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Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cells

Editor’s notes: To reach Huan Wang, call 217-417-8655; email

To reach Yuan-Xiang Pan, call 217-333-3466; email

The paper “Induction of autophagy through the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-dependent amino acid response pathway in maternal skeletal muscle may function as the molecular memory in response to gestational protein restriction to alert offspring to maternal nutrition” is available online or from the News Bureau.

Original article by Sharita Forrest, Illinois News Bureau, on 9/18/15:

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Timothy A. Garrow

Dr. Timothy A. Garrow

Folate, vitamin B12, and one-carbon metabolism; homocysteine and methionine metabolism; nutrient and hormonal regulation of gene expression; chemistry of methyltransferases.

Professor;; more detail here.

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Yuan-Xiang Pan

Dr. Yuan-Xiang Pan

Early nutrition programming with an emphasis on molecular mechanisms of developmental origins of chronic diseases in offspring. While genetic factors, lifestyles, and environment have all been cited as important components of developmental diseases, increasing evidence suggest that maternal factors–especially those that occur in utero and during early postnatal life–also play a significant role in disease development. The long-term goal of my laboratory is to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms by which maternal dietary factors influence the risk of diseases in later life, in order that effective interventions can be developed to reduce the incidence of the disease. We utilize a variety of animal models of human developmental diseases, including obesity, diabetes and cancer. People in my laboratory working on these animal models will also use a wide range of molecular biology techniques including analysis of chromatin structure, promoter analysis, gene delivery, quantitative real-time PCR, sequencing analysis and bioluminescent imaging.

Associate Professor;; more detail here.


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Manabu T. Nakamura

Dr. Manabu T. Nakamura

Most people are familiar with the message that reducing intake of saturated and trans fat can improve health. However, there are some types of fats, called essential fatty acids that must be consumed in the diet. Essential fatty acids and their metabolic products exert a variety of physiologic functions in our body, including inflammation, reproduction and regulation of lipid metabolism. Dr. Nakamura’s laboratory created a gene knockout mouse to investigate functions of the essential fatty acids, which is a current focus of research activity in his laboratory.The increasing incidence of obesity worldwide is a significant public health concern, which brings an opportunity and responsibility to the nutrition research community. To address this challenge, his laboratory has been investigating how our body can adapt to diets with varying composition of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Understanding biochemical and molecular mechanism of metabolic adaptation will provide a basis for dietary prevention of obesity. In addition to this basic research, his laboratory has been developing a new nutrition information delivery system for prevention and treatment of obesity.

Associate Professor;; more detail here.


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Zeynep Madak-Erdogan

Dr. Zeynep Madak-Erdogan

Role of novel synthetic and natural estrogens on metabolic health of post-menopausal women Keywords: Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Genomic and Non-genomic ER signaling, Genomics, Metabolomics. Impact of Estrogen Receptor alpha and kinase signaling cross-talk on development and progression of breast cancer Keywords: Breast cancer, Non-genomic ER signaling, Kinase, Genomics.

Assistant Professor;; more detail here.


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