Steven K Clinton, MD, PhD, Interim Director
Dr. Steven Clinton received his medical degree (M.D.) and Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois. He subsequently completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, and his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Clinton joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in 1998 and holds appointments in the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine, and the Department of Urology, both in the College of Medicine. He also serves as faculty for The Department of Human Sciences within the College of Education and Human Ecology. He is the leader of the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Clinton is a physician-scientist who has devoted his career to research in cancer etiology and prevention. His laboratory program has published extensively upon the role of dietary energy balance and obesity in cancer risk, in addition to a variety of foods associated with cancer prevention properties, such as hops, tomatoes, soy, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), as well as several nutrients including vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. His laboratory has expertise in molecular biology, cellular and experimental models of carcinogenesis, as well as human clinical trials. These studies are often done in collaboration with scientists in other disciplines at Ohio State, such as the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in a coordinated “crops to clinic” research effort.
Dr. Clinton is also an Associate Director of CAFFRE, where he serves to define the research mission with a particular focus upon cancer prevention and human clinical trials.
Devin G Peterson, PhD, Co-director
Devin Peterson is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University. He earned a doctoral degree in Flavor Chemistry (2001) at the University of Minnesota. In 2001 he joined the faculty in the Department of Food Science at Penn State University. During his tenure at Penn State, in 2004 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) that is presented by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2009, he returned to the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2014. He received the Excellence in Flavor Science Award from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association in 2015. In 2016, he relocated his research program to The Ohio State University as part of the Discovery Themes Initiative. His research efforts focus on characterizing chemical stimuli that impart flavor to foodstuffs (taste, aroma, chemesthetic, mouthfeel), investigating multi-flavor interactions on perception, mapping pathways of flavor generation/stability and mechanisms of flavor delivery. His program is based on a utility inspired fundamental research platform with an overarching goal to get more from nature, guided by science, to support the development of sustainable, nutritious, and healthy foods with higher product acceptability. He initiated and directs the Flavor Research and Education Center (FREC), a partnership between academic researchers and industry leaders focused on the creation, exchange, and application of knowledge to drive innovation in the food marketspace.
Ken M Riedl, PhD, Technical Director
Dr. Ken Riedl is an expert in analytical chemistry who develops and applies high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to the understanding of dietary food components in disease prevention and control. He operates three HPLC-mass spectrometry platforms (triple quadrupole, quadrupole ion trap, quadrupole time-of-flight), each with unique capabilities for identifying and quantifying phytochemicals and their metabolites. A broad background in food science, biochemistry, and analytical chemistry strengthens his role in collaborative, multidisciplinary studies. Dr. Riedl studied food science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, where he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He earned his PhD in biochemistry from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, investigating polyphenol-protein complexes as antioxidants. While a postdoctoral associate at Ohio State, he trained with Professor Steven Schwartz to develop LC-MS/MS skills toward quantitative phytochemical and metabolite analyses of carotenoids and polyphenols in particular and later added skills in untargeted metabolomics and targeted/untargeted lipidomics workflows. He has a strong interest in human microbiome metabolites and phenotyping. Dr. Riedl has co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed articles and those articles have been cited more than 5,000 times according to Google Scholar. He is currently co-investigator on a U01 grant awarded by the NCI on Interactive Omics: Black raspberry metabolites and the oral microbiome in smokers in collaboration with investigators from the OSU Dental College, Dept of Public Health, and Medical Oncology, where his role is conducting analysis of phytochemicals, their human metabolites, as well as untargeted urinary metabolomics. The NPASR was created in 2010 and he has since served there as technical director and bench chemist.
