John (Jay) Burgess

Educational Background

  • B.S., Biology/Biochemistry at Pennsylvania State University in 1980
  • M.S., Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in 1985
  • Ph.D., Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in 1988
  • Post-Doc., Pharmacology at University of California at Santa Barbara in 1990

Dissertation Title

M.S.: Enzymatic formation of prostaglandins D2, E2, and F2alpha, by the actions of glutathione-S-transferases from ram seminal vesicles and fractions of rat uterus.
Ph.D.: Arachidonic acid cascade: studies on the cyclooxygenase pathway.


Oxidative stress, defined by the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), is implicated in the development of many chronic and degenerative diseases as well as some psychological disorders. ROS accumulation damages cellular macromolecules and can lead to loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and endogenous antioxidants. Two areas of research are ongoing in the Burgess lab.  First, we have been studying the role of oxidative stress and omega-3 fatty acid status in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for a number of years. This work has involved studies in humans and animals. We have shown that a subpopulation of children with ADHD exhibit PUFA imbalances which may result from oxidative stress. Further work, in an animal model of ADHD (SHR), showed that supplemental treatment with the super-nutritional amounts of the antioxidant nutrient vitamin E partially reversed brain PUFA deficits, elevated blood and brain antioxidant status to control levels, and improved some behavior. Follow up studies showed that replacing the fats in the diets of weaned SHR with about equivalent amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was not enough to improve brain levels of EPA or impact behavior.  Ongoing work is focused on ascertaining the mechanisms involved to determine why improving dietary ratios of fatty acids alone was not enough to affect behavior.  The overarching goal for this research area is to develop nutritional guidance specific for children with behavioral disorders.  A new initiative is to expand our collaborative efforts in the field of autism working with researchers in the Purdue Autism Cluster.

A second area of current research effort is focused on understanding and mitigating one of the complications of diabetes: peripheral neuropathies.  The incidence of diabetes mellitus, a disease characterized by poor blood glucose control, has been on the rise recently, increasing by approximately 1 million new cases every year. Many patients develop serious and sometimes debilitating complications such as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and peripheral neuropathy (PN). Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common and debilitating complications of diabetes affecting at least 50% of patients. Unfortunately, the medications available for these patients treat the pain but not the cellular damage and come with severe side effects leading many people to discontinue their use. The most effective treatment for peripheral neuropathy is a return to normoglycemia, however this is not attainable for the majority of patients. Oxidative stress as a result of hyperglycemia has been linked to the pathogenesis of PN via increased ROS generation overwhelming the endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms and leading to cellular damage and/or destruction. Previous studies in the lab using SH-SY5Y cells as a model for peripheral neurons have shown that exposing cells to glycated proteins (AGEs), which form readily in diabetics, results in both neurite loss and decreased cell viability. However, pre-treating cells with the supplemental antioxidant - N-acetylcysteine  (NAC) – or an essential nutrient antioxidants -  α-tocopherol (vitamin E) provided some degree of protection for the cells.  Vitamin E partially protected whereas NAC fully protected the cells.  Our objective with this work is to establish a full picture of the mechanism of action for NAC and develop dietary strategies that protect peripheral neurons from damage for individuals with diabetes.

