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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Immunity & Disease Prevention

Research Unit


Charles B Stephensen

Research Leader





Immunity & Disease Prevention Research Unit


Mission:  The Unit's mission is to determine how selected nutrients and other dietary factors with immune-regulatory and anti-oxidant properties modulate immune function and prevent or impede pathogenic inflammation.   Scientists in the Unit currently focus on vitamins A and D, carotenoids, fatty acids, selenium and other specific phytonutrients (e.g., quercetin and resveratrol).   Research focuses on the anti-inflammatory activities of such compounds because inflammation is a key promoter of many chronic diseases.


Immunity & Disease Prevention Research Unit


Research Scientists:

••        Charles Stephensen, Ph.D.

 - Research Leader Roles of vitamins A and D in immune function.

••        Betty Jane Burri, Ph.D.

 - Physiological roles of beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopoene, and beta carotene.

••        Wayne Chris Hawkes, Ph.D.

 - Roles of selenium and selenoproteins in cancer prevention.

••        Dan Hwang, Ph.D.

 - Dietary modulation of inflammation and chronic diseases mediated by pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system.

••         Darshan Kelley, Ph.D.

 - Regulation of immune and inflammatory responses by dietary fatty acids.

••        Susan Zunino, Ph.D.

- How dietary antioxidant phytochemicals regulate growth and function of normal and abnormal immune cells and regulate inflammation.









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Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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