David McCormick

  • IITRI Professor of Biology
  • President and Director, IIT Research Institute


Ph.D., New York University
M.S., New York University
A.B., Middlebury College
Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology

Research Interests

My research program is focused on the preclinical development of drugs, natural products, and hormonal manipulations for the prevention and therapy of cancer. Studies are conducted in animal models for cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, oral cavity, skin, urinary bladder, and hematopoietic system, as well as in preclinical models for drug safety assessment. Research in areas other than cancer prevention and therapy includes: preclinical development of a novel class of agents to treat sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnea); identification of possible health effects of non-ionizing radiation (radiofrequency [cell phone] and 60 Hz [power frequency] magnetic fields); preclinical safety assessments of novel therapeutics; and studies in the general area of environmental toxicology.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Society of Toxicology
  • Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine


  • United States Public Health Service Predoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences, New York University, 1974 to 1976
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, New Investigator Research Award, 1982 to 1985
  • IIT Research Institute Presidential Award for Science and Technology, 2000
  • American College of Toxicology President’s Award, for “Best Paper Published in the International Journal of Toxicology” (shared with co-author, Dr. Robert Kavet), 2004


There are approximately 300 research papers, reviews, and abstracts in the fields of carcinogenesis and cancer chemoprevention, preclinical drug development, and the biological effects of exposure to magnetic fields.

Selected Publications:

  1. Evaluation of the toxicity and potential oncogenicity of extremely low frequency magnetic fields in laboratory animal models. In: B. Greenebaum and F Barnes (eds.), Biological and Medical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields, 4th Edition. CRC Press, 2019, pp. 111-145. D.L. McCormick
  2. Evaluation of the potential oncogenicity of radiofrequency fields in experimental animal models. In: B. Greenebaum and F Barnes (eds.), Biological and Medical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields, 4th Edition. CRC Press, 2019, pp. 147-178. D.L. McCormick
  3. Effect of cell phone radiofrequency radiation on body temperature in rodents: pilot studies of the National Toxicology Program’s reverberation chamber exposure system. Bioelectromagnetics, 39, 190-199, 2018. M.E. Wyde, T.L. Horn, M.H. Capstick, J.M. Ladbury, G. Koepke, P.F. Wilson, G.E. Kissling, M.D. Stout, N. Kuster, R.L. Melnick, J. Gauger, J.R. Bucher, and D.L. McCormick.
  4. Complementary roles of gasotransmitters CO and H2S in sleep apnea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (U.S.A), DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620717114, 2017. Y.-J. Peng, X. Zhang, A. Gridina. I. Chupikova, D.L. McCormick, T.E. Scammell, G. Kim, C. Vasavda. J. Nanduri, G.K. Kumar, S.H. Snyder, and N.R. Prabhakar.
  5. Preclinical evaluation of carcinogenicity using standard-bred and genetically engineered rodent models. In: A Comprehensive Guide to Toxicology in Preclinical Drug Development, 2nd Edition. A.S., Faqi (Ed.), Elsevier, 2016, pp. 273-292. D.L. McCormick.
  6. Overexpression of lipocalins and pro-inflammatory chemokines and altered methylation of PTGS2 and APC2 in oral squamous cell carcinomas induced in rats by 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide. PLoSOne, 10: e0116285. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116285, 2015. X. Peng, W. Li, W.D. Johnson, K.E.O. Torres, and D.L. McCormick.
  7. Inhibition of proliferation and induction of autophagy by atorvastatin in PC3 prostate cancer cells correlate with downregulation of Bcl2 and upregulation of miR-182 and p21. PLoSOne, 8: e70442. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070442, 2013. X. Peng, W. Li, L. Yuan, R.G. Mehta, L. Kopelovich, and D.L. McCormick.
  8. Overexpression of COX-2 in rat oral cancers and prevention of oral carcinogenesis in rats by selective and non-selective COX Inhibitors. Cancer Prevention Res., 3, 73-81, 2010. D. L. McCormick, J. M. Phillips, T. L. Horn, W. D. Johnson, V. E. Steele, and R. A. Lubet.
  9. Integration of in vivo and in vitro approaches to characterize the toxicity of Antalarmin, a corticotrophin-releasing hormone receptor agonist. Toxicology, 248, 8-17, 2008. T. L. Horn, J. B. Harder, W. D. Johnson, P. T. Curry, R. E. Parchment, R. L. Morrissey, P. W. Mellick, K. A. Calis, P. W. Gold, K. C. Rice, C. Contoreggi, D. S. Charney, G. Cizza, E. R. Glaze, J. E. Tomaszewski, and D. L. McCormick.
  10. Chemoprevention of rat prostate carcinogenesis by 16-alpha-fluoro-5-androsten-17-one (fluasterone), a minimally androgenic analog of dehydroepiandrosterone. Carcinogenesis, 28, 398-403, 2007. D. L. McCormick, W. D. Johnson, N. M. Kozub, K. V. N. Rao, R. A. Lubet, V. E. Steele, and M. C .Bosland.
  11. Animal models for the study of childhood leukemia: considerations for model identification and optimization to identify potential risk factors. Int. J. Toxicol., 23, 149-161, 2004. D. L. McCormick and R. Kavet. (Winner of the American College of Toxicology President's Award for best paper of 2004).


McCormick has served (or is currently serving) as Principal Investigator on more than 50 research programs funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and other federal agencies. The following are active projects.

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, UH3HL123610, Therapeutic Targeting of Carotid Body Chemoreflex for Sleep Disordered Breathing, 2014-2019. Multi-Institution, Multi-P.I. Grant (N. Prabhakar [U. of Chicago] and D. McCormick [IITRI], PIs). IITRI funding, $3,290,044.
  • National Cancer Institute, HHSN2612015000421, Preclinical PREVENT Cancer Program: Preclinical Efficacy and Intermediate Biomarkers, 2015-2020. $1,458,086.
  • National Cancer Institute, HHSN2612015000241, Preclinical PREVENT Cancer Program: Toxicology and Pharmacology Testing, 2015-2020. $4,627,806.
  • National Cancer Institute, HHSN261201600015I, Preclinical Toxicology of Drugs Developed for Cancer Patients, 2016-2021. $1,115,611.
  • National Cancer Institute, 75N91019D00012, PREVENT Preclinical Drug Development Program: Preclinical Efficacy and Intermediate Endpoint Biomarkers, 2019-2024, ID/IQ.
  • National Cancer Institute, 75N91019D00013, PREVENT Preclinical Drug Development Program: Toxicology and Pharmacology Testing, 2019-2024, ID/IQ.


  • WO 2018/119126 A1, L-PAG Derivatives for Treatment of Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB). Prabhakar, N.R., McCormick, D.L., Muzzio, M., and Kates, M.J. International patent filed December 20, 2017.

Editorial Boards

  • Toxicology, Editorial Board
  • Nutrition and Cancer, Editorial Board
  • Public Library of Science One (PLoSOne), Section Editor


Preclinical and environmental toxicology, preclinical development of drugs for cancer prevention and therapy, cancer chemoprevention, carcinogenesis, biological effects of non-ionizing radiation (magnetic fields)