Positions

Assistant Professor
Pediatrics-Nutrition
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX, US
Member
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States

Education

BS from University of Illinois
Molecular and Cellular Biology, Major, Chemistry, Minor
PhD from University of Illinois
Nutritional Sciences
Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Ohio State University
Nutritional Biochemistry

Professional Interests

  • Carotenoids
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Nutritional Pharmacokinetics
  • Cancer Prevention and Survivorship
  • Pregnancy and Lactation

Professional Statement

My research program seeks to understand how dietary carotenoids impact human health. Carotenoids are a class of colorful orange, red, and yellow compounds found in fruits and vegetables. Some carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are converted to vitamin A in the body- and therefore play an important role in development and health. Other carotenoids, such as red lycopene and yellow lutein, are not pro-vitamin A, but may play a role in cancer prevention and promotion of cognitive functions, respectively.

We engage a translational research approach. We are currently studying how the mechanisms by which carotenoids are absorbed from foods, distributed throughout the body, and metabolized using in vitro and animal models. We are interested in studying how human genetic polymorphisms impact the levels of carotenoids found in the body. In addition, we are studying the molecular impacts of carotenoids in the body to better understand how carotenoid consumption may reduce the risk of disease in children and adults.

Selected Publications

Memberships

The American Society for Nutrition
The International Carotenoid Society
Nutrition Research (Journal)
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine

Projects

Mechanisms of Carotenoid Transport and Interactions with Nutrient Absorption (R00)
Baylor College of Medicine
Genetic Interactions and Mechanisms Underlying Potential Anti-cancer Activity of Lycopene (CRIS)
Baylor College of Medicine
Non-invasive marker of infant food intake
Baylor College of Medicine
Maternal Dietary Carotenoid Absorption, Metabolism, and Transfer to Infants during Lactation
Baylor College of Medicine