Darryl B. Hood, PhD

Professor and Dean's Fellow for Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

Environmental Health Sciences

Darryl B. Hood, PhD

I spent the first 20 years of my career unraveling the molecular-level mechanisms in the central nervous system that give rise to behavioral learning and memory deficits, which are relevant to children and adolescents who live close to sources of environmental pollution. I’ll spend the next 20 years continuing my innovation in discovery as co-architect of the Public Health Exposome framework focused on determining if there are associations between the built, natural, physical and social environment and the disparate health outcomes in vulnerable populations.


408 Cunz Hall
1841 Neil Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
Email: hood.188@osu.edu
Phone: 614-247-4941
View CV

Darryl B. Hood, Ph.D. is a Professor and environmental neuroscientist in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. Dr. Hood received a BS degree in Biology and Chemistry from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. After completing a nearly 4-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Center in Molecular Toxicology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1993, Dr. Hood accepted a position at Meharry Medical College and served meritoriously until 2013 on the faculty of both Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience. During this he received over $11.2 million dollars of research funding.  The initial project in 1994 at Meharry Medical College was entitled "Acute and Sub-chronic Toxicity of Benzo(a)pyrene and Fluoranthene in F-344 rats,” and funded was at the level of $2.4 million dollars by the Minority Health Professions Foundation and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. This project generated considerable interest from NIH and he wrote the competitive renewal in 1997 entitled “Multigenerational Effects of Inhaled B(a)P on Development” that was subsequently funded through 2002 at the level of $2.1 million dollars. These two projects served as the impetus for the development of an independent, investigator-initiated research program where the long-term goal was to determine the operative mechanisms in exposure-induced dysregulation of central nervous system development to impact learning and memory processes. He then wrote a grant entitled "Environmental Ah Receptor Agonists and Cognition" that funded my laboratory at the level of $1.9 million dollars from 2001 through 2006 that was part of a larger $5.4 million dollar Meharry Medical College initiative sponsored by the Office of Minority Health via the Specialized Neuroscience Research Program (SNRP) from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. From 2006-2011, Dr. Hood led what has come to be known as the most successful Minority S11 NIEHS-sponsored initiative referred to as the “Advanced Research Cooperation in Environmental Health (ARCH) Program. The specific title of this program project-like activity was “Mechanisms of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Toxicity”. The research conducted under this consortium ultimately contributed to the scientific database that the USEPA used to reassess the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from smokestacks. Such re-assessments have resulted in public policy changes that will serve to decrease the adverse health effects associated with environmental exposures. The Meharry Medical College-Vanderbilt University ARCH Consortium was recognized as being at the interface of successful P01-like research programs in general, and for systems toxicology research, in particular. This construct served as the template that NIH Director, Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni used as the viable, futuristic model for the development of effective scientist-to-scientist interactions between research-intensive universities and historically black colleges and universities.

At the Ohio State University, Dr. Hood has continued his innovation in discovery as the co-architect of the novel Public Health Exposome framework. This paradigm altering framework interrogates hypotheses focused on determining if there are associations between the built, natural and social environment and disparate health outcomes observed in vulnerable populations. Dr. Hood’s overall contributions to science have resulted in confirmation that common environmental contaminants such as benzo(a)pyrene can have direct, negative impacts on the developmental expression of key regulators of glutamatergic signaling with associated negative impacts on behavioral learning and memory processes. His cumulative work of over two decades was recently recognized by the USEPA in the 2017 Integrated Risk Information System Assessment (IRIS) for the environmental contaminant benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] which cited multiple articles from his laboratory as a basis for recalibrating the reference concentrations (RfC) for inhaled B(a)P exposures in reproductive and neuro-toxicity studies. This represents a significant public policy change. Additionally, at The Ohio State University Dr. Hood has continued his robust environmental justice work in in the high risk and vulnerable underrepresented minority communities of Columbus, OH. Collectively, Dr. Hood has 105 peer-reviewed publications including book chapters and has mentored over 15 MSPH/MPH, 15-PhD and 9-Postdoctoral fellows. He continues to serve on numerous editorial and review boards for scientific journals, government agencies, and academia. Most recently, (2010-2016) he served on the US EPA Exposure and Human Health Subcommittee of the Science Advisory Board.  Recently, he was elected President of Toxicologists of African Origin, a Society of Toxicology special interest group which he covets as a very special honor.