Dr. Tomás Barberán's main research activity has been focused to understanding the role of phenolic secondary metabolites in plant-derived food quality and their health promoting properties. His most recent research aims to the identification of those food constituents that are responsible for the health benefits, and the biochemical and physiological mechanisms for this activity as well as the evaluation of agronomic, genetic, processing and storage factors on these interesting compounds.
Dr. Bickford's research has focused on the role of oxidative stress in aging with a specific emphasis on age-related changes in cerebellar b-adrenergic signal transduction and its role in motor learning. Her work now includes studies of anti-inflamatory mechanisms as well as stem cell approaches to slow brain aging and treat neurodegenerative diseases. She has shown that nutritional approaches such as blueberries or spirulina are also effective neuroprotective treatment strategies for Parkinson's disease models and in models of stroke. She is currently with other members of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair on nutritional therapeutice approaches to ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Major accomplishments include: development of screening in human tumor/animal models for potential oncolytic viruses, discovery of "adeno-associated viruses (AAV)", development of quantitative in vitro techniques to identify and rank the oncogenic potency of chemical agents, development of short-term tests for evaluating the potential carcinogenicity of environmental chemicals, interactions between irradiation and chemical carcinogens in cell culture, inhibition of cell transformation by noncarcinogenic hydrocarbons, and chemoprevention of oral cancer.
Research Interests in Protective Compounds in Plant-Derived Foods:Dr. Crozier are actively involved in antioxidant in foods. The main focus is to identify antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and beverages and to ascertain which phenolic compounds are responsible for this activity. The group is also looking at the absorption and metabolism of dietary flavonoids by analysing serum, urine and ileostomy effluent from patients fed on diets that have a high or low content of flavonoids.
Determine the content phenolic acids in fruit and vegetables;
Assess which ones are nutritionally-relevant;
Establish whether they moderate the development of biomarkers of colon cancer;
Ascertain the mechanisms of how they influence colon carcinogenesis.
Dr. Heber's primary areas of research are obesity treatment and prevention, the role of nutrition, phytochemicals, and botanical dietary supplements in the prevention and treatment of common forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Protein-lipid interactions during oxidation; Functional properties of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds in fruits, berries, oilseeds, cereals, vegetables, and other natural sources; Action of natural antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and carotenoids; Food composition: flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, fat and fatty acids.
Effect of processing on color, flavor, texture, and nutrient content of horticulture crops; Quality and safety of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables; product development; Identification and characterization of bioactive product development; Identification and characterization of bioactive crops.
Dr. Howell is interested in the medicinal properties of cranberries and blueberries, especially their bacterial anti-adhesion and antioxidant capacities. Our research focus is on bioassay-directed fractionation of cranberry and blueberry to elucidate and characterize the compounds responsible for the medicinal effects. Breeding for higher levels of medicinal compounds has been a major component of our research. Here at the Rutgers Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center, we have access to a broad selection of germplasm. This allows us to incorporate many favorable characteristics into our crosses when we breed for enhanced levels.
Mechanisms involved in brain aging and vulnerability to oxidative stress and inflammation; Nutritional modulation of this sensitivity.Current research includes
- The beneficial effects of fruit and vegetable supplementation on neuronal signaling and behavior in aging: beyond antioxidants.
- Effect of phytochemicals in foods and beverages on the central nervous system.
Dr. Kalt's research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has focused on 1) Potato storage physiology 2) Post harvest physiology and 3) Small fruit chemistry: Research in small fruit chemistry has focused primarily on bioactive components of fruits, particularly Vaccinium flavonoids.
Functional foods (wild blueberries) and their effects on arterial mechanical properties and metabolism as related to hypertension; Trace mineral nutrition and metabolism as related to cardiovascular disease Lipid and lipoprotein metabolism as related to atherosclerosis; Assessment and nutritional interventions for cardiovascular risk reduction in Mediterranean adolescents.
Dr. Kresty's research is focused on evaluating cancer chemopreventive agents utilizing cell culture, preclinical animal models, and through conducting human clinical trials in patient cohorts at increased risk for cancer development. Her lab is focused on chemoprevention of aerodigestive tract cancers, particularly esophageal adenocarcinoma and the precursor lesion Barrett's esophagus. Surrogate endpoint biomarker development and assessment is an important component of Dr. Kresty's research.
