Dorothy Teegarden


Educational Background

  • B.S., Biology at Antioch College in 1976
  • Ph.D., Human Nutrition and Nutritional Biology at University of Chicago in 1984
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1987
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Foods and Nutrition

Awards & Honors

  • Purdue University Provost's Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor, 2015
  • College of Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, 2015
  • University Faculty Scholar from Purdue University, 2011-2016
  • Academic Leadership Program Fellow from Purdue University CIC, 2011-2012
  • Susan Butler for Leadership Excellence Award from International Breast Cancer and Nutrition, 2012
  • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 2012-2019
  • Purdue Seed for Success Research Award, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2014
  • Departmental Teaching Award from Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, 2006
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit (Research), Purdue Chapter, 2006
  • Department of Foods and Nutrition Teaching Award, 2003-2004
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2000
  • American Cancer Society, Research Scholars Grant, 1997


Nutrition and Cancer

My research laboratory investigates mechanisms of disease progression and prevention of age-related diseases, particularly cancer. One area of focus is understanding the basic cellular mechanisms involved in regulating energy and lipid metabolism, including the roles that the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase (PC; in metastasis promotion) and vitamin D (in cancer prevention) play in the development of cancer and metastases. My own expertise, from molecular to human and educational intervention trials, helps promote the rapid translation of basic research to the clinic and into dietary recommendations that promote optimal health.

There is increasing recognition of the importance of the dysregulation of energy metabolism in cancer development.  Although there is some evidence that the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase plays a role in cancer progression, particularly metastasis, little is known about the underlying mechanisms.  Our studies are among the first to show that pyruvate carboxylase plays an essential role in fatty acid metabolism in metastatic cancer cells and is critical in the increased oxidative stress protection in cancer cells.  We are also the first to show that pyruvate carboxylase is essential for breast cancer metastasis.  These findings provide, for the first time, a mechanistic basis for the critical role of pyruvate carboxylase in cancer progression, particularly metastasis, and lay the foundation for understanding the metabolic shifts necessary to support metastasis.

Substantial evidence suggests that vitamin D helps prevent the development of several cancers, including breast cancer.  Our studies, which used appropriate cell models of cancer prevention, identified unique mechanisms by which 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D inhibits processes essential to preventing cancer, including glucose and glutamine metabolism.  Further, we showed that 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D inhibits metastasis of breast epithelial cells, using a unique 3D cell culture model of breast to bone metastasis.

Interdisciplinary Education Research

Dr. Teegarden has engaged in educational research focusing on designing, developing and implementing models of undergraduate and graduate research programs that enhance students’ abilities to work in interdisciplinary teams, encourage career trajectories related to significant health issues, and increase students’ abilities to succeed in their future careers.

Dr. Teegarden serves as the Director of the Cancer Prevention Internship Program (CPIP,, currently its 10th year.  She worked with her faculty leadership team to develop, test and implement a model program for undergraduate and graduate research programs to enhance the ability of the students to work in interdisciplinary teams, encourage career trajectories related to significant health issues facing our society, and increasing the ability of the students to be successful in their future careers. Leadership team is comprised of 6 other faculty from a variety of disciplines from social sciences to engineering to STEM, with student participants and faculty mentors from almost every college on campus.  The program is funded by an NIH R25, followed by funding from the Purdue Provost, Discovery Learning Research Center and colleges across campus.

Dr. Teegarden was a co-principal Investigator of the USDA funded, multi-site trial, the Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Research Program (TOPRs). The sites included the primary site at University of Illinois with Dr. Barbara Fiese (focus on social sciences) and a University of California site.  Similar to the CPIP program, but a whole curricular package was developed for hosting on the STEMEd HUB for access and use of modules available worldwide (

Discovery Publications

A complete list of Dr. Teegarden's discovery publications can be found here.

