Plant Biologist, Pharmacogenomics
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky recognizes that millions of people rely on botanicals and other natural products to prevent disease, maintain wellness, or treat illness or pain. In his research program, he is working to develop a strong interdisciplinary program for systematic evaluation of the efficacy and safety of botanicals and natural products; and to fulfill the critical need for additional basic and translational research on the bioavailability and bioactivity of botanicals and their mechanisms of action in treatment or prevention of metabolic diseases.
An increased understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms of a disease is essential to develop better and more effective therapies. Toward this end, Dr. Komarnysky’s research focuses on several related areas:
- Discovery of novel drugs of botanical or microbial origin that enhance satiety, decrease insulin resistance and suppress inflammation using live cell assays.
- Understanding the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome by identifying pathways important in progression of obesity and diabetes and by studying cellular regulation of substrate metabolism in skeletal muscle and fat.
- Investigating precisely how individual genetic factors influence response to a particular botanical or natural product (pharmacogenomics) using protein chemistry, real time PCR, arrays and animal models.