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The Dia Lab


Our work entails the evaluation of health-promoting properties of food-derived constituents. We are investigating the role of bioactive peptides and polyphenols in prevention and management of non-communicable diseases with emphasis on inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer. Our laboratory is currently working with peptides derived from soybean known as lunasin and a novel peptide we discovered from the seeds of bitter gourd we named BG-4. Initial findings showed promising effect of these bioactive peptides on inflammation-related diseases and cancer. In addition, the role of phenolic compounds derived from sorghum is being investigated. We reported the associated health benefits of sorghum phenolics as well as their stability in a model beverage system for potential product applications. Another area of research is the utilization of processing co- and by-products as potential sources of food bioactives and alternate food ingredients.

Funding Sources

USDA-HATCH, United Soybean Board-Soybean Health Research Program

Potential Impact

Determine the role of food-derived bioactives in human health and how can they be incorporated in the diet to improve over-all quality of life. By determining the mechanism of action involved, we can define the role of food constituents in the promotion of health and prevention of diseases.

Graduate Students


Andrea Nieto-Veloza


Andrew Sullivan (MS), Samuel Price (MS), Lana Matic (MS)



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