Mentor / Lab:
Specific Research Area / Project:
Foods for Health
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Lab / Personal work-related websites:https://sites.google.com/site/khkpurdue/home
My work focuses on how bioactive plant compounds influence fat metabolism and adipose tissue. More specifically, my project explores that mechanistic role that piceatannol, a compound found in grapes and peanuts, may have in cancer-induced fat breakdown, or cachexia. Cachexia is the “wasting away” syndrome that is the direct cause of death in up to 20% of cancer mortalities. Preventing fat break in cachexia may improve quality of life and response to chemotherapy. Our lab has shown that piceatannol prevents fat break down in in vitro models.
My most meaningful experiences as a graduate student have come from my participation in an interdisciplinary, multi-campus, leadership in science program, ELISS. ELISS has shown me the value of diverse teams and different perspectives. It has helped me to question my assumptions and build valuable communication skills. ELISS has given me the opportunity to work with students in other disciplines and campuses to understand complex issues. My team is focusing on how food packaging and labeling affects consumer health. I have really enjoyed being able to combine my learnings and experiences in food science with the unique perspectives of students in other disciplines and a variety of stakeholders.
- Certificate of Excellence in Research. Purdue OIGP Spring Student Poster competition. April 2014
- Cecelia Zissis Graduate Student Scholarship. Span Plan Adult Student Services
- USDA National Needs Fellowship recipient
- Piceatannol may have a role in ameliorating cancer cachexia. Purdue OIGP Spring Student Poster Competition. West Lafayette, IN. April 2014
- Fellow, Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS)