A Message from the Chair of GCNS
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Nutritional sciences as a discipline is distinguished by both its unique knowledge base and its mission to apply this knowledge to human health and disease. A well-trained nutritional scientist has the ability to approach research with tremendous breadth, ranging from studies focused on molecular mechanisms, to complex metabolic interactions, disease-health interactions, and behavioral processes. Given the wide-spread impact of nutrition on health and disease, nutritional scientists trained in research, teaching and service have diverse career opportunities. The Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences offers multidisciplinary training through M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Faculty members from many academic units provide for diversity in education and research in nutritional sciences. Educational opportunities exist in the agricultural, biological, behavioral, clinical, medical, social and molecular nutritional sciences. In addition to providing a strong foundation in nutrition knowledge, the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Nutritional Sciences offer interdisciplinary research training in state-of-the-art research laboratories.
Lisa A. Cassis, Ph.D.
Chairperson, Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences
About Dr. Cassis
Room 521B, Wethington Building
Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences
900 S. Limestone
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40536-0200
Tel: (859)-323-4933 ext 81400
Publication Listings in PubMed
• Professor of the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences
• Graduate Center for Toxicology, College of Medicine
• Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
• B.S., Pharmacy, West Virginia University
• Ph.D., Pharmacology, West Virginia University
• Postdoctoral Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Program, University of Wurzburg, West Germany
• Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia, Department of Pharmacology
• NIH Predoctoral Fellow
• NIH Postdoctoral Fellow
• NIH Career Development Award
• IBM Supercomputer
• Outstanding Professor
Specific Interest in Nutrition:
Renin-angiotensin system as a link between obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the US, and cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in patients with obesity. Research in Dr. Cassis’ laboratory aims to identify mechanisms linking obesity to cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). Dr. Cassis’ laboratory made the pivotal finding in 1988 that angiotensin II, the primary peptide of the renin-angiotensin system, is produced by adipocytes. Current studies examine adipose-derived angiotensin peptides as a mediator of hypertension, atherosclerosis and AAAs with obesity. Novel rodent models with adipocyte-specific deficiency of different components of the renin-angiotensin system are studied for their development of obesity and associated cardiovascular diseases. Methods range from cell/molecular approaches to whole body metabolism and assessment of cardiovascular function. Major areas of research focus include regulation of the adipocyte renin-angiotensin system, gender differences in obesity and cardiovascular diseases, and effects of environmental toxins on adipose tissue and cardiovascular function.