Nancy D. Turner

Nancy Turner

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Professor of Nutrition



Research Area

Dr. Turner’s research focuses on identifying bioactive compounds in the diet that suppress colon carcinogenesis and inflammatory bowel disease. Part of the projects are targeted at studying the regulation of colonocyte proliferation and apoptosis, and determining how dietary components influence apoptosis induction in order to eliminate DNA damaged cells. Current research is designed to understand how diet and radiation exposures influence the intestinal environment, with particular attention to the interaction between microbiota and colon epithelia. Recent outcomes have detected changes in the metabolic profile of microbiota after radiation exposure and have identified dietary interventions that protect against colon disease through the establishment of beneficial bacterial populations that produce desirable microbial metabolic byproducts. Changes in the microbial metabolites were shown to impact epigenetic regulation of gene transcription and host metabolomic profile. In addition, we have recently started working to understand how diet impacts apoptosis induction in colon adult stem cells, especially in response to DNA damaging agents. A current NASA-funded project will determine the response of colon microbiota, the microbial metabolites and epigenetic state of colonocytes to radiation exposures. Work conducted in the laboratory is currently funded by the United Sorghum Checkoff Board, the California Dried Plum Board, NASA and USDA.

Recent publications 

Maslin, L.A., B.R. Weeks, R.J. Carroll, D.H. Byrne, and N.D. Turner.  2022.  Chlorogenic acid and quercetin in a diet with fermentable fiber influence multiple processes involved in DSS-induced ulcerative colitis but do not reduce injury. Nutrients 14:3706.  PMID 36145086

Turner, N.D. and R.S. Chapkin.  2022.  Biography of Joanne R. Lupton.  Invited. Journal of Nutrition 152:914-916.

Turner, N.D. and J.R. Lupton.  2021.  Dietary fiber.  Advances in Nutrition 12:2553-2555.  PMID 34687531.

Little-Letsinger, S.E., N.D. Turner, J.R. Ford, L.J. Suva, and S.A. Bloomfield.  2021.  Omega-3 fatty acid modulation of serum and osteocyte tumor necrosis factor-a in adult mice exposed to ionizing radiation.  Journal of Applied Physiology (1985) 130:627-639. PMID 33411639

Kim, E., G.A. Wright, R.S. Zoh, B.S. Patil, G.K. Jayaprakasha, E.S. Callaway, I. Ivanov, N.D. Turner, R.S. Chapkin.  2019.  Establishment of a multicomponent dietary bioactive human equivalent dose to delete damaged Lgr5+ stem cells using a mouse colon tumor initiation model.  European Journal of Cancer Prevention 28:383-389.  PMID 30234553

Riggs, P.K., L.O. Tedeschi, N.D. Turner, U. Braga-Neto, A. Jayaraman.  2017.  The role of “omics” technologies for livestock sustainability.  Arch. Latinioam. Prod. Anim. 25:147-153.

Seidel, D.V., M.A. Azcarate-Peril, R.S. Chapkin, and N.D. Turner.  2017.  Shaping functional microbiota using dietary bioactives to reduce colon cancer risk.  Seminars in Cancer Biology 46:191-204.  10.1016/j.semcancer.2017.06.009

Tinder, A.C., R.T. Puckett, N.D. Turner, J.A. Cammack, and J.K. Tomberlin.  2017.  Bioconversion of sorghum and cowpea by black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens (L.)) larvae for alternative protein production.  Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 3:121-130.

Ritchie, L.E., S.S. Taddeo, B.R. Weeks, R.J. Carroll, L. Dykes, L.W. Rooney, and N.D. Turner.  2017. Impact of novel sorghum bran diets on DSS-induced colitis. Nutrients 9: doi: 10.3390/nu9040330.  PMID 28346392.

Turner, N.D. and S.K. Lloyd.  2017.  Association between red meat consumption and colon cancer: A systematic review of experimental results.  Experimental Biology & Medicine 242:813-839 (Invited review). PMID 28205448.

Banerjee, N., H. Kim, S.T. Talcott, N.D. Turner, D.H. Byrne, and S.U. Mertens-Talcott.  2016.  Plum polyphenols inhibit colorectal aberrant crypt foci formation in rats: Potential role of the miR-143/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin axis.  Nutrition Research 36:1105-1113.  PMID 27865352.

Kim, E., L.A. Davidson, R.S. Zoh, M.E. Hensel, M.L. Salinas, B.S. Patil, G.K. Jayaprakasha, E.S. Callaway, C.D. Allred, N.D. Turner, B. Weeks, and R.S. Chapkin.  2016.  Rapidly cycling Lgr5+ stem cells are exquisitely sensitive to extrinsic dietary factors that modulate colon cancer risk.  Cell Death & Disease 7, e2460: doi:10.1038/cddis.2016.269.  PMID 27865352.

Schreurs, A-S., Y. Shirazi-Fard, M. Shahnazari, J.S. Alwood, T.A. Truong, C.G.T. Tahimic, C.L. Limoli, N.D. Turner, B. Halloran, and R.K. Globus.  2016.  Dried plum diet protects from bone loss caused by ionizing radiation.  Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep21343.  PMID 26867002.

Kim, E., L.A. Davidson, R.S. Zoh, B.S. Patil, G.K. Jayaprakasha, E.S. Callaway, C.D. Allred, N.D. Turner, and R.S. Chapkin.  2016.  Homeostatic responses of colonic LGR5 stem cells following acute in vivo exposure to a genotoxic carcinogen.  Carcinogenesis 37:206-214.  PMID 26717997.

Hong, M.Y., N.D. Turner, M.E. Murphy, R.J. Carroll, R.S. Chapkin, and J.R. Lupton.  2015.  In vivo regulation of colon cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and P27Kip1 by dietary fish oil and butyrate in rats.  Cancer Prevention Research 8:1076-1083.  PMID 26323483.

Ritchie, L.E., S.S. Taddeo, B.R. Weeks, F. Lima, S.A. Bloomfield, M.A. Azcarate-Peril, S.R. Zwart, S.M. Smith, and N.D. Turner.  2015.  Space environmental factor impacts upon murine colon microbiota and mucosal homeostasis. PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125792.  PMID 26083373

Ritchie, L.E., J.M. Sturino, R.J. Carroll, L.W. Rooney, A. Azcarate-Peril, and N.D. Turner.  2015.  Polyphenol-rich sorghum brans alter colon microbiota and impacts species diversity and species richness after multiple bouts of dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 91:  PMID 25764457.

Morgan, J.L.L., L.E. Ritchie, B.E. Crucian, C. Theriot, H. Wu, S.M. Smith, N.D. Turner, and S.R. Zwart.  2014.  Increased dietary iron and radiation in rats promotes oxidative stress, localized and systemic immune system responses, and alters colon mucosal environment.  FASEB J. 28:1486-1498. PMID: 24334706.

Cho, Y., N.D. Turner, L.A. Davidson, R.S. Chapkin, R.J. Carroll, and J.R. Lupton.  2014.  Colon cancer cell apoptosis is induced by combined exposure to the n-3 fatty acid DHA and butyrate through promoter methylation.  Experimental Biology and Medicine 239:302-310.  PMID: 24495951.

Turner, N.D., L.E. Ritchie, R.S. Bresalier, and R.S. Chapkin.  2013.  The microbiome and colorectal neoplasia – environmental modifiers of dysbiosis.  Current Gastroenterology Reports 15(9):346.  PMID: 23949252.