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Zachary Bitzer, PhD

Zachary Bitzer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Penn State Center for Research on Tobacco and Health
Scientific Program:Cancer Control

Research Interests

Dr. Zachary Bitzer's primary research interest is in environmental toxicology, including how toxins are produced, how they interact with human bodies, and novel biomarkers that could be developed to determine exposure levels. His current research is focused on toxins and oxidants (free radicals, aldehydes, etc.) produced from tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. He also has a strong interest in the role dietary phytochemicals play in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

  • Tobacco Products
  • Free Radicals
  • Smoke
  • Nicotine
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • Aerosols
  • Tobacco
  • Inflammation
  • Gases
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Nitrates
  • Charcoal

Recent Publications


Bitzer, ZT, Mocniak, LE, Trushin, N, Smith, M & Richie, JP 2023, 'Influence of Tobacco Variety and Curing on Free Radical Production in Cigarette Smoke', Nicotine and Tobacco Research, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1400-1405.


Mocniak, LE, Bitzer, ZT, Trushin, N & Richie, J 2022, 'Effects of tobacco nitrate content on free radical levels in mainstream smoke', Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol. 190, pp. 116-123.
Sinha, I, Goel, R, Bitzer, ZT, Trushin, N, Liao, J & Sinha, R 2022, 'Evaluating electronic cigarette cytotoxicity and inflammatory responses in vitro', Tobacco Induced Diseases, vol. 20, no. 5, 45.
Mocniak, LE, Trushin, N, Bitzer, ZT, Prabhu, P & Richie, JP 2023, 'Tobacco Nitrate and Free Radical Levels in the Mainstream Smoke of US Cigarette Brands', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 653-659.


Hobkirk, AL, Bitzer, Z, Goel, R, Sica, CT, Livelsberger, C, Yingst, J, Houser, KR, Rupprecht, S, Trushin, N, Karunanayaka, P, Foulds, J, Richie, JP, Spreen, L, Hoglen, B, Wang, J, Elias, RJ & Yang, QX 2020, 'An Electronic Aerosol Delivery System for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging', Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, vol. 14.
Bitzer, ZT, Goel, R, Trushin, N, Muscat, J & Richie, JP 2020, 'Free Radical Production and Characterization of Heat-Not-Burn Cigarettes in Comparison to Conventional and Electronic Cigarettes', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 33, no. 7, pp. 1882-1887.
Lei, X, Goel, R, Sun, D, Bhangu, G, Bitzer, ZT, Trushin, N, Ma, L, Richie, JP, Xiu, G & Muscat, JE 2020, 'Free Radical and Nicotine Yields in Mainstream Smoke of Chinese Marketed Cigarettes: Variation with Smoking Regimens and Cigarette Brands', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 33, no. 7, pp. 1791-1797.