This research program explores how components of the diet modify cellular pathways that lead to cancer and how other factors, such as genetic background and alcohol consumption, interact with nutrition to determine cancer risk. We are particularly focused on the B-vitamins and obesity as nutritional factors that determine cancer risk, and our ultimate aim is to develop strategies for cancer prevention. The laboratory focuses on colorectal cancer and breast cancer and utilizes animal studies, cell culture studies, and human studies to accomplish our research goals.
1. To define the role that availability of each of the one-carbon nutrients plays in determining the risk of common cancers and to determine the nature of the interactions between these nutrients in this regard.
2. To determine how genetic differences interact with dietary antagonists of one-carbon nutrients in determining cancer risk.
3. To define the cellular pathways by which obesity, and related factors, enhance cancer risk and to explore means of attenuating that risk.
Joel B. Mason, M.D., Laboratory Director
Scientist I and Associate Professor, Nutrition and Medicine
Research focus: folate and carcinogenesis; intestinal metabolism of folate
Sang Woon Choi, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientist I and Associate Professor, Nutrition
Research focus: one-carbon nutrients, aging, and carcinogenesis; nutritional epigenetics and interactions between nutrient and gene
Jimmy Crott, Ph.D.
Research focus: effects of folate depletion on mitochondrial DNA, DNA microarray technology
Zhenhua Liu, Ph.D.
Research focus: Epigenetic and genetic modifications of one-carbon nutrients on molecular pathways related to tumorigenesis
Hyeran Jang, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Emma Zimmerly, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Ryan Brooks, B.S., Senior Research Technician
Mary Kate Keyes, M.S., Laboratory Technician
Sarah Ledbetter, B.S., Research Assistant
MaryBeth Keith,Budget and Administrative Assistant
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