Susan Zunino

United States Department of Agriculture, USA

Susan Zunino obtained a B.S. degree in biology and a Ph.D. degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Nevada, Reno. From 1989 to 1993, Dr. Zunino was trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the laboratories of Drs. Joe Sambrook and Mary Jane Gething at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Tex, USA. During this time, she studied the roles of cytokines in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes. Dr. Zunino served as a Faculty Level Research Instructor at the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas from 1993 to 1995. There, she investigated patterns of cytokine expression in activated T lymphocytes and began mechanistic studies of programmed cell death (apoptosis) that occurs during lymphocytes activation. In 1995, Dr. Zunino accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, where she initiated a research program to examine mechanisms of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chemotherapy resistance. During these investigations, Dr. Zunino began analyzing whether plant-derived antioxidants might be potentially useful for killing these leukemia cells. She discovered that some of these antioxidant compounds, such as resveratrol from grapes and curcumin from the spice turmeric, were able to effectively kill the leukemia-derived cell lines by disturbing the normal oxidative state of the mitochondria. In July 2003, Dr. Zunino became a Research Molecular Biologist with the Western Human Nutrition Research Center at the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Zunino continues studies of the anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities of plant-derived phytochemicals and phytochemical-rich foods. Dr. Zunino serves as a Member of the professional societies: American Society of Nutrition, American Association of Immunologists, and American Association for Cancer Research.

Biography Updated on 18 January 2011

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