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Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Dr. Mitchell D. Knutson

Professor

The Knutson lab focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of iron transport and homeostasis. Disturbances of iron metabolism represent some of the most common disorders affecting humans. Iron deficiency, for example, affects an estimated 2 billion individuals worldwide, mainly women and children in the developing world. In the US, roughly 1 in 5 women of reproductive age have iron deficiency, which is often associated with anemia. On the other hand, having too much iron (i.e., iron overload) is increasingly being recognized as a public health concern. Iron overload most commonly results if one has a genetic disorder (called hemochromatosis) or if one receives repeated blood transfusions, such as in the disease beta thalassemia. An estimated 1 in 200 individuals of Northern European descent are at genetic risk for developing hemochromatosis.

Despite the prevalence of iron disorders and their negative effects on health, our understanding of how iron is taken up into cells at the molecular level is far from complete. Therefore, the Knutson lab focuses on identifying and characterizing iron transport proteins at the molecular, cellular, and physiologic levels. This research will also help to identify therapeutic targets for treating disorders of iron metabolism.

Programs

  • Research

    Research:

    The Knutson lab focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of iron transport and homeostasis. Disturbances of iron metabolism represent some of the most common disorders affecting humans. Iron deficiency, for example, affects an estimated 2 billion individuals worldwide, mainly women and children in the developing world. In the US, roughly 1 in 5 women of reproductive age have iron deficiency, which is often associated with anemia. On the other hand, having too much iron (i.e., iron overload) is increasingly being recognized as a public health concern. Iron overload most commonly results if one has a genetic disorder (called hemochromatosis) or if one receives repeated blood transfusions, such as in the disease beta thalassemia. An estimated 1 in 200 individuals of Northern European descent are at genetic risk for developing hemochromatosis.

    Despite the prevalence of iron disorders and their negative effects on health, our understanding of how iron is taken up into cells at the molecular level is far from complete. Therefore, the Knutson lab focuses on identifying and characterizing iron transport proteins at the molecular, cellular, and physiologic levels. This research will also help to identify therapeutic targets for treating disorders of iron metabolism.

    BOOK CHAPTERS:

    • Hofer T, Marzetti E, Seo AY, Xu J, Knutson MD, Leeuwenburgh C. Mechanisms of iron regulation and oxidative stress in sarcopenia and neurodegenerative diseases. In Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine. (Gutiérrez-Merino C and Leeuwenburgh C, eds.) Research Signpost, T.C., Kerala, India, 2008.
    • Knutson MD, Handelman GJ, Viteri FE. Methods for measuring ethane and pentane in expired air from rats and humans. In Bio-Assays for Oxidative Stress Status (BOSS)(Pryor WA, ed.) Elsevier, Amsterdam. 74-79, 2001.
  • Teaching

    Courses Taught

    Undergraduate
    • HUN 4221 Nutrition and Metabolism
    Graduate
    • HUN 6331 Vitamins in Human Nutrition

Contact Information

572 Newell Dr.
FSHN Building
Room 459
P.O. Box 110370
Gainesville, FL 32611-0370

Phone352.392.1991 ext. 204
Email: mknutson@ufl.edu
Websitehttp://knutsonlab.org/

Background

  • Education
    • Post. Doc. Harvard School of Public Health; Molecular Biology, 2003
    • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley; Nutrition, 1998
    • B.S. Iowa State University; Biochemistry, 1992
  • Publications

    PubMed Publications

    • BOOK CHAPTERS:
    • Hofer T, Marzetti E, Seo AY, Xu J, Knutson MD, Leeuwenburgh C. Mechanisms of iron regulation and oxidative stress in sarcopenia and neurodegenerative diseases. In Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine. (Gutiérrez-Merino C and Leeuwenburgh C, eds.) Research Signpost, T.C., Kerala, India, 2008.
    • Knutson MD, Handelman GJ, Viteri FE. Methods for measuring ethane and pentane in expired air from rats and humans. In Bio-Assays for Oxidative Stress Status (BOSS)(Pryor WA, ed.) Elsevier, Amsterdam. 74-79, 2001.
  • Honors/Awards
    • University of Florida, Jack Wessel Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, 2009
    • International Life Sciences Institute, Future Leaders Award, 2009
    • Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture, Elected member, 2007
    • University of Florida, Outstanding Mentor Award, University Scholars Program, 2004
    • University of California at Berkeley, Ellsworth C. Dougherty Memorial Prize, Dept. of Nutrition, 1998
    • University of California at Berkeley, George M. Briggs Memorial Award, Dept. of Nutrition, 1997
  • Lab Information