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Huawei Zeng

Research Molecular Biologist


Huawei Zeng

HUAWEI ZENG, Ph.D.

Research Molecular Biologist

Biography

Dr. Zeng was born and grew up in Xiamen, China. He obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Xiamen University. He attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Molecular Biology in 1996. After graduation, Dr. Zeng spent three and half years as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes of Health investigating steroid hormone-induced gene expression. Dr. Zeng joined the scientific staff of the USDA-ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC) as a Research Molecular Biologist in November1999.

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Research Interests

Obesity related colon cancer is a significant global health concern and the impact of specific dietary components on colon cancer risk has been well recognized. Dr. Zeng's main area of research is to determine the molecular mechanisms of cancer-preventive nutrients in foods. This focus presently centers on selenium-containing foods, and the development of new molecular bio-markers for obesity related colon cancer prevention. Currently, Dr. Zeng is studying the effects of nutritional levels of selenium in supporting cellular survival signaling; and the role of the putative anti-tumorigenic Se-metabolite, methylselenol, in cell cycle progression and apoptosis in both colon cell and animal models.

Dr. Zeng is also investigating the impact of human genetic variation on optimal nutritional intake. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are a primary component of human genetic variation. To determine the diet that best fits certain SNPs, He examines the effects of hemochromatosis, selenoproteins and vitamin D receptor genotypes on the absorption and utilization of iron, selenium, calcium and other nutrients.

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Research Accomplishments

Molecular Nutrition & Cancer Biology:

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