  • Hammons A, Fiese B, Koester B, Garcia G, Parker Loran, Teegarden D. Interdisciplinary web-based video series is effective at increasing knowledge and research related abilities in undergraduates. Hammons A, Fiese B, Koester B, Garcia G, Parker Loran, Teegarden D. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. Accepted.
  • Larrick B, Kim K-H, Donkin SD, Teegarden D. (2018) 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Regulates Lipid Metabolism and Glucose Utilization in Differentiated 3T3-L1 Adipocytes.  Nutr Res 58:72-83. PMID:  30340817
  • Shinde A, Wilmanski T, Chen H, Teegarden D, Wendt M. (2018) Pyruvate carboxylase supports the pulmonary tropism of metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 13;20(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s13058-018-1008-9.  PMID: 30005601
  • Wilmanski T, Zhou X, Zheng W, Shinde A, Donkin SS, Wendt M, Burgess JR, Teegarden D. (2017) Inhibition of pyruvate carboxylase by 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D promotes oxidative stress in early breast cancer progression. Cancer Lett. 2017 Oct 9;411:171-181. PMID: 29024812.
  • Wilmanski T, Buhman K, Donkin SS, Burgess JR, Teegarden D. (2016) 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D inhibits de novo fatty acid synthesis and lipid accumulation in metastatic breast cancer cells through down-regulation of pyruvate carboxylase.  J Nutr Biochem 40:194-200.
  • Wilmanski T, Barnard A, Parikh MR, Kirshner J, Buhman K, Burgess J, Teegarden D. (2016) 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Inhibits the Metastatic Capability of MCF10CA1a and MDA-MB-231 Cells in an In Vitro Model of Breast to Bone Metastasis.  Nutr Cancer. 68(7):1202-9. PMID: 27552186
  • Zhou X, Zheng W, Gowda GA, Raftery D, Donkin SS, Bequette B, Teegarden D. (2016) J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D inhibits glutamine metabolism in Harvey-ras transformed MCF10A human breast epithelial cell. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 163:147-56. PMID: 27154413
  • Zheng W, Tayyari F, Gowda GA, Raftery D, McLamore ES, Porterfield DM, Donkin SS, Bequette B, Teegarden D. (2015) Altered glucose metabolism in Harvey-ras transformed MCF10A cells.  Molecular Carcinogenesis 54:111-20.  PMID: 24000146
  • Weaver CM, Teegarden D, Welch A, Hwalla N, Lelièvre S. (2014) International breast cancer and nutrition: a model for research, training and policy in diet, epigenetics, and chronic disease prevention.  Adv Nutr. 5:566-7.  PMID: 25469398.
  • Adedokun O, Parker LC, Childress A, Burgess W, Adams R, Agnew CR, Leary J, Knapp D, Shields D, Lelievre S, Teegarden D.  (2014) Effect of time on perceived gains from an undergraduate research program. CBE Life Sci Educ. 13(1):139-148. PMID: 24591512.
  • Zheng W, Tayyari F, Gowda GA, Raftery D, McLamore ES, Shi J, Porterfield M, Donkin SS, Bequette B, Teegarden D. (2013) 1, 25 Dihydroxyvitamin D Regulation of Glucose Metabolism in Harvey-ras Transformed MCF10A Human Breast Epithelial Cells. J Ster Biochem Mol Biol 138:81-89. PMID: 23619337.
  • Teegarden D, Romieu I, Lelièvre SA. (2012) Redefining the impact of nutrition on breast cancer incidence: Is epigenetics involved? Nutr Res Rev 25(1):68-95. PMID: 22853843.
  • Teegarden D, Ji-Yeon Lee J-Y, Adedokun L, Childress A, Parker LC, Burgess W, Nagel JR, Knapp DW, Lelievre S, Agnew CR, Shields C, Leary J, Adams R, Jensen JD (2011) Cancer Prevention Interdisciplinary Education Program at Purdue University: Overview and Preliminary Results. J Cancer Educ 26(4):626-632. PMID: 21533583.

Books, Chapters & Monograph Publications

  • Larrick B, Donkin SS, and Teegarden D. Vitamin D and Insulin Sensitivity. In: Handbook of Vitamin D in Human Health: Prevention, Treatment, and Toxicity, Watson, R. (editors). Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2013.
  • Zheng, W., and Teegarden, D. (2013) Vitamin D. In: Handbook of Vitamins, 5th Edition. Janos Zemplani Ed(s).
  • Teegarden, D. and Donkin, S.S. (2009) Vitamin D: Emerging new roles in insulin sensitivity. Nutr Res Rev. 22:82-92.
  • Teegarden, D. and Gunther, C. (2008) Minerals and Food Intake: A Human Perspective. In: Appetite and Food Intake: Behavioral and Physiological Considerations. Harris, R. and Mattes, R Ed(s). Taylor and Francis.
  • Teegarden, D. (2005) Dietary Calcium and Obesity. In: Calcium in Human Health. Weaver, C.M. and Heaney, R.P Ed(s). Pp.327-339. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
  • Teegarden, D. (2005) Dietary Calcium and the Metabolic Syndrome. In: Calcium in Human Health. Weaver, C.M. and Heaney, R.P Ed(s). Pp.401-409. Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ.


NUTR 60500 Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology I: The goal is to provide a foundation to graduate students in the scientific concepts relevant to nutrient metabolism and nutrient-disease interaction. Topics covered in this semester include: cell biology of the intestine, nutrient transport, carbohydrate metabolism, and mineral metabolism.
NUTR 59000 Cancer Prevention Internship Program Seminar Course
HHS 590 HHS Undergraduate Research Honors Scholars Program


Dorothy Teegarden

Professor and Director, Women's Global Health Insitutue

Office: STON G1E
Phone: 765.494.8246
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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