Exciting News for the Spring

Much has happened since we last posted an update:

At least 4 new papers were published by members of the CCC:

  • Dr. Dinkova-Kostova was a co-author of a very exciting paper in Nature that describes a Krebs cycle derivative that is a crucial anti-inflammatory metabolite which also regulates type I interferons. This discovery may yield new insights into the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases.
  • Drs. Kensler and Fahey co-authored an invited paper on translating the power of plants to people, in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
  • Dr. Fahey co-authored a paper in Molecular Neuropsychiatry with colleagues in Psychiatry and Radiology that demonstrates augmentation of brain glutathione levels by sulforaphane from broccoli.
  • Drs. Dayalan Naidu and Dinkova-Kostova co-authored a paper in Brain that describes the neuroprotective effects of inhibiting KEAP1 with a new pharmaceutical, to suppress the development of epilepsy.

Dr. Dayalan Naidu is presently attending and presenting her work at the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meetings on Protein Homeostasis in Health & Disease.

Our collaborator and close colleague Dr. Andrew Zimmerman will be presenting preliminary results of the autism trial on which we are working with him, at the American Academy of Neurology national meeting on April 22.  His talk is entitled “Sulforaphane Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – A Progress Report”.

Our friends at Reata Pharmaceuticals have extended their support for a Visiting Scholar (currently Dr. Dayalan Naidu) for another year.  We are most grateful for this support.

We (Dr. Fahey, along with JHU professor Dr. Tak Igusa, PhD student Anita Panjwani and JHU undergraduate Wendy Tsai), have developed a cell phone based assay for protein content that is intended for use in underserved areas of the world to help people help themselves determine whether certain plant-based foods may be richer sources of protein than those which they are typically using.  A variety of other applications are already being developed by us with guidance from the students in Dr. Brian Blair’s microbiology classes at Garrison Forrest School where we just piloted the application and assay.

Current clinical trials in which the Center is involved include a wide range of studies of the effects of sulforaphane on autism and schizophrenia, as well as the effects of gastric acidity on supplement bioavailability, and the effects of oral phytochemical supplements on UV-induced sunburn.

We have been unable to secure funding for PhD student Panjwani to study the efficacy of Moringa oleifera in combating autism symptoms (in a similar manner to what we have already shown with sulforaphane from broccoli).  Ms. Panjwani has thus changed the focus of her research to examine the possible relationship between maternal plasma metabolites and autism (P.I., Dr. Xiaobin Wang, Zanvyl Krieger Professor in Children’s Health).

We are actively seeking donations to help move our research forward.

Cullman Chemoprotection Center
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