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Albert Cheh

Professor Department of Environmental Science

Albert Cheh received a BA in Chemistry from Columbia and a PhD in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the biochemistry of enzymatic digestion of biomass to produce cellulosic ethanol biofuel. He recently supervised two NIH postdocs studying error-prone bypass DNA polymerase action at polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon diol epoxide (PAH-DE) induced damage sites, and has studied PAH-DE reactions with DNA, water chlorination mutagens and toxic heavy metals.


PhD, Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley
BA, Chemistry, Columbia

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CAS - Environmental Science
Beeghly - 304
M 2-4 PM, W 2:40-4:40 PM and by appointment
Contact Info
(202) 885-1772
(202) 885-1752 (Fax)

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See Also
Environmental Science
Cheh's Homepage
Chemistry Department

Partnerships & Affiliations


  • Fall 2016

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Mechanisms by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon carcinogens found in cigarette and other smoke, and soot damage DNA and cause mutations and cancer.  Bypass DNA synthesis by Y-family DNA polymerases.  Enzymatic digestion of lignocellulose in the production of cellulosic ethanol.

Selected Publications

  • Chiapperino, D., Kroth, H., Kramarczuk, I. H., Sayer, J. M., Masutani, C., Hanaoka, F., Jerina, D. M. and Cheh, A.M.* Preferential Misincorporation Of Purine Nucleotides By Human DNA Polymerase Eta Opposite Benzo[A]Pyrene 7,8-Diol 9,10-Epoxide Deoxyguanosine Adducts” J. Biol. Chem. 277, 11765-11771 (2002).
  • Chiapperino, D., Cai, M., Sayer, J. M., Yagi, H., Kroth, H., Masutani, C., Hanaoka, F., Jerina, D. M. and Cheh, A.M.* “Error-prone Translesion Synthesis with DNA Polymerase Eta on DNA Containing 7,8-Dihydroxy-9,10-Epoxy-7,8,9,10-Tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrenyl dA Adducts” J. Biol. Chem. 280, 39684-39692 (2005).
  • Chundawat, S. P.S.*, Bellesia, G., Uppugundla, N., da Costa Sousa,L., Gao,D., Cheh, A.M.,  Agarwal, U.P., Bianchetti, C.M., Phillips, G.N., Jr., Langan,P., Balan,V., Gunanakaran,S*. and Dale, B.E. Restructuring the Crystalline Cellulose Hydrogen Bond Network Enhances Its Depolymerization Rate,  J. Amer. Chem Soc. 133 (29), 11163–11174 (2011)

•  *corresponding author

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 1F32 ES05091, 1977-78
  • American University Award for Outstanding Teaching in the General Education Program, 2004

Work In Progress

  • He,Y.J., Yagi, H. Jerina, D. M.and Cheh, A. M.* Cytosine Methylation of CpG Increases Yield Of Benzo[c]phenanthrene Diol Epoxide Adducts at Adjacent A and Dibenz[a,j]anthracene Diol Epoxide +2 Adducts at G.
  • Cai, M., Sayer, J.M., Ohashi, E., Ohmori, H., Jerina, D.M. and Cheh, A.M.* “Limited Error-prone Bypass of Benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-Diol 9,10-Epoxide DE-2 Deoxyadenosine Adducts by    Human DNA Polymerase Kappa
  • Phillips, T. B., Cai, M., Sayer, J. M., Masutani, C., Hanaoka, F., Jerina, D. M. and Cheh, A.M.*, “Unusual rate acceleration of extension by DNA polymerase Eta at Benzo[c]phenanthrene Diol Epoxide dA adducts” *corresponding author

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