Our faculty are engaged in multiple research areas including nutrition intervention, aging, disease (obesity, diabetes), dietary effects, food safety and more.

Research resources

Areas of research

Nutrition and disease

Smiti V. Gupta

The interdisciplinary approach to Dr. Smiti Gupta's research encompasses and connects metabolomics to the study of nutrition and disease. Dr. Gupta's lab is investigating the effect of bioactive dietary agents (garcinol, curcumin, tocotrienols, oil palm phenolics) in the potential prevention and/or treatment of disease progression (cancer lung, pancreatic; cardiovascular disease).

Metabolomics, coupled with the strength of multivariate analysis, has been inculcated into my research matrix to evaluate the efficacy of these bioactive compounds in disease prevention. In addition, it serves as a sophisticated tool for the development of potential non-invasive, early-risk biomarkers of disease or its progression.

Nutrition intervention on aging and cancer

Ahmad R. Heydari

Our research focuses on understanding the effect of nutrition intervention (i.e., caloric restriction, folate deficiency) on the molecular mechanisms of aging and cancer. We hope to accomplish this by investigating DNA damage and DNA repair in mammalian systems (i.e., laboratory rodents) using recombinant DNA technology.

The immediate goal of our research is to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which folate deficiency increases tumorigenicity. Specifically, we are to determine whether genes in the DNA base excision repair pathway are involved in susceptibility to cancer of the colon as a result of folate deficiency.

Obesity and diabetes

K-L. Catherine Jen

My research is focused on obesity and diabetes. More specifically, we study the effects of different dietary fats on body weight regulation and metabolism in animals. We are also engaged in research projects investigating the diet patterns of minority populations in the metro Detroit area.

Plasma lipoprotein metabolism

Pramod Khosla

Our research focus is on how different dietary constituents (e.g., fatty acids) interact with each other to modulate key parameters related to plasma lipoprotein metabolism. We have found that in vivo, specific dietary fatty acids raise plasma HDL levels while maintaining low levels of LDL. To understand the underlying mechanism, studies are underway both in vitro and in vivo to identify cellular targets (i.e., enzymes and receptors) and how these are affected by the fatty acids in question.

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