Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Program Director, Associate Professor, Food, Nutrition and Health
FNH 219, 2205 East Mall
University of Guelph, PhD
University of Guelph, MSc
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in health promotion and disease prevention. However, there is a lack of in-depth understanding of how nutrients exert their function. This hinders the effectiveness of using nutrition as a means for health promotion and disease prevention. Nutrients do not act alone, but in a concerted effort with genes. The interactions between nutrients and genes influence the expression of genes, production of proteins, and ultimately metabolism. My overall research interest is to understand how nutrients act at the cellular and molecular levels with an emphasis on nutrient-gene interactions and their subsequent impact on metabolic functions. My current research focuses are:
- Zinc, growth, and growth regulation
- Regulatory role of zinc in apoptosis
- Zinc and breast cancer
Micronutrients & Implications for Health
Sharma, D., Turkistani, A.A., Chang, W., Hu, C., Xu, Z., and Chang, T.K.H. (2017) Negative Regulation of Human Pregnane X Receptor by MicroRNA-18a-5p: Evidence for Suppression of MicroRNA-18a-5p Expression by Rifampin and Rilpivirine. Mol Pharmacol. (Accepted; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/mol.116.107003)
Lymburner, S., McLeod, S., Purtzki, M., Roskelley, C., and Xu, Z. (2013) Zinc inhibits magnesium-dependent migration of human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells on fibronectin. J Nutr Biochem. 24:1034-40
Simpson, M., and Xu, Z. (2006) Increased abundance of labile intracellular zinc during cell proliferation was due to increased retention of extracellular zinc in 3T3 cells. J Nutr Biochem. 17:541-547.
Lee, S., Simpson, M, Nimmo, M., and Xu, Z. (2004) Low zinc intake suppressed N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mammary tumorigenesis in Sprague-Dawley rats. Carcinogenesis. 25:1879-1885.
Lee, R., Woo, W., Wu, B., Kummer A., Duminy, H., and Xu, Z. (2003) Zinc accumulation in N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced rat mammary tumors is accompanied by an altered expression of ZnT-1 and metallothionein. Exp Bio Med. 228:689-696.