PhD, Ferrara University, Italy
MSc, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Tewodros R. Godebo’s research interests lie in identifying the origins and mechanisms of water-soil-food contamination, as well as utilizing and developing biomarkers to understand the links between exposure to contaminants and human health. His research involves collecting and analyzing environmental samples (namely water, soil, and food sources) for contaminants including fluoride, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and others. He then uses or develops non-invasive elemental and isotopic biomarker methods for detecting the level of these contaminants in biological materials (namely urine, blood, and nails). These methods use mass spectrometric techniques traditionally rooted in geochemistry, and studying how chronic diseases disrupt the chemical and isotopic balance in the human body as a result of exposure to low or high levels of environmental contaminants. Included in his work is also understanding the role of wide-ranging non-chemical factors (such as socio-demographic, nutrition, and lifestyle) on health outcomes. Godebo’s current research projects focus on understanding the health effects of fluoride and metals on teeth, joint, cartilage, and bone, and on characterizing the effects of toxic metals on kidney damage, and cancer in populations in the developing countries and in the US. He has also worked in a number of projects on understanding linkages between climate change, water resources and health. His research integrates epidemiologic and biostatistical methods, and uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to represent the distribution of environmental contaminants and health outcomes. Godebo was an associate in research at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University prior to joining the department.