Darlene Dixon, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P.

Senior Investigator

National Toxicology Program/Molecular Pathogenesis Group


David P Rall Building
111 Tw Alexander Dr
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709



Research Topics

Dixon’s group focuses on defining the pathogenesis/carcinogenesis of tumors affecting the reproductive tract of rodents and humans and assessing the role of environmental and endogenous hormonal factors in the growth of these tumors.

The group has used cell lines, 3D cultures, archival mouse tissue, and human clinical samples to study the influence of membrane-associated estrogen receptors and growth factors/receptors and their signaling pathways on uterine leiomyoma (fibroid) growth. Group members use leiomyoma and patient-matched myometrial samples, clinical tissues taken from cycle-staged, premenopausal women participating in the NIEHS George Washington University Fibroid Study. The rodent tissue samples are either from in-house studies or National Toxicology Program archives.

Dixon and her group seek to understand the basic molecular mechanisms of disease, which may lead to therapeutic interventions that generate alternative non-invasive treatments for clinical fibroids and other diseases affecting the female reproductive tract.


Dixon earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree in 1982 at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine and her Ph.D. in 1985 at Michigan State University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University, Laboratory Animal Research Center. Dixon received her board certification from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) in 1987 and joined NIEHS the same year.

Selected Publications

  1. Liu J, Yu L, Castro L, Yan Y, Clayton NP, Bushel P, Flagler ND, Scappini E, Dixon D. Short-term tetrabromobisphenol A exposure promotes fibrosis of human uterine fibroid cells in a 3D culture system through TGF-beta signaling. FASEB J. 2022;36(2):e22101.
  2. Yu L, Rios E, Castro L, Liu J, Yan Y, Dixon D. Genistein: Dual Role in Women's Health. Nutrients. 2021;13(9).
  3. Yan Y, Liu J, Lawrence A, Dykstra MJ, Fannin R, Gerrish K, Tucker CJ, Scappini E, Dixon D. Prolonged cadmium exposure alters benign uterine fibroid cell behavior, extracellular matrix components, and TGFB signaling. FASEB J. 2021;35(8):e21738.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, September 4, 2019