Grantee: Irina Stepanov, Ph.D.

Irina Stepanov

Irina Stepanov, Ph.D.

Analytical Biochemist and Cancer Researcher
TCRB Grantee
  • University of Minnesota
Co-Principal Investigator:

Caryn Lerman, PhD


Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., researches the mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in cancer risk in order to inform the development of novel approaches for identifying tobacco users who are at higher risk of developing cancer. In her studies, she collaborates with medical doctors, behavioral scientists, surveillance specialists, epidemiologists, educators, and tobacco control experts to address the complex issues of tobacco use and related exposures.

In her current study, "Nornicotine in smokeless tobacco as a precursor for carcinogen exposure," Dr. Stepanov is investigating the endogenous formation of the potent esophageal and oral carcinogen N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) from tobacco alkaloid nornicotine in smokeless tobacco users. The knowledge gained in this study will lead to the development of recommendations for the regulation of nornicotine levels in smokeless tobacco products in order to minimize exposure to NNN in smokeless tobacco users who are unable or unwilling to quit tobacco use.

I have been very fortunate to be mentored by and collaborate with the prominent leaders in tobacco carcinogenesis research. Their example and guidance, along with my personal motivation to contribute to the prevention of suffering caused by cancer, shaped my research interests and direction.”

* The Behavioral Research Program is grateful to this investigator for providing a Sample Grant Application as an excellent example of grantsmanship. The Adobe Reader is needed to read PDF files. Download Adobe Reader for free.

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