Janos Zempleni


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Janos Zempleni

Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases

Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995-1998, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
Postdoctoral Fellow, 1994-1995, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Department of Biochemistry
Postdoctoral Fellow, 1993-1994, Innsbruck University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Innsbruck, Austria
Ph.D., 1992, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Giessen, Germany
B.S., 1988, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Giessen, Germany

Dietary microRNAs; epigenetics; molecular biology; gene regulation; human nutrition.

The Zempleni lab has a long track record of research in nutrition and epigenetics. More recently, we discovered a novel class of bioactive food compounds, i.e., dietary microRNAs. We have demonstrated that 1) humans absorb microRNAs in foods of animal origin, 2) absorption is mediated by endocytosis of exosomes and their microRNA cargo, 3) dietary microRNAs are delivered to peripheral tissues where they affect human gene expression, 4) endogenous microRNA synthesis is not sufficient to compensate for dietary microRNA depletion, and 5) dietary microRNA status elicits phenotypes regarding fertility, body fat mass, and purine metabolism. Studies of dietary microRNAs are currently the exclusive research focus in the Zempleni laboratory, using cell culture, human and animal models.

The Zempleni lab has been continuously funded by NIH, USDA/NIFA, NSF and various foundations and external sources since 2001. The lab values high-quality, innovative research paired with a rewarding educational experience for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.

 

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2015, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences2015, Omtvedt Innovation Award, Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources2014, Outstanding Investigator Award, Vitamin and Mineral Research Interest Section (American Society for Nutrition)2013, Nominator for the MacArthur foundations MacArthur Fellows Program2012, Outstanding Investigator Award, Nutrient-Gene Interactions Research Interest Section (American Society for Nutrition)2010, Associate Member in the Molecular Biochemical Etiology Program at the Eppley Cancer Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center2010-Present, Member of the Micronutrients Genomics Project, The European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO)2009-Present, Member of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Pharmaceutics and Biophysics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center2009, Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award by the College of Education and Human Sciences2009, Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in AmericaPaper, “K4, K9, and K18 in human histone H3 are targets for biotinylation by biotinidase” (by Kobza K et al. FEBS J 272:4249-4259, 2005) selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology for the significant contributions it makes to the chromatin field2007, Winner of the Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award by the Nebraska Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta2006, Winner of the Mead Johnson Award 2006 by the American Society for Nutrition2004 and 2005, One of six finalists for the "Future Leader Award" by the International Life Sciences Institute, USA competition2002, Recognition of Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research Award by the Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Experience
Director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules (http://cehs.unl.edu/npod)Director of the Nebraska Gateway to Nutrigenomics (http://nutrigenomics.unl.edu/)2011-Present, Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences2010, Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences2006-2010, Associate Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences2001-2006, Assistant Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences2000-2001, Research Assistant Professor at The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology1999-2000, Assistant Research Professor at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Department of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology)1998-1999, Instructor at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Department of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology)
Memberships
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)The American Physiological Society (APS)American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)The American Society for Nutrition (ASN)American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles (ASEMV)Gamma Sigma DeltaInternational Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV)Sigma XiAcademic Society for Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds