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Brief Bio: Dr. Robert S. Chapkin – Distinguished Professor and National Cancer Institute R35 Outstanding Investigator Awardee, leads the Program in Integrative Nutrition & Complex Diseases at Texas A&M University. Work in the Chapkin lab focuses on dietary prevention of colon cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. The central goal is to (1) understand cancer chemoprevention at the single cell level, and (2) test membrane targeted therapeutics in combination with dietary / microbial countermeasures to the “Western diet” to more effectively improve gut health and reduce colon cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Since diet influences gut microbial composition and metabolite production, to unravel the interrelationships between gut health and the structure of the gut ecosystem, we are in the process of evaluating (using transgenic mice, fruit fly models, and humans) how gut microbes modulate intestinal stem cells (the origin of cancer). As part of this endeavor, we have developed novel noninvasive Systems Biology-based methodologies to model the dynamic relationship between diet and gut microbe-derived metabolites which modulate the cellular organization of the intestine, e.g., stem cell niche.
Elizabeth Toole Szymanski
Former Lab Members