Stephen Hursting, PhD, MPH


Professor, Nutrition
is interested in diet-gene interactions relevant to cancer prevention, particularly the molecular and hormonal mechanisms underlying energy balance-cancer associations.

Dr. Hursting earned a BA in biology from Earlham College and a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and an MPH in nutritional epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also completed postdoctoral training in molecular biology and cancer prevention as a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Hursting was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Carcinogenesis at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he directed a multidisciplinary research program in nutrition and cancer prevention. He continues his affiliation with his former departments at the MD Anderson Cancer Center as a Professor of Carcinogenesis and Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology.

From 1999-2005, Dr. Hursting was Deputy Director of the NCI’s Office of Preventive Oncology, Division of Cancer Prevention. He was responsible for all aspects of the NCI’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. Dr. Hursting was also an Investigator in the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, where he was Chief of the Nutrition and Molecular Carcinogenesis Section of the NCI’s Laboratory of Biosystems and Cancer. His research program focuses on the nutritional modulation of the carcinogenesis process, with a particular emphasis on the molecular, cellular and hormonal changes underlying important nutrition and cancer associations, with a focus on energy balance/obesity.

 

 


 

 Research Team

Jody Albright : <h4>Research Technician, Hursting Lab</h4>

Jody Albright

Research Technician, Hursting Lab

jodyalb@email.unc.edu
704-250-5049

Jody Albright, a former business owner from Salisbury, is a 2011 graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus Comunity College with AS and AAS in Biotechnology degrees. He has recently joined the NRI in Dr. Bennett's lab as a laboratory technician. Jody is excited to use his recent education to develop several new protocols for the laboratory .



Michael Coleman, PhD : <h4>Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Hursting Lab</h4>

Michael Coleman, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Hursting Lab

mcoleman@unc.edu
704-250-5059

Michael Coleman joined the NRI in the Hursting Lab in the summer of 2017. He completed his PhD in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Rosemary O'Connor in University College Cork in Ireland.  His thesis work examined the role of an IGF-1 regulated mitochondrial protein, Pyrimidine Nucleotide Carrier 1 (PNC1), and mitochondrial homeostasis in cancer.  Michael joined Dr. Steven Hursting's group at the NRI working on the connection between obesity and cancer.



Salvador Fabela, PhD : <h4>Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Meyer Lab</h4>

Salvador Fabela, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Meyer Lab

salvador_fabela@unc.edu
704-250-5044

Salvador joined the NRI in the summer of 2017 as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Meyer Lab. He earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), focused on bacterial genetics and molecular biology. He then landed a postdoc at UNC-Chapel hill where he analyzed the changes in the gut microbiota exerted by prebiotics in aged mice and its beneficial health effects. He is currently focused on how dietary interventions modify the gut microbiome and metabolism in humans.



Melissa VerHague, PhD : <h4>Research Associate, Hursting Lab</h4>

Melissa VerHague, PhD

Research Associate, Hursting Lab

melissa_verhague@unc.edu
704-250-5049

Melissa VerHague earned her PhD in molecular pathology from Wake Forest University. Her dissertation investigated the impact of apolipoprotein A-IV on triglyceride secretion and lipoprotein particle expansion associated with hepatic steatosis. A native of Buffalo, NY, she joined the NRI as a postdoctoral research associate in September of 2014. Her primary research focus is understanding the role of CD44 in atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome.