Mission The goal of the Nutrition and Cancer Biology Team is to understand the anti-inflammatory role of the bioactive components of fruits/vegetables and to develop the complementary dietary agents that prevent the inflammation associated with carcinogenesis. The team examines how dietary carotenoids, which are concentrated in vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, red pepper, pumpkin, and spinach), and fruits (e.g., orange, watermelon, and pink fruit), vitamin A, vitamin D and fish oil modify molecular and genetic pathways which alter the development of cancers, such as those of the lung, liver, and colon. The team also examines how this response is modified by other exogenous factors (e.g., tobacco smoking, chronic alcohol consumption, high fat diet, and chemical carcinogen exposure). Several approaches, including animal studies, molecular and cell culture studies, and human translational studies are used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which those nutrients prevent cancer development.
Objectives Determine the ability of carotenoid-enriched foods, carotenoids, and apocarotenoids (carotenoid metabolites by carotene cleavage enzymes) to regulate sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and its down-stream effectors on the inflammation-related cancer development in liver, lung and colon.
Team Members Xiang-Dong Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Center Director, Lead Scientist and Senior Scientist
Research focus: Carotenoids, retinoids and cancer prevention