Rex Gaskins
Rex Gaskins
Biomedical and Translational Sciences

For More Information


  • Postdoctoral, 1992, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Ph.D., 1989, The University of Georgia, Athens
  • M.S., 1986, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  • B.S., 1981, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Research Interests

  • • Dr. Gaskins joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992 and is Full Professor with appointments in the Departments of Animal Sciences, Biomedical and Translational Sciences and Pathobiology, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the Cancer Center at Illinois. He completed his dissertation research in cell biology at The University of Georgia in 1989. From 1989-92, he conducted postdoctoral studies in immunology at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Research in his laboratory focuses on host immunological-intestinal microbe interactions relevant to colorectal cancer with a particular interest in microbial sulfur and hydrogen metabolism. Efforts to understand colonic mucosal responses to hydrogen sulfide led to further interest in redox regulation of tumorigenesis resulting in a long-time collaboration with bioengineering faculty at Illinois to create genetically-encoded biosensors and engineered platforms for the study of redox poise in subcellular compartments in live cells. Dr. Gaskins serves as Associate Director for Education for the Cancer Center at Illinois and Deputy Director of the NIH-supported Tissue Microenvironment Training Program.

Other Publications

  • Kolossov VL, Sivaguru M, Huff J, Luby K, Kanakaraju K, Gaskins HR (2018) Airyscan super-resolution microscopy of mitochondrial morphology and dynamics in living tumor cells. Microsc Res and Tech. 2018; 81(2):115-128. PMID: 29131445
  • Chen JE, Lumibao J, Blazek A, Gaskins HR, Harley B (2018) Hypoxia activates enhanced invasive potential and endogenous hyaluronic acid production by glioblastoma cells. Biomaterials Science. 2018; 6(4):854-862. PMID: 29485655 PMCID: PMC5869158
  • Byrne MB, Leslie MT, Patel HS, Gaskins HR, Kenis PJA (2017) Design considerations for open-well microfluidic platforms for hypoxic cell studies. Biomicrofluidics. 11(5):054116. PMID: 29152027 PMCID: PMC5659862
  • Wolf PG, Biswas A, Morales SE, Greening C, Gaskins HR (2016) H2 metabolism is widespread and diverse among human colonic microbes. Gut Microbes. 7(3):235-45. PMID: 27123663 PMCID: PMC4939926
  • Ridlon JM, Wolf PG, Gaskins HR (2016) Taurocholic acid metabolism by gut microbes and colon cancer. Gut Microbes. 7(3):201-15. PMID: 27003186 PMCID: PMC4939921
  • O'Keefe SJ, Li JV, Lahti L, Ou J, Carbonero F, Mohammed K, Posma JM, Kinross J, Wahl E, Ruder E, Vipperla K, Naidoo V, Mtshali L, Tims S, Puylaert PG, DeLany J, Krasinskas A, Benefiel AC, Kaseb HO, Newton K, Nicholson JK, de Vos WM, Gaskins HR, Zoetendal EG (2015) Fat, fibre and cancer risk in African Americans and rural Africans. Nat Commun. 6:6342. PMID: 25919227
  • Kolossov VL, Beaudoin JN, Prabhu Ponnuraj N, DiLiberto SJ, Hanafin WP, Kenis PJ, Gaskins HR (2015) Thiol-based antioxidants elicit mitochondrial oxidation via respiratory complex III. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 309(2):C81-91. PMID: 25994788
  • Kolossov VL, Hanafin WP, Beaudoin JN, Bica DE, DiLiberto SJ, Kenis PJA, Gaskins HR (2014) Inhibition of glutathione synthesis distinctly alters mitochondrial and cytosolic redox poise Exp Biol Med. 239(4):394-403. PMID: 24586100
  • Byrne MB, Leslie MT, Gaskins HR, Kenis PJ (2014) Methods to study the tumor microenvironment under controlled oxygen conditions. Trends Biotechnol. 32(11):556-63. PMID: 25282035
  • Kolossov VL, Leslie MT, Chatterjee A, Sheehan BM, Kenis PJ, Gaskins HR (2012) Förster resonance energy transfer-based sensor targeting endoplasmic reticulum reveals highly oxidative environment. Exp Biol Med. 237(6):652-62. PMID: 22715429
  • Carbonero F, Benefiel AC, Alizadeh-Ghamsari AH and Gaskins HR (2012) Microbial pathways in colonic sulfur metabolism and links with health and disease. Front Physio. 3:448. PMID: 23226130
  • Carbonero F, Benefiel AC, Gaskins HR (2012) Contributions of the microbial hydrogen economy to colonic homeostasis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 9 (9):504-18. PMID: 22585131
  • Attene-Ramos MS, Nava GM, Muellner MG, Wagner ED, Plewa MJ, Gaskins HR (2010) DNA damage and toxicogenomic analyses of hydrogen sulfide in human intestinal epithelial FHs 74 Int cells. Environ Mol Mutagen. 51(4):304-14. PMID: 20120018
  • Attene-Ramos MS, Wagner ED, Plewa MJ, Gaskins HR (2006) Evidence that hydrogen sulfide is a genotoxic agent. Mol Cancer Res. 4(1):9-14. PMID: 16446402
  • Attene-Ramos MS, Kitiphongspattana K, Ishii-Schrade K, Gaskins HR (2005) Temporal changes of multiple redox couples from proliferation to growth arrest in IEC-6 intestinal epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 289(5):C1220-8. PMID: 15958525
  • Conour JE, Graham WV, Gaskins HR (2004) A combined in vitro/bioinformatic investigation of redox regulatory mechanisms governing cell cycle progression. Physiol Genomics. 18(2):196-205. PMID: 15138307
  • Huycke MM, Gaskins HR (2004) Commensal bacteria, redox stress, and colorectal cancer: Mechanisms and models. Exp Biol Med. 229(7):586-97. PMID: 15229352
  • Deplancke B, Gaskins HR (2003) Hydrogen sulfide induces serum-independent cell cycle entry in nontransformed rat intestinal epithelial cells. FASEB J. 17(10):1310-2. PMID: 12738807


  • Elected Fellow, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2018
  • President-elect, President, Past President, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2012-2017
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2016
  • Paul A. Funk Award, highest research honor in College of ACES, 2012
  • Alan MacDiarmid Best Paper Award in the interdisciplinary research category, Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2008
  • Sir Frederick McMaster CSIRO Research Fellowship, University of Queensland, 2008
  • New Investigator Award, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, 2003-06
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, 2003-04
  • College of ACES Award for Excellence in Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002
  • University Scholar, highest honor bestowed by fellow faculty at University of Illinois, 1999-2002
  • American Society for Nutritional Sciences Bio-Serv Award in Experimental Animal Nutrition. 1999
  • H. H. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Research, University of Illinois, 1998
  • Fellow, The Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, 1996-97
  • International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Future Leaders Award, 1993-94

Recent Courses Taught

  • ANSC 221 - Cells, Metabolism and Genetics
  • ANSC 398 - Undergraduate Research
  • ANSC 450 (MCB 442, PATH 410) - Comparative Immunobiology
  • BIOE 598 RXB - The Tissue Microenvironment