Dr. Ronald Hart directs bioinformatics core for $3.3M NIH epigenetics studyThe National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Professor Ah-Ng Tony Kong, Distinguished Professor, Glaxo Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutics and Graduate Director, a 5-year RO1 grant of $3,335,313 for the project, “Epigenetic mechanisms of indole-3-carbinol (I3C)/diindolylemthane (DIM) and triterpenoids in prevention of prostate inflammation and related disease.” The I3C/DIM found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables and triterpenoid ursolic acid (UA) from medicinal plants, fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cranberries, beets, and mushrooms, are commonly used as botanical dietary supplements. This grant will examine how chronic inflammatory processes can drive changes of inflammatory epigenome and investigate how botanical/natural products can modify these inflammatory epigenomic alterations resulting in suppression of inflammation and its related diseases including cancer in the prostate. In addition, the Analytical Core directed by Drs. Ronald P. Hart (Cell Biology), Brian T. Buckley (EOHSI) and Michael Verzi (Genetics) will develop the latest technology in next-generation sequencing coupled with bioinformatics, and in vivo metabolism, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics studies of botanicals using LCMS technology. Better understanding of the molecular mechanism of I3C, DIM and UA via epigenetic alterations can enhance the use of I3C, DIM and UA in disease prevention and can potentially benefit thousands.
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