Errol Thomson


Errol Thomson
Adjunct Professor, Research Scientist, Inhalation Toxicology Laboratory, Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau, Health Canada

BSc, Biology and Biotechnology, Carleton University
PhD, Biochemistry, Specialisation in Human and Molecular Genetics, University of Ottawa

Room: Sir Frederick Banting Research Centre, 251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9
Office: 613-941-7151

Dr. Errol Thomson


Research Interests

Air pollution is the leading environmental risk factor for mortality in Canada and worldwide. Dr. Thomson’s laboratory studies mechanisms underlying health impacts of air pollutants and identifies key determinants of toxicity.

Current research efforts include:

  • Elucidating mechanisms underlying health effects of air pollutants
  • Identifying factors underlying susceptibility to pollutants
  • Identifying determinants of toxicity in complex airborne mixtures from a variety of sources
  • Establishing in vitro inhalation exposure tools
  • Translating laboratory findings to the human and population context


Select Publications

  • Thomson EM, Christidis T, Pinault L, Tjepkema M, Colman I, Crouse DL, van Donkelaar A, Martin RV, Hystad P, Robichaud A, Ménard R, Brook JR, Burnett RT. 2020. Self-rated stress, distress, mental health, and health as modifiers of the association between long-term exposure to ambient pollutants and mortality. Environmental Research, in press.
  • Rose M, Filiatreault A, Guenette J, Williams A, Thomson EM. 2020. Ozone Increases plasma kynurenine-tryptophan ratio and impacts hippocampal serotonin receptor and neurotrophic factor expression. Environmental Research 185:109483.
  • Thomson EM. 2020. Air pollution, stress, and allostatic load: linking systemic and central nervous system impacts. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 69(3):597-614.
  • Bushnik T, Wong S, Holloway AC, Thomson EM. ​2019. Association of urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and obesity in children ages 3 to 18: Canadian Health Measures Survey 2009-2015. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Dec 6:1-9. doi: 10.1017/S2040174419000825.
  • Thomson EM, Filiatreault A, Guénette J. 2019. Stress hormones as potential mediators of air pollutant effects on the brain: Rapid induction of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. Environmental Research. 2019 Nov;178:108717.
  • Thomson EM, Kalayci H, Walker M. 2019. Cumulative toll of exposure to stressors in Canadians: an allostatic load profile. Health Reports 30(6):14-21.
  • Thomas J, Guénette J, Thomson EM. 2018. Stress axis variability is associated with differential ozone-induced lung injury and inflammation. Environmental Research 167:751-758.
  • Thomson EM, Breznan D, Karthikeyan S, MacKinnon-Roy C, Vuong NQ, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E, Celo V, Charland J-P, Kumarathasan P, Brook JR, Vincent R. 2016. Contrasting biological potency of particulate matter collected at sites impacted by distinct industrial sources. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 13(1):65.
  • Thomson EM, Pal S, Guénette J, Wade MG, Atlas E, Holloway AC, Williams A, Vincent R. 2016. Ozone inhalation provokes glucocorticoid-dependent and independent effects on inflammatory and metabolic pathways.  Toxicological Sciences 152(1):17-28.
  • Thomson EM, Breznan D, Karthikeyan S, MacKinnon-Roy C, Charland J-P; Dabek-Zlotorzynska E, Celo V, Kumarathasan P, Brook JR, Vincent R. 2015. Cytotoxic and inflammatory potential of size-fractionated particulate matter collected repeatedly within a small urban area. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 12(1):24.
  • Liu Y, Liggio J, Li S-M, Breznan D, Vincent R, Thomson EM, Kumarathasan P, Das D, Abbatt J, Antiñolo M, Russell L. 2015. Chemical and toxicological evolution of carbon nanotubes during atmospherically relevant aging processes.  Environ. Sci. Tech. 49(5):2806-14.
  • Thomson EM, Vladisavljevic D, Mohottalage S, Kumarathasan P, Vincent R. 2013. Mapping acute systemic effects of inhaled particulate matter and ozone: multi-organ gene expression and glucocorticoid activity.  Toxicological Sciences 135(1): 169-181.
  • Thomson EM, Williams A, Yauk CL, Vincent R. 2012. Overexpression of tumour necrosis factor-α in the lungs alters immune response, matrix remodelling, and repair and maintenance pathways.  Am J Pathol 180: 1413-30.
  • Thomson E, Williams A, Yauk C, Vincent R. 2009. Toxicogenomic analysis of susceptibility to inhaled particles in mice with chronic lung inflammation. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 6:6.

Fields of Interest

  • Inhalation toxicology
  • Health effects of air pollutants
  • Environmental determinants of health
  • Cumulative effects of stressor exposure
  • Susceptibility
  • In vitro inhalation models
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
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