Stephen Hursting, PhD, MPH

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.




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 Research Team

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

Jody Albright

Research Technician, Hursting Lab

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 .

Abby Beuchler : <h4>Lab Assistant Intern, Hursting Lab</h4>

Abby Beuchler

Lab Assistant Intern, Hursting Lab
(704) 250-5059

Abby graduated from Gray Stone Day School in May 2019. She will be a lab assistant intern for a year in the Hursting Lab before deciding about the direction of her college studies. She is interested in dietetics and nutrition interventions in wellness.

William Pressel III : <h4>Research Technician, Hursting Lab</h4>

William Pressel III

Research Technician, Hursting Lab
(704) 250-5059

Before getting a B.S. in Biology from UNC Charlotte, Bill completed an A.A.S. in Biotechnology at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and worked with protein-polyphenol aggregates as a technician in Dr. Lila's lab at PHHI.  After graduating, their interests in the intersections of Nutritional Biology and Social Ecology have led their work/study through diverse occupations such as greenhouse management, restoration agriculture, community organizing, and worker cooperatives (currently they are involved in an exploratory group to build natural houses and pools, and do permaculture landscaping).  They are also very excited to be back in a lab environment and interested in continuing their education by entering a graduate program in the near future.

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

Melissa VerHague, PhD

Research Associate, Hursting Lab

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.