Dr. Stephen Hursting is Professor in the Department of Nutrition and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is also Professor at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, NC.
He earned his PhD in nutritional biochemistry and MPH in nutritional epidemiology from UNC-Chapel Hill, and he completed postdoctoral training in molecular carcinogenesis and cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Prior to joining the UNC faculty in 2014, Dr. Hursting was Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas.
His research interests center on diet-gene interactions relevant to cancer prevention, particularly the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying obesity- cancer associations, and the interplay between obesity, diabetes and cancer. Primarily using genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of breast cancer in parallel with breast cancer prevention trials (in collaboration with Dr. Carol Fabian at the Kansas Cancer Center), he is currently focusing on the molecular and metabolic changes occurring in response to lifestyle-based (dietary and physical activity), or pharmacologic manipulation of energy metabolism and cell signaling pathways, with emphasis on the IGF-1/Akt/mTOR and Wnt signaling pathways as well as inflammation. He also has developed and is using several GEMMs of pancreatic and colon cancer, and has expertise in assessing diet-related serum and tissue biomarkers, including hormones/growth factors, cytokines and chemokines, and microRNA’s in mouse and human samples.