Graduate Program Director, Nutrition
B-vitamins, folate metabolism, nutritional epigenetics, obesity and inflammation, cancer prevention
100 Holdsworth Way
Amherst , MA 01003-9282
Diet and lifestyle are modifiable factors that play a critical role in public health. My laboratory investigates how those factors and their metabolically-related gene variants interact to influence the development of chronic diseases. My research experiences have been, for a long period, concentrating on (1) Nutritional Epigenetics and (2) Obesity and Inflammation in the context of Cancer Prevention. Specifically, my laboratory focuses on nutritional regulation of Wnt pathway as it tightly relates to the development of many cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer. We utilize cell culture, animal models and human biospecimens, biochemical and molecular techniques, as well as nutritional informatics and functional genomic approaches to understand the etiology of cancer. We explore the health benefits of nutrients and natural medicinal components (including traditional Chinese medicine) with epigenetic and/or anti-inflammatory properties. The ultimate goal of my research is to integrate our biological findings with dietary strategies to diminish the burden of chronic diseases in our society.