Cellular Biochemistry

The focus of Cellular Biochemistry Laboratory is to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which nutrients affect human health. We are particularly investigating how fatty acids influence the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Our cellular and animal models have shown that trans-fatty acids (found in hydrogenated oils) instigate molecular processes that induce atherosclerosis and sudden cardiac death whereas omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.

At present, we are investigating effects of dietary fatty acids on endothelial cell function and vascular remodeling. We are also investigating the synergistic properties of omega-3 fatty acids with other nutrients, particularly polyphenols (found in fruits and vegetables), for their beneficial cardio-protective and anti-cancer properties.

One other aspect of our research is to investigate processes that lead to muscle wasting (cachexia) in chronic diseases, particularly in cancer patients, and to use nutritional compounds to prevent muscle wasting and improve quality of life in cancer patients.