Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"CPIP: Role of vitamin E forms in cancer and inflammation"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Full-Year 2010 - CPIP
Research area(s):
Nutritional biochemistry, cancer biology, immune function
Project Description:
Project 1. Investigate the role of different forms of vitamin E in TNFalpha-mediated NFkB activation and cancer cell death TNFalpha is an important cytokine that regulates immune response via activation of NFkB, which is a key transcription factor regulating inflammation and program cell death (apoptosis). Some cancer cells are known to have enhanced activation of endogenous NFkB that renders them resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs. We recently found that some vitamin E forms inhibit TNFalpha induced NFkB activation. In this project we will test the hypothesis that vitamin E forms can make cancer cells susceptible to apoptosis by inhibition of NFkB and by promotion of TNFalpha-mediated death receptor activity. This project includes mechanistic investigation of vitamin E involved inhibition of NFkB in various cancer cell lines and examines whether vitamin E forms make cancer cells more susceptible to TNFalpha-induced cells death. Project 2. Investigate the effect and mechanism of vitamin E forms on the growth and death of pancreatic cancer cells Pancreatic cancer is often advanced when it is first found. Therefore, it is important to find therapeutic agents with high efficacy to kill cancer cells. Certain forms of vitamin E may be excellent candidates, because we have shown that some vitamin E forms cause death of prostate and colon cancer cells. This project will investigate whether vitamin E forms inhibit the growth and induce death of pancreatic cancer cells. The mechanism underlying the observed effects will be investigated.
Expected Student Contributions:
Students will have opportunities to learn and conduct cell-culture studies and common biochemical approaches like Western blotting, gel shift, flow cytometry, electron microscopy etc.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
The intern should have taken courses like organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology with GPA at 3.3 or more.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Jiang, Qing
foods and nutrition

Student Supervisor

Yun Wang and Ziying Jiang
PhD graduate student (Wang) and Postdoc (Jiang)

Cooperating Faculty

Dorothy Teegarden
Foods and Nutriton/CFS