Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Associate Professor Elizabeth Snow

Position: Associate Professor

Affiliation: Deakin University, Biological and Chemical Sciences

Postal Address:
Faculty of Science and Technology
Melbourne Campus
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria, 3125

Phone: +61 (03) 9251 7342
Fax: +61 (03) 9251 7328

Research Profile

Dr. Snow, has published more than 40 highly cited peer reviewed publications in high impact journals. Her initial work on mechanisms of mutagenesis was published in such premier journals such as Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry. Later, at the New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Snow became an integral part of a team of researchers in metal toxicology. As part of this group, she studied the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis induced by chromium and nickel. This research resulted in invited talks and more publications in first class journals such as Cancer Research and Environmental Health Perspectives. Her research on arsenic started with an analysis of the effects of arsenic on a series of purified enzymes and has now moved into areas of gene regulation and environmental analysis. In April 1999 Dr. Snow joined the faculty at Deakin University in where she is currently teaching two semesters of biochemistry and both continuing and expanding her research. Dr. Snow's most recent research has focused exclusively on concentrations of arsenic that allow the treated cells to survive and propagate. Many studies on cellular responses to As have used lethal amounts, and as such are not relevant to normal human exposure. In contrast, we have found that very low concentrations, similar to those found in normal cells from healthy people, produce a response with a maximum protective effect while higher doses cause a decrease in DNA repair capacity below that found in unexposed cells. Chronic exposure produces a different response than acute exposures. Much of this research is in press and several more manuscripts are in preparation. Dr. Snow's knowledge of DNA repair and metal toxicology and her proven expertise in cellular metabolism provides a unique combination of skills and perspective essential for this project. For years, Dr. Snow has collaborated on research projects with leading investigators in the fields of DNA repair and metal toxicology. Since coming to Australia she has developed new collaborations with researchers at Melbourne University, the University of Sydney, and Ballarat University, as well as researchers in China, Japan, and the USA

Selected Publications

  1. Snow ET, Xu LS. 1991. Chromium(III) bound to DNA templates promotes increased polymerase processivity and decreased fidelity during replication in vitro. Biochemistry, 30: 11238-11245. (DNA repair enzymology)
  2. Snow ET. 1992. Metal Carcinogenesis: Mechanistic implications. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 53: 31-65. (Invited review)
  3. Singh J, Snow ET. 1998. Chromium(III) decreases the fidelity of human DNA Polymerase beta Biochemistry, 37: 9371-9378. (DNA repair enzymology)
  4. Hu Y, Su L, Snow ET. 1998. Arsenic toxicity is enzyme specific and arsenic inhibition of DNA repair is not caused by direct inhibition of repair enzymes. Mutation Research - DNA Repair, 408: 203-218.
  5. Chouchane S, Snow ET. 2001. In vitro effect of arsenicals on glutathione related enzymes. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 14(5): 517-522.
  6. Schuliga M, Chouchane S, Snow ET. 2002. Up-regulation of glutathione-related genes and enzyme activities in cultured human cells by sub-lethal concentrations of inorganic arsenic. Toxicological Sciences, 70(2): 183-192.
  7. Hu Y, Jin X, Snow ET. 2002. Effect of Arsenic on Transcription Factor AP-1 and NF-_B DNA Binding Activity and Related Gene Expression. Toxicology Letters, 133(1): 33-45.
  8. Alam MGM, Tanaka A, Allinson G, Laurenson LJB, Stagnitti F, Snow ET., 2002, A comparison of trace element concentrations in cultured and wild carp (Cyprinus carpio) of Lake Kasumigaura, Japan. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 53(3): 348-354.
  9. Alam MGM, Snow ET, Tanaka A. 2003. Arsenic and heavy metal contamination of vegetables grown in Samta village, Bangladesh. Science of the Total Environment. 308(1-3): 83-96.
  10. Alam MGM, Snow ET, Tanaka A. 2004. Arsenic and heavy metal contents of freshwater fish species from an arsenic endemic area, Samta village, Bangladesh. Food and Chemical Toxicology (accepted with revision, 14/01/2004).
  11. Schuliga M, Snow ET. Transcriptional regulation of glutathione peroxidase in cultured human cells by arsenite. Carcinogenesis (submitted 2004).


Deakin University houses the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

International Linkages

Adjunct Asst. Professor of Environmental Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, Tuxedo, NY 10987 USA
Institute of Environmental Medicine (under Prof. Max Costa) is world renowned for metal toxicology.