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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.

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

Chun Liu, M.D., M.S./M.P.H.
Scientist II
Research focus: carotenoids, retinoids and carcinogenesis

Jill Adams, Research Assistant
Koichi Aizawa, Ph.D.
, Visiting Scientist
Junrui Cheng, M.S., Graduate Student
Rachel A. Chiaverelli, M.S., Graduate Student
Edward Cheng-Chung Li, M.S., Visting Graduate Student
Connie Hu, M.S., Research Associate
Blanche C. Ip, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Xinli Li, PhD. Visiting Scientist
Ji Ye Lim, Graduate Student
Jelena Mustra Rakic, Graduate Student
Bruna P.M. Rafacho, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Camilla P. Stice, Ph.D.,  Postdoctoral Associate
Abigail Thompson, Staff Assistant