Jenny Panescu, MS, Laboratory Services Coordinator
Ms. Panescu brings a broad range of experience in key areas of life science and laboratory settings spanning many years, nearly all acquired from The Ohio State University. In addition, she has a proven track record for contributing to research, having authored and co-authored multiple publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
Ms. Panescu has held research and laboratory management roles in genomics core laboratory services, environmental microbiology, molecular biology and hereditary colorectal cancer research. Over the years she has developed expertise in laboratory techniques ranging from cultivating and studying aerobic and anaerobic bacteria from extreme environments, microscopy and chromatography, to NGS, Sanger DNA sequencing, genotyping, PCR/qPCR and more recently, mass spectrometry. Likewise, Ms. Panescu has worked with a wide range of analytical instruments, including laser fluorescence confocal and phase-contrast microscopes, anaerobic cultivation equipment including anaerobic chambers, liquid handling robots, 3730 DNA Analyzer, the Dionex ICS-2100 ion chromatograph and Shimadzu TOC/TN analyzer. She holds a BSc in microbiology and more recently completed a MSc degree in Environmental Science (August 2018), both obtained from OSU. For her master’s project, she cultivated and characterized Arcobacter and Marinobacter strains recovered from shale fluids after hydraulic fracturing to elucidate their metabolic significance in three key areas of interest: well souring and infrastructure deterioration, degradation of shale-derived hydrocarbons, and reduction of xenobiotic organic compounds introduced through the fracturing process.
Since joining NPASR in October 2019, Ms. Panescu functions as laboratory manager and lab safety officer, and has been training in mass spectrometry on a triple quadrupole UHPLC-MS/MS system (Agilent 1290 Infinity II/6495 QqQ).
Fabio C Chaves, PhD, Post-doctoral Researcher
Dr. Fabio Chaves has extensive experience in laboratory settings working with several analytical platforms including LC-MS for the identification and quantification of phytochemicals.
Dr. Chaves has bachelor’s degrees in Agronomy from the Federal University of Pelotas and in Chemistry from the Catholic University of Pelotas. For his master’s degree in Agchemistry at the Federal University of Viçosa, he synthesized analogues of fungal natural products (helminthosporol and helminthosporal) with herbicidal activity. Dr. Chaves earned his Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Rutgers University studying cocoa specialized metabolites (proanthocyanidins) and hormones involved in interactions with fungal pathogens and associated with postharvest quality. Dr. Chaves has worked in the cocoa industry as a research scientist with focus optimizing fat, flavor, and flavanols in chocolate, as a postdoctoral researcher focused on postharvest quality with the goal of improving nutritional and functional composition of food crops in the Food Science and Technology Department at the Federal University of Pelotas, and with natural products (lignans) biosynthesis at the Chemistry Institute of the University of São Paulo prior to becoming a Professor at the Federal University of Pelotas. Professor Chaves developed and taught graduate and undergraduate level courses, held various administrative positions, mentored and advised several students, and founded and developed a chromatography and mass spectrometry laboratory and research program in the Food Science and Technology Graduate Program focusing on analysis of mycotoxins (patulin, deoxynivalenol, aflatoxins, fumonisin, ochratoxins, zearalenone), pesticides, and plant-derived compounds (abscisic acid, ascorbic acid, and other organic acids, amino acids, sugars, capsaicinoids, polyphenols, among others). Dr. Chaves was a visiting scholar at the University of Calgary where he worked with metabolic engineering of plant terpenoid (paclitaxel) biosynthetic pathways in yeast. Dr. Chaves returned to the United States as a postdoctoral researcher at the proteomics and metabolomics facility at Colorado State University where he worked on metabolomics of sugar-beet/pathogen interactions (lipids, specialized metabolites, and volatiles), and has since moved to Ohio and held a postdoctoral position at NPASR until October 2020.
Professor Steven Schwartz
Professor Steven Schwartz, was holder of the Carl E. Haas Endowed Chair in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Food Science and Technology. He was a member of the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program at the OSUCCC – James, and directed the Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship (CAFFRE) at Ohio State. In addition, Dr. Schwartz was a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Nutrition (OSUN) in the College of Education and Human Ecology, Department of Human Nutrition.
Dr. Schwartz’s academic specialty centered on bio-availability, metabolism and physiological significance of phytochemicals, with particular emphasis on nutrients, phytochemicals, and bioactive components in foods related to chronic disease, oxidative stress, and cancer prevention and control. Other interests included chemistry of plant secondary metabolites; particularly chlorophylls, carotenoids, and pro-vitamin A nutrients. Dr. Schwartz earned his PhD in Environmental Toxicology and Food Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He established NPASR in 2010 at the request of the OSUCCC.