Dr. Larcom's research interests are in the defects in cancer cells, particularly the leukemias and breast cancer; the anti-cancer properties of fruits and DNA repair mechanisms. Current projects include comparison of different varieties of berries and grapes for their abilities to suppress mutagenesis and for their effects on DNA repair and on the matrix metalloproteinase enzymes.
Identification, characterization, and efficient extraction of natural pigments and chemopreventive (anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective) phytochemicals from plants, and from the corresponding bioreactor-based cell cultures of the plants; Manipulation of the physical and chemical microenvironment to maximize biomass and active phytochemical production in vitro; Control of the bioprocess using machine vision.
Dr. Liu's research program focuses on diet and cancer, effects of functional foods/nutraceuticals on chronic disease risks and active agents in herbal remedies for cancer and hepatitis. Specific interests include:
- health benefits of phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables and whole grains;
- functional foods for disease prevention and health promotion targeted at cancers, cardiovascular diease, aging, and inflammatory diseases;
- role of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in the prevention of cancer;
- screening of natural products and herbal formulations for antiviral activity to hepatitis B and C.
Research Interests in the bioavailability and bioefficacy of soft fruit antioxidants: Determining relevance of soft fruit-derived antioxidants to cardiovascular disease by studying their ability to inhibit the free radical initiated oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL); The bioavailability of soft fruit-derived antioxidants will be determined using an in vitro digestion model which mimics the actions of the human stomach and digestive tract. Mechanistic studies will establish a relationship between the chemical structure of the antioxidants and their efficacy in a manner analogous to drug discovery which employs a "quantitative structure, activity relationship" (QSAR) methodology.
Dr McGhie leads the Healthful Fruit Team of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand. The Team is focused on investigations to better understand the health benefits of fruit consumption.
His current research deals with the physiological importance of bioactive compounds in the diet on cancer risk. Much of his current research focuses on the anticancer properties of garlic and associated allyl sulfur compounds. In addition to presentations about garlic and health he has been an invited to speak about selenium nutriture, antioxidants and health, functional foods and health promotion, and nutrition for cancer prevention.
Phytochemicals with anticancer, antimicrobial, antioxidant and neuroprotective activity from cranberries and other plant sources; bioactivity, purification and structure elucidation of natural products with emphasis on triterpenes and polyphenolics; effects of plant physiology and plant nutrition on production of secondary metabolites including functional food factors; chemical education in the organic laboratory.
Determination of Physiological Effects of Elderberry Biopolyhenols in Man Using ICU Equipment
Navindra Seeram's 15 years of experience in phytochemicals is currently directed towards the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of foods and dietary supplements for the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases
Behavioral and neurochemical effects of aging in rodents; investigation of motor and cognitive performance changes due to oxidative stress, using the free-radical theory of aging
Molecular carcinogenesis and cancer chemoprevention, focusing principally on cancer of the lung, esophagus, and oral cavity; Tobacco-related cancers: lung, esophagus, oral cavity; Use of animal model and human tissue culture systems for investigations of carcinogen metabolism, carcinogen-DNA interactions, oncogene activation, tumor suppressor gene inactivation, and cell transformation; Chemoprevention of tobacco-related cancers with isothiocyanates and polyphenols; Human clinical trials of cancer chemopreventive agents.
Clinical Analysis; Analysis of Foods and Beverages for Antioxidants; Bioavailability and Effect of Vitamins and Minerals on Health and Disease; Effect of Antioxidants on Health and Disease using Animal and Human Studies.
Evaluating berry crops for their nutritional values, with special emphasis on antioxidants. Determining and modifying the physiological and environmental factors that affect phytonutrient content of small fruits in sustainable production systems. Evaluating the effect of preharvest and postharvest conditions on antioxidant capacity in berry fruits. Studying possible anticancer properties of berry fruits
The chemical composition of foods and its relationship to quality broadly describes my research interests. Color is the quality attribute receiving most attention, with particular interest in the use of anthocyanin pigments from edible plants as food colorants. Anthocyanin stability and nonenzymic browning reactions are also being investigated. Fruit juices are the commodity of major interest, with the changes in the sugar, nonvolatile acid, anthocyanin pigment and phenolic profiles during processing and storage being investigated. Both the analytical methods and the compositional data base are also used to develop better methods for detecting adulteration in fruit juices. Current emphasis is on the possible health benefits of anthocyanin pigments and polyphenolics.