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Nutritional Science Research Group

Frontiers in Nutrition and Cancer Prevention: Online Series

Exploring the Microbiome in Cancer Prevention: A Closer Look at Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics

Thursday, January 24, 2013
12:00 – 1:30 pm EST


Probiotics and Cancer Prevention: A Current Perspective

Photo of M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, PhD, RD

M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, PhD, RD Exit Disclaimer

Assistant Professor
Director of the Microbiome Research Core
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Director of the Microbiome Core Facility in the School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from the National University of Tucuman (Argentina) and had previous appointments in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University and the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA, Valencia, Spain). Dr. Azcarate-Peril currently conducts research in modulation of the host-associated microbiota by prebiotics and probiotics. She has extensive experience in physiology and functional genomics of probiotic strains. Dr. Azcarate-Peril uses molecular biology, genomics, and next-generation sequencing tools to address questions relevant to the role of the intestinal microbiota in human health and disease. She is on the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Frontiers in Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology. Dr. Azcarate-Peril is member of Sigma Xi - Scientific Research Society (NC State), Gamma Sigma Delta - Honor Society of Agriculture (NC State), and the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology & Disease (UNC Chapel Hill). In 2008, she received a Junior Faculty Simmons Scholarship, an award given to promising minority professionals.

Prebiotics and Their Role in Cancer Prevention

Photo of Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD

Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD Exit Disclaimer

Department of Food Science and Nutrition
University of Minnesota

Dr. Joanne Slavin is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She teaches hundreds of students yearly in Life Cycle Nutrition and Advanced Human Nutrition. She has presented more than 350 invited scientific lectures around the world on topics including dietary fiber, carbohydrates, whole grains, and the role of diet in disease prevention.

Her research has generated more than $5 million dollars in competitive research grants on dietary fiber, whole grains, and the role of carbohydrates in disease prevention. She is the author of more than 250 scientific publications, book chapters, and review articles and has advised 50 graduate students who work in universities, food companies, and health care facilities.

She is a Science Communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of numerous scientific societies, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. She was a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the US Department of Agriculture. She is a frequent source for the media on topics ranging from kid's eating to sports nutrition.

Dr. Slavin received BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a registered dietitian.

Synbiotics, and Future Directions of Research for Cancer Prevention

Photo of Ian Rowland, PhD, RD

Ian Rowland, PhD, RD Exit Disclaimer

Professor of Human Nutrition
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Head of Hugh Sinclair Unit of the University of Reading-Food Biosciences
Reading UK

Ian Rowland obtained a BSc and a PhD in Microbiology from University College London, and began his scientific career working on biosynthesis of N-nitroso carcinogens by gut microflora. This research developed into a more general interest in the role of gut bacteria in human colorectal carcinogenesis (using in vitro methods and animal models including gnotobiotic animals) and the impact of diet on the process. Many of the investigations involved probiotics and prebiotics. In 1997, he moved to the University of Ulster as head of the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health and became more involved in human dietary intervention studies using biomarkers of cancer risk to explore interactions between diet and gut microbiota. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ghent in Belgium for his work on nutrition and cancer. Since 2007, he has held the position of head of the Hugh Sinclair Human Nutrition Unit at Reading, which conducts research into the relationship between diet and chronic disease risk, specifically cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic disease, and cognitive impairment.

Dr. Rowland's current research focuses on the influence of plant foods on cancer with a particular emphasis on the bioactivity of phytochemicals and the impact of their biotransformation by gut microbiota activities. He is on the editorial boards of Nutrition and Cancer, European Journal of Nutrition, and Current Opinion in Biotechnology and Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.


Photo of Gabriela Riscuta, MD, CNS

Gabriela Riscuta, MD, CNS

Program Director
Nutritional Science Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health

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