Discovery Publications

  • Forbes, R., Gasevic, D., Watson, E.M., Ziegler, T.R., Lin, E., Burgess, J.R., Gletsu-Miller N. (2016) Essential Fatty Acid Plasma Profiles Following Gastric Bypass and Adjusted Gastric Banding Bariatric Surgeries. Obes Surg. 26(6):1237-1246.
  • Nogradi, N., Couetil, L.L., Messick, J., Stochelski, M.A., Burgess, J.R. (2015) Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation provides an additional benefit to a low-dust diet in the management of horses with chronic lower airway inflammatory disease. J Vet Intern Med. 29(1):299-306.
  • Stevens, L.J., Burgess, J.R., Stochelski, M.A., Kuczek, T. (2015). Amounts of artificial food dyes and added sugars in foods and sweets commonly consumed by children. Clin Pediatr. (Phila) 54(4):309-321.
  • Stevens, L.J., Burgess, J.R., Stochelski, M.A., Kuczek, T. (2014) Amounts of artificial food colors in commonly consumed beverages and potential behavioral implications for consumption in children. Clin Pediatr. (Phila) 53(2):133-140.
  • Zhou, Y., Harrison, D.E., Love-Myers, K., Chen, Y., Grider, A., Wickwire, K., Burgess, J.R., Stochelski, M.A., Pazdro, R. (2014) Genetic analysis of tissue glutathione concentrations and redox balance, Free Rad Biol Med. 71:157-164.
  • Stevens, L.J., Kuczek, T., Burgess, J.R., Stochelski, M.A., Arnold, L.E., Galland, L. (2013) Mechanisms of behavioral, atopic, and other reactions to artificial food colors in children. Nutr Rev. 71(5):268-281.
  • Pazdro, R. and Burgess, J.R. (2012) The Antioxidant 3H-1,2-Dithiole-3-Thione Potentiates Advanced Glycation End-Product-Induced Oxidative Stress in SH-SY5Y Cells. Experimental Diabetes Research.:doi: 10.1155-2012-137607.
  • Pazdro, R., and Burgess, J.R. (2012) Differential effects of alpha-tocopherol and N-acetylcysteine on advanced glycation end product-induced oxidative damage and neurite degeneration in Sh-SY5Y cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease. 1822:550-556.
  • Houchins, J.A., Burgess, J.R., Campbell, W.W., Daniel, J.R., Ferruzzi, M.G., McCabe, G.P. and Mattes, R.D. (2011) Beverage vs. Solid Fruits and Vegetables: Effects on Energy Intake and Body Weight. Obesity.
  • Stevens, L.J., Kuczek, T., Burgess, J.R., Hurt, E., and Arnold, L.E. (2011) Dietary Sensitivities and ADHD Symptoms: Thirty-five Years of Research. Clin Pediatr. 50(4):279-93.
  • Cho, K., Kim, Y.O., Andrade, J.E., Burgess, J.R., and Kim, Y.C. (2010) Dietary naringenin increases hepatic peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor alpha protein expression and decreases plasma triglyceride and adiposity in rats. Eur J Nutr. 50(2):81-8.
  • Ganesan, S., Faris, A.N., Comstock, A.T., Chattoraj, S.S., Chattoraj, A., Burgess, J.R., Curtiss, J.L., Martinez, F.J., Zick, S., Hershenson, M.B., and Sajjan, U.S. (2010) Quercetin prevents progression of disease in elastase/LPS-exposed mice by negatively regulating MMP expression. Respir Res. 11(131).
  • Pazdro, R., and Burgess, J.R. (2010) The role of vitamin E and oxidative stress in diabetes complications. Mech Ageing Dev. 131(4):276-86.
  • Tepper, B.J., Williams, T.Z., Burgess, J.R., Antalis, C.J. and Mattes, R.D. (2009) Genetic variation in bitter taste and plasma markers of anti-oxidant status in college women. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 60(2):35-45.
  • Li, J., Byrne, M.E., Chang, E., Jiang, Y., Donkin, S.S., Buhman, K.K., Burgess, J.R., and Teegarden, D. (2008) 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D hydroxylase in adipocytes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 112(1):122-6.
  • Andrade, J.E., and Burgess, J.R. (2007) Effect of the citrus flavanone naringenin on oxidative stress in rats. J Agric Food Chem. 55(6):2142-8.
  • Chale-Rush, A., Burgess, J.R., and Mattes, R.D. (2007) Multiple routes of chemosensitivity to free fatty acids in humans. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 292(5):G1206-12.
  • Chale-Rush, A., Burgess, J.R., and Mattes, R.D. (2007) Evidence for human orosensory (taste?) sensitivity to free fatty acids. Chem Senses. 32(5):423-31.
  • Nanua, S., Zick, S.M., Andrade, J.E., Sajjan, U.S., Burgess, J.R., Lukacs, N.W., and Hershenson, M.B. (2006) Quercetin blocks airway epithelial cell chemokine expression. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 35(5):602-10.
  • Cabo, R., Burgess, J.R., and Navas, P. (2006) Adaptations to oxidative stress induced by vitamin E deficiency in rat liver. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 38(5):309-17.
  • Antalis, C.J., Stevens, L.J., Campbell, M., Pazdro, R., Ericson, K., and Burgess, J.R. (2006) Omega-3 fatty acid status in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids. 75(4):299-308.
  • Stevens, L., Zhang, W., Peck, L., Kuczek, T., Grevstad, N., Mahon, A., Zentall, S.S., Arnold, L.E., and Burgess, J.R. (2003) Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in children with inattention, hyperactivity and other disruptive behaviors. Lipids. 38:1007-1021.

Books, Chapters & Monograph Publications

  • Burgess, J.R. and Andrade, J.E.. (2006) Antioxidant Effects of Citrus Flavonoid Consumption. In: Potential Health Benefits of Citrus. Patil, B.S., Miller, E.G., Turner, N.D., and Brodbelt, J.S. Ed(s). An American Chemical Society Publication, Washington, D.C.
  • Burgess, J.R. and Stevens, L.. (2003) Essential fatty acids in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An update. In: Phospholipid Spectrum Disorders in Psychiatry II. Glen, Peet, & Horrobin Ed(s). Marius Press, U.K.
  • Burgess, J.R. and Gao, F. (2002) The Antioxidant effects of inositol phophates. In: Food Phytates. Reddy, N.R. and Sathe, S.K Ed(s). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Stevens, L. and Burgess, J.R. (1999) Essential fatty acids in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In: Phospholipid Spectrum Disorder in Psychiatry. Peet, M., Glenn, I., and Horrobin, D.F. Ed(s). Pp.263-269. Marius Press, Lancashire, UK.


NUTR 30300 Essentials of Nutrition: Basic principles of nutrition and their application in meeting nutritional needs during the life cycle.
NUTR 43600 Nutrition Assessment: Nutrition assessment in humans including anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, and dietary assessment.
NUTR 59000 Phytochemical Biochemistry and Physiology: Advanced study of the biochemistry and physiology of phytochemicals focusing on bioavailability and potential health benefits.
NUTR 59000 Lipid Regulation of Cell Function: Advanced study of the role of lipids in the regulation of cell function.

Learning Publications

  • Hoch, M.A., Russell, C.N.B., Steffen, D.M., Weaver, G.C., and Burgess, J.R. (2009) Assessment of Antioxidant Capacities in Foods: A Research Experience for General Chemistry Students. Journal of Chemical Education. 86(5):595.

John (Jay) Burgess

Associate Professor

Office: STON G1F
Address: 700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765.494.8239
Fax: 765.494.0906

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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