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Nutritional Science Research Group

Frontiers in Nutrition and Cancer Prevention: Online Series

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Cancer Prevention Through Immuno- modulation: Does Diet Play a Role?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
12:00 – 1:30 pm EDT


Dietary Modulation of the Immune Response: Does It Play a Role in Cancer Prevention?

Portrait of Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD

Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director, Nutritional Immunology Laboratory
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Tufts University
Boston, MA

Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, serves as the Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She is professor of nutrition and immunology at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Tufts Sackler Graduate Program in Immunology. Dr. Meydani’s scientific interests include the impact of nutrition on the aging process and age-associated diseases, the role of nutrition on immune and inflammatory responses and predisposition to infectious diseases in developed and less developed countries, on which she has published extensively.

Mushroom Beta Glucans and Cancer Prevention

Portrait of Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, PhD

Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, PhD
Professor of Immunology in Pediatrics & Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
Director, Weill-Cornell Cellular Immunology Laboratory
Cornell University
New York, NY

Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, PhD, is Research Professor of Immunology in Pediatrics, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Weill-Cornell Cellular Immunology Laboratory. Dr. Cunningham-Rundles is a frequent NIH reviewer; served as member and then Chair of an NIH AIDS Study Section; as Chair, Scientific Advisory Panel, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network; completed a term as member the Innate Immunity and Host Defense Review Group; and currently is a member of the NIH Review Group, Mechanistic Research on CAM Natural Products, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Office of Dietary Supplements and the NCI. Dr. Cunningham-Rundles is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Nutrition. In addition to more than 150 publications, Dr. Cunningham-Rundles has been an editor for Biotechnology Therapeutics, Nutritional Immunology, Diagnostic and Clinical Immunology, and Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. She has edited two books: Nutrient Modulation of Immune Response and Persistent Bacterial Infections. Her current research is focused on regulation of innate immune response in the neonate and the role of the beta glucan dectin-1 pathway in hematopoiesis and immunity.

Soy Isoflavones and Cancer Prevention through Immune Modulation

Portrait of Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD

Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD
Professor of Oncology
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke's research involves studying the role of estrogens and diet in breast cancer. She currently investigates transgenerational effects of maternal dietary estrogenic exposures during pregnancy on offspring’s breast cancer risk, focusing on alterations in the epigenome (DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNAS) as causing the increase in breast cancer risk among daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters. In addition, her laboratory is investigating the mechanisms explaining how dietary estrogenic exposures in utero or during childhood can impact the biology of later mammary tumors, and their response to antiestrogen therapy. Dietary factors that Dr. Hilakivi-Clarke studies include polyunsaturated fatty acids, obesity-inducing high fat diet, genistein in soyfoods, and vitamin D. She collaborates closely with computational engineers at Virginia Tech and therefore her studies have a strong Systems Biology component.


Portrait 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 
Bethesda, MD

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