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Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Dr. Susan S. Percival

Professor & Chair

Dr. Percival’s research program focuses on enhancing immunity by dietary components with an emphasis on a specific immune cell, the γδ-T cell. Her lab investigates individual compounds, such as L-theanine, ellagic acid and quercetin; foods such as mushrooms, cranberry juice, grapes and grape juice; and botanicals or mixtures of other compounds that are found in dietary supplements such as aged garlic extract. Using both human subjects and cell culture models we are learning about the mechanisms by which immunity is modified by diet. The goal is to improve immune function while reducing damaging effects associated with chronic inflammation.

Because of the demands of her administrative position, Dr. Percival is not taking on many graduate students at this time.


  • Research


    • Feeney MJ, Dwyer J, Hasler-Lewis CM, Milner JA, Noakes M, Rowe S, Wach M, Beelman RB, Caldwell J, Cantorna MT, Castlebury LA, Chang ST, Cheskin LJ, Clemens R, Drescher G, Fulgoni VL, Haytowitz DB, Hubbard VS, Law D, Myrdal Miller A, Minor B, Percival SS, Riscuta G, Schneeman B, Thornsbury S, Toner CD, Woteki CE, Wu D. Mushrooms and health summit proceedings. J Nutr 144(7):1128S-36S, 2014.
    • da Silva VR, Rios-Avila L, Lamers Y, Ralat MA, Midttun O, Quinlivan EP, Garrett TJ, Coats B, Shankar MN, Percival SS, Chi YY, Muller KE, Ueland PM, Stacpoole PW, Gregory JF. Metabolite profile analysis reveals functional effects of 28-day vitamin B-6 restriction on one-carbon metabolism and tryptophan catabolic pathways in healthy men and women. J Nutr, 143:1719-27, 2013.
    • Nantz MP, Rowe, CA, Muller, CE*, Creasy, RA*, Stanilka, J, Percival, SS. Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clinical Nutrition 1-8; 2012.
    • Percival, SS.Nutrition and Immunity Balancing Diet and Immune Function. Nutrition Today, 46(1), 2011.
    • Rowe, C.A., Nantz, M.P., Nieves, C.J., West, R.L., and Percival, S.S. Regular Consumption of Concord Grape Juice Benefits Human Immunity. 2011 J Med Food 14:1-10 Epub ahead of print 2010 Dec 7.
    • Percival, S.S. Fruits, vegetables and extracts: Role in cancer prevention. 2010 Editors: Watson, R.R., Zibaldi, S. and Preedy, VR. IN: Dietary Components and Immune Function, Humana Press, NY.
    • Percival, S.S. Grape consumption supports immunity in animals and humans J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1801S-5S. Epub 2009 Jul 29.
    • Ho, L., Chen, L.H., Wang, J., Zhao W., Talcott, S.T., Ono, K., Teplow D., Humala, N., Cheng A., Percival, S.S., Ferruzzi M., Janle E., Weaver C., Dickstein, D.L., Pasinetti, G.M. Heterogeneity in red wine polyphenolic contents differentially influences Alzheimer’s disease-type neuropathology and cognitive deterioration. J Alz Dis 16(1):59-72, 2009.
    • Nantz, M.P., Rowe, C.A., Bukowski, J.F., and Percival, S.S. Specific Composition of Camellia sinensis Lowers LDL Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Peroxidized Lipids, and Markers of Chronic Inflammation: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrition 2008 October 9th [Epub ahead of print]. 25: 147-154, DOI information: 10.1016/j.nut.2008.07.018.
    • Mertens-Talcott S.U., Percival S.S., Talcott ST. Extracts from red muscadine and cabernet sauvignon wines induce cell death in MOLT-4 human leukemia cells. Food Chemistry 108(3):824-832, 2008.
    • Nantz, M.P., Rowe, C.A., Bukowski, J.F., and Percival, S.S. Standardized capsule of Camellia sinensis lowers cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition, Feb;25(2):147-54 (2008).
    • Freeman ML, Mertens-Talcott SU, St. Cyr J, and Percival SS. Ribose Enhances Retinoic Acid-induced Differentiation of HL-60 Cells.Nutrition Research 28(11):775-82, 2008.
    • Minor RK, Villarreal J, McGraw M, Percival SS, Ingram DK, de Cabo R. Calorie restriction alters physical performance but not cognition in two models of altered neuroendocrine signaling. Behav Brain Res. 2008 Jan 15 Epub Jan 15 2008.
    • Bukowski, JF and Percival, SS. L-theanine intervention enhances human gammadelta T lymphocyte function. Nutr Rev. 66(2):96-102, 2008.
    • Percival, S.S., Bukowski, J.F. and Milner, J.A. Role of Bioactive Food Components on γδ T Cell Activity for Cancer Prevention. J Nutr. 138(1):1-4, 2008.
  • Teaching

    Because of the demands of her administrative position, Dr. Percival is not teaching at this time.

Contact Information

572 Newell Dr.
FSHN Building
Room 359C
P.O. Box 110370
Gainesville, FL 32611-0370

Phone (Chair Office): 352.392.2022 ext. 22022


  • Education
    • Post Doctoral Research Fellow. Texas A&M University; Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 1987-89
    • Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin; University of Texas Health Center at Tyler; Biological Sciences, 1985
    • M.S. University of California, Davis; Nutritional Sciences, 1978
    • B.S. University of Rhode Island; Foods and Nutrition, 1976
  • Publications
  • Honors/Awards
    • International Life Sciences Institute, Future Leaders Award, 1990-1992
    • University of Florida College of Agriculture, Nominated for Advisor of the Year, 1997, 2002
    • University of Florida IFAS, Superior Accomplishment Award, 2002
  • Lab Information