Janos Zempleni Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases
Postdoctoral Fellow, 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, 1995-1998
Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Department of Biochemistry, 1994-1995
Postdoctoral Fellow, Innsbruck University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Innsbruck, Austria, 1993-1994
Ph.D., Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Giessen, Germany, 1992
B.S., Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Giessen, Germany, 1988
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:
- humans absorb microRNAs in foods of animal origin
- absorption is mediated by endocytosis of exosomes and their microRNA cargo
- dietary microRNAs are delivered to peripheral tissues where they affect human gene expression
- endogenous microRNA synthesis is not sufficient to compensate for dietary microRNA depletion, and
- 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 lab has been continuously funded by NIH, USDA/NIFA, NSF and various foundations and external sources since 2001. We value high-quality, innovative research paired with a rewarding educational experience for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.