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overview The laboratory has a priority to investigate the most complex issues dealing with nutrition and health. The long-term goal of our research is to identify bioactive dietary, nutritional and natural botanical components for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, such as cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome. We establish an integrated system for identification, efficacy evaluation and mechanism elucidation of candidate bioactive components. We apply a series of clinically relevant animal models for chronic diseases, such as the cancers of prostate, breast, pancreatic and bladder and obesity/metabolic syndrome, to evaluate the efficacy of candidate components . We apply advanced techniques for cellular and molecular biology and genetics/epigenetics to elucidate the mechanisms of action of candidate components. By combining efficacy evaluation and mechanistic study, we are able to identify effective dietary and nutritional regimens for prevention and treatment of cancer and obesity/metabolic syndrome. Our research findings can be directly translated to clinical practice and provide evidence to make dietary guidelines for prevention of related diseases. By using integrated approaches, we have made significant achievements in identifying effective dietary/nutritional regimens for cancer prevention. We are the first group to demonstrate the synergistic combination effect between soybean and tea active components on preventing breast and prostate cancers. Now more research groups are actively investigating the effects of dietary/nutritional component combinations on cancer prevention. We are also among the first few research groups to propose metabolic syndrome as a potential etiological risk factor for the development and progression of several types of cancer, and in particular, maternal metabolic disorder status as a risk factor for cancer in offspring. We are actively conducting the related research. We are applying cell function-guided extraction, fractionation and purification strategies to identify active components from Chinese herbal medicines for the prevention and therapy of cancer. In addition, we are investigating the roles that nutritional/natural components may play in targeting cancer stem cells. Our research findings can be directly translated into future clinical investigations.
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.