toxicol. 89, 201-210. DOI: 10.1007/s00204-014-1255-1

Karbaschi, M., Macip, S, Mistry, V., Abbas, HHK, Delinassios, GJ., Evans, MD., Young, AR. and Cooke, MS. (2015) Rescue of cells from apoptosis increases DNA repair in UVB exposed cells with implications for the DNA damage response. Toxicol. Res. 4, 725-738. DOI: 10.1039/c4tx00197d
Part of a special “New Talent” edition: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/journals/journalissues/tx?e=1#!issueid=tx004003&type=current&issnprint=2045-452x)