Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Norma C. Adragna, Ph.D., Interim Chair

Robert P. Casillas, Ph.D.


Robert P. Casillas, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Deputy Director, Battelle Biomedical Research Center
Battelle Biomedical Research Center
505 King Avenue, JM-7-007A
Columbus, OH 43201-2693

Phone: (614) 424-5102
Fax: (614) 458-5102


B.S. (1986), Microbiology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Ph.D. (1992), Microbial Biochemistry, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Postdoctoral (1992-1994), Molecular Toxicology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN

Research Interests

The use of Chemical Threat Agents (CTA's) against the U.S. (civilians or military) or U.S. interests is an ever present danger; therefore the development of new and improved medical countermeasures to protect against CTA's is necessary.

Dr. Casillas specializes in medical countermeasures against the full spectrum of CTA's which includes Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA's). Specialization includes the development and use of in vivo (small and large animal) and in vitro models to assess safety and efficacy of antidotes, skin protectants, and skin decontaminants against CTA's, and in compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) requirements to provide data for FDA filing. Dr. Casillas' expertise includes the design and execution of toxicological and biomedical studies for chemical threat assessment and molecular signatures of exposure in living systems. This work is funded by NIH, DoD, DHS, EPA, and Industry clients.

Dr. Casillas Program Manages the DoD's primary multi-year and multi-million dollar Medical Chemical Defense Research Program contract for conducting medical countermeasures studies compliant with FDA's GLP regulations. Dr. Casillas also manages the associated Chemical Surety Facilities which are accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, ISO 9001 certified, and compliant with all applicable Federal Government, and State of Ohio regulations to conduct and support research for medical countermeasures against CTA's.

Dr. Casillas previously served as In Vivo Antivesicant Team Leader at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), and successfully directed a multi-million dollar toxicology research program, validating two animal models of sulfur mustard (SM) skin injury against liquid or vapor challenge. Discoveries include the identification of therapeutics that protect against SM skin injury as long as 2 h after exposure and identification of inflammatory and basement membrane markers of injury.

Selected Publications

Shakarjian MP, Bhatt P, Gordon MK, Chang YC, Casbohm SL, Rudge TL, Kiser RC, Sabourin CL, Casillas RP, Ohman-Strickland P, Riley DJ, Gerecke DR. Preferential expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in mouse skin after sulfur mustard exposure. J Appl Toxicol 2006; 26(3): 239-246. [Abstract]

Sabourin CL, Rogers JV, Choi YW, Kiser RC, Casillas RP, Babin MC, Schlager JJ. Time- and dose-dependent analysis of gene expression using microarrays in sulfur mustard-exposed mice. J Biochem Mol Toxicol 2004; 18(6): 300-312. [Abstract]

Rogers JV, Choi YW, Kiser RC, Babin MC, Casillas RP, Schlager JJ, Sabourin CL. Microarray analysis of gene expression in murine skin exposed to sulfur mustard. J Biochem Mol Toxicol 2004; 18(6): 289-299. [Abstract]

Casbohm SL, Rogers JV, Stonerock MK, Martin JL, Ricketts-Kaminsky KM, Babin MC, Casillas RP, Sabourin CL. Localization of substance P gene expression for evaluating protective countermeasures against sulfur mustard. Toxicol 2004; 204(2-3): 229-239. [Abstract]

Wormser U, Sintov A, Brodsky B, Casillas RP, Nyska A. Protective effect of topical iodine containing anti-inflammatory drugs against sulfur mustard-induced skin lesions. Arch Toxicol 2004; 78(3): 156-166. [Abstract]

Sabourin CLK, Danne MM, Buxton KL, Rogers JV, Niemuth NA, Blank JA, Babin MC, Casillas RP. 2003. Modulation of sulfur mustard-induced inflammation and gene expression by olvanil in the hairless mouse vesicant model. J Toxicol Cutaneous Ocul Toxicol 2003 ; 22(3): 125-136.