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In collaboration with Dr. George Abela, Department of Human medicine at MSU. We applied high throughput lipidomic analysis of more than 200 human cancer tissues and its marginals counterpart, for cholesterol and COPs fingerprint. Results have clearly shown the relationship between severity of cancer and the increase of these compounds (see publication below). I am working in to understand the role of COPs in the genesis of cancer, through a biochemistry pipeline.
Altered lipid and cholesterol metabolism is emerging as one of the most critical phenotype in dementia and dementia-associated neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The aim of this project is to provide novel and powerful biomarkers to monitor the evolution of dementia, and tight them to specific metabolic and biosynthetic pathways. This is achieved by assessing the accumulation/variation of certain lipid species - particularly oxidized form of cholesterol - in human brains at different stages of dementia, using mass-spectrometry metabolomic approaches. This project is led by Lisa Zou, in collaboration with Dr. Barnaba Carlo at the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering at MSU.
Lipid oxidation is the main cause of deterioration of lipids and lipid-containing foodstuffs. Lipid peroxidation is responsible for the changes in taste and odours of food products, such as milk powders, through the development of off-flavours, which are caused by the formation of secondary reaction products. There has been increasing interest in the supplementation of these formulas with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Because of the highly sucsceptibility of PUFAs to undergoes oxidation, the aim of this study is t evaluate the interaction between PUFAS and cholesterol oxidation.
Cholesterol Oxidation and Ultraprocessed foods
COPs are compounds derived from cholesterol in food, which are unavoidable and unintentional as they result of types of processing conditions. Despite the fact that several investigators have profiled the production of COPs due to different heat and storage treatments, only a few studies in the field have pointed out the critical role(s) played by food formulation and additives in promoting cholesterol oxidation. Our major concern is that during the process performed to ensure the food safety of the product in terms of microbial reduction the trade-offs between this step and the formation of these unintentional compounds have been largely ignored. This project is led by Lisaura Maldonado. We are collaborating with Dr. Gustavo de los Campos at the Institute for Quantitative Health and Engineering at MSU.
Merlot grapes
Fruit maturation in Vitis vinifera wine grape cultivars is limited by short seasons and cool temperatures in the Great Lakes growing region. In addition, precipitation occurring around harvest leads to the proliferation of Botrytis cinerea in the form of sour rot, specifically in tight clustered cultivars, which renders infected fruit inadequate for winemaking. Removal of basal leaves early in vegetative development is a tool widely used to decrease fruit set in grapevine clusters, which subsequently controls crop yields and lowers bunch rot damage; improving fruit quality. Enhanced microclimate conditions resulting from this practice often increase concentrations of secondary metabolites important to fruit quality, including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and flavonols.
Plant bio-active compounds are a great source of potential therapeutics. This USDA multi-state project includes 8 stations (Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia, Maine, Purdue, Iowa, Mississippi and Michigan). Different thermal and non thermal technologies extraction technologies have been applied to grape pomace to evaluate the effect on phenolics and anthocyanins, as well as changes in their antioxidant activity. Metabolomics will unveil the impact of each assisted extraction in the profile and the antioxidant capacity of phenolic compounds from grape pomace. This project is led by Dr. Aline Gomes da Silva, postdoctoral associate in the FHEL Lab @MSU.
In collaboration with Dr. Matthew Kay, Biomedical Engineering Department at George Washington University. FHEL's Lab have designed several diets to assess how the long-term exposure of dietary COPs impact the cardiac function. By using an electrophysiology approach (at GWU), we will be able to understand whether COPs can alter electrical processes that govern contraction of the heart, perhaps resulting in the development of myocardial pressure and perhaps arrhythmias. This will be achieved by a combination of omics approaches and biostatistics.