Natural botanical substances are increasingly used for medicinal purposes in the U.S.;many Americans use these types of alternative medicines for disease prevention or therapy. The need to document and characterize these products creates a strong demand for scientists trained in biologically based practices of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The candidate, Dr. Donald J. Messner, is an experienced biomedical scientist developing a research program in CAM botanicals at Bastyr University. Training for Dr. Messner will focus on preclinical characterization of botanical substances, with emphasis on botanical science, analytical chemistry, animal models of liver disease, and proteomics. An expert group of advisors has been recruited to this effort from three closely aligned institutions in the Seattle area: Bastyr University, the University of Washington, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The advisory team will be guided by Dr. Kris V. Kowdley, a Hepatologist at Virginia Mason Hospital and the University of Washington and an expert in iron and liver disorders. The research plan consists of a comprehensive preclinical assessment of turmeric, the common food ingredient derived from C. longa, for iron overload and prevention of liver cancer.
The specific aims are as follows:
Aim 1. To document the antioxidant capacity and iron binding properties of turmeric.
Aim 2. To determine effects, evaluate mechanisms, and identify biomarkers of turmeric related to prevention of in vitro transformation of iron-loaded liver cells.
Aim 3. To determine effects and identify biomarkers of turmeric on iron-related hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. This project has the long-term goal of improving human health by reducing the impact of iron in liver diseases including hepatocellular carcinoma. It may be anticipated that upon completion of this training, the candidate will be expertly prepared for investigating other biologically based practices of CAM in liver disease.
|Messner, Donald J; Kowdley, Kris V (2010) Biting the iron bullet: endoplasmic reticulum stress adds the pain of hepcidin to chronic liver disease. Hepatology 51:705-7|
|Messner, Donald J; Sivam, Gowsala; Kowdley, Kris V (2009) Curcumin reduces the toxic effects of iron loading in rat liver epithelial cells. Liver Int 29:63-72|