José A. Centeno

José A. Centeno


Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Professor of Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Republic of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay
Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry, FRSC, London, UK
Honorary Academician, Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery, Andalucia Oriental, Spain
Founder and Director, International Environmental & Health Sciences Consortium (
 Phone (Mobile): +1-301-502-8846
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1202-0493

José Centeno

Dr. Jose A. Centeno is a Physical Chemist (Toxicologist) by training, with international and nationally recognized expertise in biophysical toxicology, bioanalytical chemistry, environmental and toxicologic pathology, nanotechnology, medical devices, regulatory science and medical geology. He is graduate from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (BS (Chemistry) and MS (Physical Chemistry), a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Michigan State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship training in biophysics and chemical pathology at the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Dr. Centeno has served the US Federal Government in several scientific and senior managerial appointments. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Division of Biology, Chemistry and Materials Science (DBCMS) within the Office of Sciences and Engineering Laboratories (OSEL), Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), from June 2015 to December 2019. As DBCMS Director, he had the responsibility of managing and lead a scientific team composed of over 30 senior level government scientists, postdoctoral fellows, students and visiting scientists, as well as overseen all the Division operational activities, budget allocations and laboratory research activities which included research programs in the areas of biocompatibility and toxicology, microbiology and infection control, materials science, and nanotechnology. He served as director of the CDRH-OSEL Advanced Characterization Facility and managed the research and training activities in nanotechnology. As DBCMS Director, Dr. Centeno managed a regulatory research portfolio with over 40 projects aimed at ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical devices. DBCMS research program contributes to regulatory decision-making in CDRH and directly impacts the development of CDRH guidance documents and international standards in the areas of biocompatibility, toxicological risk assessment, and nanotechnology. During his tenure at the FDA, Dr. Centeno represented the Agency in a wide range of national and international regulatory and scientific committees including serving as FDA Primary Liaison to the International Standard Organization Technical Committee on Nanotechnology (ISO TC 229
Nanotechnologies), Chair of the US Technical Advisory Committee (US TAG ISO TC 229 Nanotechnologies) Working Group 5 on “Performance and Applications”, CDRH Delegate to the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), and member of the Interagency Working Group on Asbestos in Consumer Products (IWGACP).

Prior to joining the USFDA, Dr. Centeno worked for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for over 25-years, serving as a senior research scientist and Director, Bioinorganic and Metal Toxicology Laboratory for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). During his tenure with the AFIP/US-DoD, Dr. Centeno worked in developing research and diagnostic areas such as environmental pathology, forensic toxicology analysis, trace element speciation analysis and exposure assessment to toxic metals of military and public health relevance, and applications of bio-spectroscopy studies to better understand foreign body reaction to bio-implantable materials. He established several registries for the study of diseases associated with exposure to chemical, environmental and bio-materials used in medical devices including the National Silicone Breast Implant Registry, the Depleted Uranium Registry, the Tissue and Tumor Repository on Chronic Arsenic Exposure, the Medical Geology Registry, and the DoD Toxic Embedded Fragment Registry. His last DoD assignment was with the Joint Pathology Center (JPC) as Director, Division of Biophysical Toxicology and Depleted Uranium Program, Silver Spring, MD, where he was tasked with developing, implementing and directing a chemical toxicology and bioanalytical program aimed at supporting the clinical research and long-term care decisions for patients affected by embedded metal fragments.

Dr. Centeno has presented over 200 invited seminars and lectures, and he is the principal author and/or co- author of over 100 publications including journal manuscripts, book chapters, reports, monographs, and research abstracts on various topics on metals and metalloids, biomedical spectroscopy, medical geology, environmental toxicology, and public health. He has been involved in numerous academic, government and professional activities related to biomedical research, public health, regulatory sciences, environmental health, medical geology and environmental toxicology including serving as General Chairman of the 6th International Symposium in Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine (ISMIBM) (May 7-10, 2000), and co- chairman of the 7th, 8th, and 9th ISMIBM (2002, 2004 & 2006), participating in several national and international committees including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC Vol 74 (1999), Lyon, France), NIH grant proposal Study Sections, the USEPA TOSCA-Interagency Testing Committee, the International Working Group on Medical Geology, the National Research Council Committee on Research Priorities for Earth Science and Public Health, the National Academies – Board on International Organizations, and the U.S. Department of Defense Working Group on Biomonitoring.

Dr. Centeno is a co-founding member and Past-President of the International Medical Geology Association (, and he is currently the founder and Director of the International Environmental & Health Sciences Consortium (, an international network of scientists supporting research, training and capacity building in the environmental, public health, toxicological and medical geology sciences. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), London, UK; Honorary Academician, Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery (HARAMS), Andalucia Oriental, Spain; and he was recently appointed as Chair on Medical Geology and Director, “Jose A. Centeno International Center on Medical Geology Research” at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. He has served as Regional Officer for the International Union of Geological Sciences and its Commission on Geosciences for Environmental Management (IUGSGEM, 2005), as Senior Advisor for the IUGS- International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009), and as invited speaker at the US Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academies of Sciences, and the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, China. He serves on the Editorial Board of two scientific journals, as Associate Editor of the book on Essentials of Medical Geology (1st Edition 2005, 2nd Edition 2013), as Associate Editor of the book Metal Contaminants in New Zealand (2005), and is the founder of the International Medical Geology Conference Series (MEDGEO).

Dr. Centeno has been appointed to several Professorship positions at major national and international universities including Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (2021-present); Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2020-present); Professor (Titular IV), Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad de la Republica de Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay (2020- present); Professorial Lecturer of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University-School of Public Health and Health Services; Distinguished Professor – School of Science and Technology at Turabo University-Puerto Rico; Adjunct Professor-School of Science and Technology at Metropolitan University, Puerto Rico; Adjunct Professor, Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico; Adjunct Professor- School of Science and Technology at Jackson State University; Guest Professorship – China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing, China (2002); Williams Evans Visiting Fellow – University of Otago, School of Public Health, Wellington, New Zealand; and Visiting Professor, Chinese Academy of Science, Guiyang, China. He is the recipient of the 2008 Special Recognition Award from the Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico, the 2005 Jackson State University Research and Sponsored Programs Excellence Award, the 1996 and 2003 Superior Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Army, and the 1999 Distinguish Alumni Award on Science from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.

He has served on the External Advisory Board for several university programs including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Model Institutions of Excellence (MIE) Program at Universidad Metropolitana-PR, US Presidential Advisory Board on Health, Science and Engineering for Ana G. Mendez University System, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Centers for Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program at Jackson State University, as Chairman of the NIH “URGREAT-MBRS-RISE” Program for Universidad del Este in Puerto Rico, and as Chairman of the NSF Science and Technology Access to Research and Graduate Education (STARGE) program for Jackson State University.

Over the last two decades, he has focused attention on research and teaching/training activities on regulatory sciences, environmental toxicology, environmental pathology (e.g., tissue reactions from bioimplantable materials), medical geology, and health effects of trace elements, metals and metalloids, and has conducted research and training activities on environmental toxicology and public health in over 50 countries. He has an established worldwide network of research collaborations in the environmental sciences, medical geology and public health fields including: Universidad de la Republica de Uruguay, Montevideo; University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; Ballarat University, Australia; Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand; University of Otago, School of Public Health, Wellington, New Zealand.

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Selected publications (full list of over 100 publications is available upon request)