Wei Zheng

Wei Zheng Profile Picture
IGP:
Nutrition

Mentor / Lab:
Dorothy Teegarden

Specific Research Area / Project:
Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition/Vitamin D and breast cancer prevention.

Undergraduate Institution:
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology



Research Profile:

Vitamin D status is associated with a reduced incidence of several cancers, including prostate, colon and breast cancer. Vitamin D is proposed to prevent cancer through its active form, 1a, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), by inhibiting cell proliferation, agiogenesis and promoting apoptosis. The Teegarden laboratory is investigating the role and the mechanism of vitamin D metabolites in preventing breast cancer progression.

One important characteristic promoting the progression of cancer cells is the alteration of energy homeostasis towards increased glucose uptake and glycolysis, reduced oxidative metabolism and increased lactate production for rapid energy supply and biosynthetic substrates generation to allow rapid cell proliferation. This critical shift, known as the Warburg effect, occurs in most cancer cells and is an essential step in the development of a tumor. Results from our laboratory suggest that 1,25(OH)2D alters cellular energy metabolism, possibly through the regulation of transcription factors such as HIF-1a and Myc, including a potential shift away from lactate production to oxidative metabolism, thus inhibiting the Warburg effect in the MCF10 breast epithelial cells, a cell model for breast cancer progression. Understanding the effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of vitamin D in breast cells will contribute to the development of effective, vitamin D-based preventative strategies for breast cancer progression.


About Me:

Wei Zheng About Me Picture

I majored in biochemistry during my undergraduate study. Although I was trained as a molecular biologist, I’m very interested in applying my research and what I've learned to daily life for disease prevention and health promotion. That’s why I chose nutritional science as my major in graduate school. The Interdepartmental Nutrition Program (INP) at Purdue provides me the opportunity to enjoy my research in the field of molecular nutrition, and at the same time, nourishes me with knowledge regarding foods and nutrition of which I would never have learned enough from my biochemistry class! Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the INP, I am exposed to a research environment in which I can communicate and collaborate easily with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and bioengineering, and am able to experience a learning environment in which I can extend my knowledge from basic biomedical sciences to clinical medicine, psychology and health communication, all of which are related to breast cancer prevention.


Awards:

  • American Society for Nutrition, Mars, Inc. Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 2011.
  • American Society for Nutrition, Finalist, Diet and Cancer RIS Poster Competition, Experimental Biology 2011.
  • American Society for Nutrition, Finalist, Vitamin and Mineral Studies RIS Poster Competition, Experimental Biology 2011.
  • 1st Place, HHS Chronic Disease Research Poster Session, Purdue University, 2011.
  • Honorable Mention, Most Outstanding Interdisciplinary Project for Spring 2011, Graduate School, Purdue University, 2011.
  • 3rd Place, Cancer Prevention and Control Poster Session, Purdue University, 2011.
  • Catherine Peachey Top Poster, International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Conference, 2010.
  • National Cancer Institute and Purdue University, Cancer Prevention Interdisciplinary Education Program (CPIP) Graduate Fellowship, 2010.
  • Ross Fellowship, Purdue University, 2009.
  • Dr. Mary Fuqua Scholarship, Purdue University, 2009.

Publications:

  • Yan Jiang, Wei Zheng and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D regulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1a in untransformed and Harvey-ras transfected breast epithelial cells. Cancer Lett. (2010) 298(2):159-66

Presentations:

  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, Effect of 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D on energy metabolism in MCF10 breast epithelial cells, FASEB J 25:235.1 Experimental Biology. 2011, Washington D.C. (Oral presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D regulation of energy metabolism in MCF10 human breast epithelial cells, Breast Cancer Discovery Group Retreat, Purdue University, May 12th, 2011 (Poster presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D regulation of energy metabolism in MCF10 human breast epithelial cells, HHS Chronic Disease Research Poster Session, Purdue University Apr 27th, 2011 (Poster presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D regulation of energy metabolism in human mammary carcinogenesis, Purdue Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Spring Session, Apr 20th, 2011 (Poster presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, Effect of 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D on energy metabolism in MCF10 breast epithelial cells, Cancer Prevention and Control Poster Session, Purdue University, Mar 2011 (Poster presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D regulation of energy metabolism in MCF10 breast epithelial cells, Interdepartmental Nutrition Program Poster Session, Purdue University, Mar 2011 (Poster presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Vitamin D in colon cancer prevention: Does it involve colon specific vitamin D metabolism?INP and Fuqua Graduate Seminar Series, Purdue University, Feb 25th, 2011 (Oral presentation)
  • Wei Zheng, Eric S. McLamore, D. Marshall Porterfield, Shawn S. Donkin and Dorothy Teegarden, 1a, 25-Dihydroxyitamin D regulation of energy metabolism in MCF10A breast epithelial cells, International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Conference, Oct. 2010 (Poster presentation)

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