My laboratory’s research emphasis involves the molecular and cell biology and genomics of zinc absorption, metabolism, and function. The role of zinc binding proteins in zinc metabolism and the factors controlling their synthesis and degradation are extensively studied. Projects are aimed at the subcellular and molecular level, but are also approached with intact animal models, including transgenic overexpressing and knockout mice, and with experiments using human subjects. The hormonal, cytokine, and nutritional regulation of the zinc trafficking protein, metallothionein; the zinc finger protein, cysteine-rich intestinal protein; and the two families of zinc transporters (ZnT and Zip) are studied at the molecular, cellular, and integrative levels. Zinc responsive genes are being identified using genomic approaches, particularly cDNA array analysis of zinc deficient and zinc replete cells, animals, and humans, and are related to physiological effects of deficiency or supplementation and for correlations to specific diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and immune system. Attention is also given to the assessment of zinc nutritional status using newly developing methodologies such as quantitative PCR to monitor expression of individual human genes that we have identified as zinc responsive.
Over 70 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students have received research experience and degrees under my direction.
359 Food Science and Human Nutrition Building
P.O. BOX 110370
University of Florida
Gainesville, Fl 32611-0370