Thomas Kensler, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program, was awarded a $6.3 million Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This new, 7-year award acknowledges experienced researchers and provides them with long-term support for their exceptional work.
Dr. Kensler’s research focuses on chemoprevention, or how food can be used to lower the risk of developing cancer caused by unavoidable environmental toxins. Research has shown that controlling diet, increasing exercise and quitting smoking can decrease the risk of developing cancer; however, environmental toxins such as fossil fuel combustion products are more difficult to mitigate. Past studies by Dr. Kensler’s team in China, where environmental controls are less rigorous, have examined the bioactive molecules in broccoli and how they may help people there detoxify air pollutants. He and his team will focus on a biological pathway known to play a role in detoxification, identify and validate biomarkers of its activity, and examine the molecular consequences of its chronic activation.
Watch Dr. Kensler discuss his work in the video.