Loredana Quadro, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Food Science, Rutgers University
Ph.D., University of Napoli, Italy, 1996

Research Interests:

Photo: Loredana Quadro, Ph.D.

My research focuses on understanding the relationship between nutrients and human health, at different stages of the life cycle, through the use of genetically modified animal models. Vitamin A has so far served as a "model nutrient" to investigate this issue. Vitamin A is essential to maintain vision, reproduction, development and immune function. Furthermore, retinoids (vitamin A and its derivatives) modulate cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Not surprisingly, alterations of the vitamin A status have been associated with human chronic diseases such as cancer. Moreover, dietary deficiency of vitamin A (VAD) is a serious widespread problem affecting more that 750 million people worldwide. Even a mild VAD status may increase maternal mortality or affect organogenesis in the fetus, inducing clinically silent anomalies that can have a severe impact on health later in life.

Currently, my research is expanding in two main directions: 1. Mechanisms of maternal-fetal transfer of vitamin A and carotenoids; 2. Control of prostate epithelium proliferation by vitamin A signaling.

My long-term goal is the integration of these two interests, aiming at the molecular understanding of how maternal-fetal nutrition affects onset and progression of chronic diseases, such as cancer, in the offspring.

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