Plants for Health Experts

Date posted: August 17, 2010

Plants can serve as a source not only of nutrients but also of compounds that protect and enhance human health. These so-called secondary compounds — phytochemicals that aren’t directly involved in a plant’s normal growth, development or reproduction — help the plants protect and defend themselves and attract pollinators. When eaten, they can yield health benefits for the consumer. College scientists search for and identify such plant components in North Carolina and around the global. Also, through integrated research in metabolomics, biochemistry, pharmacogenomics, breeding and postharvest technology, they work to improve fruit and vegetable crops to counteract human disease, fight fatigue and enhance strength.

James Ballington
Professor
Horticultural Science
919-515-1214
jim_ballington@ncsu.edu

Muscadine grape breeding and evaluation for phenolic content and antioxidant activity as well as other health benefits and quality traits

Allan Brown
Assistant Professor
Horticultural Science
704-250-5417
allan_brown@ncsu.edu

Investigation of the genetics and stability of secondary metabolites in fruits and vegetables that have known health effects

David Danehower
Professor
Crop Science
919-515-3567
david_danehower@ncsu.edu

Development of methods for analyzing the active principles in phyto-pharmaceutical crops; protocols for the germination, propagation and agronomic production of these plants; and nutraceuticals from tobacco

Jeanine Davis
Associate Professor
Horticultural Science
828-684-3562
Jeanine_davis@ncsu.edu

Research and education programs related to the cultivation of native woodland botanicals with medicinal properties

Lisa Dean
Assistant Professor (USDA)
Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
919-515-6312
lloehrl@unity.ncsu.edu

Examination of peanut skins as source of natural antioxidant compounds for human health

Connie Fisk
Extension Associate
Horticultural Science
910-296-2143
connie_fisk@ncsu.edu

Evaluation of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of bio-available phenolic compounds in grape cultivars

Keith Harris
Assistant Professor
Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
919-513-2124
keith_harris@ncsu.edu

Investigation of functional properties of plant foods, including the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of flavonoids and related compounds

Scott Laster
Professor
Microbiology
919-515-7958
scott_laster@ncsu.edu

Evaluation of compounds from medicinal plants for their ability to prevent the growth of influenza and to offset symptoms associated with meningitis, periotonitis and endotoxemia; and research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that trigger inflammation

Mary Ann Lila
Professor and Director, Plants for Human Health Institute
Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
704-250-5407
mlila@ncsu.edu

Discovery and pre-clinical characterization of bioactive plant compounds with benefits for human health (hypoglycemic and adaptogenic properties and prophylaxis against malaria)

Joe-Ann McCoy
Germplasm Laboratory Director
Horticultural Science
828-665-2492
jmccoy@ncarboretum.org

Development of N.C. Medicinal Germplasm Repository at the N.C. Arboretum

Dilip Panthee
Assistant Professor
Horticultural Science
828-654-8590
dilip_panthee@ncsu.edu

Tomato breeding, including evaluating for content of lycopene, an antioxidant with anti-cancer properties

Penelope Perkins-Veazie
Professor
Horticultural Science
704-250-5419
penelope_perkins@ncsu.edu

Post-harvest research into the quality and nutritional value of fruit and vegetable crops (lutein and citrulline in cucumber, antioxidant content of blackberry and raspberry and carotenoid profile of tomato and watermelon)

Sara Spayd
Professor
Horticultural Science
919-513-0772
sara_spayd@ncsu.edu

Evaluation of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of bio-available phenolic compounds in grape cultivars

Todd Wehner
Professor and Assistant Department Head
Horticultural Science
919-515-363
todd_wehner@ncsu.edu

Breeding watermelon for high lycopene, prolycopene and citrulline content; cantaloupe for resistance to food-borne pathogens; and cucumber for high lutein content

Deyu Xie
Assistant Professor
Plant Biology
919-515-2129
dxie@ncsu.edu

Isolation, structural identification, biosynthesis and metabolic engineering of plant flavonoids from medicinal plants and crops, including Artemisia annua for antimalarial drug; and finding sources for protection against and treatment of aging diseases and cancer

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