Dorothy Teegarden, PhD


Foods and Nutrition

Contact Information

Purdue University
1264 Stone Hall
700 West State St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1264
Phone: (765) 494-8246
Fax: (765) 494-0906

Education Background

  • B.S. in Biology at Antioch College in 1976
  • Ph.D. in Human Nutrition and Nutritional Biology at University of Chicago in 1984

Awards and Honors

  • 2006 Faculty Award in Research o f Merit Recipient, ÃÓÄ
  • 2006 Departmental Teaching Award, Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University
  • 2006 A Seed for Success Recipient, Purdue University
  • 2008 Purdue Cancer Center Member, Purdue University
  • 2008 Lead, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Oncological Sciences Center, Purdue University


Nutrition and Cancer

Vitamin D status is associated with a reduced incidence of several cancers, including prostate, colon and breast cancer. Dr. Teegarden's laboratory is investigating the role and the mechanism of vitamin D metabolites in the growth and programmed cell death (PCD or apoptosis) of cells. Cell models for multistage carcinogenesis are used to investigate these mediators in her laboratory. Studies in her laboratory have shown that 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D inhibits apoptosis in ‘normal’, untransformed cells. On the other hand, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D does not protect C3H10T1/2 cells transfected with the ras oncogene, a mutation found in approximately 30% of tumors, from apoptosis. Currently, the mechanism by which 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D regulates hypoxia inducible factor is being investigated in breast cell model systems. In addition, the signaling pathways and the role of the nuclear vitamin D receptor mediating its effects are being explored.

The active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25dihydroxyvitamin D, mediates rapid signals in addition to the well known genomic regulation via the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It is not clear if the VDR regulates all the rapid signals, or if another receptor is responsible. Dr. Teegarden's laboratory is investigating is also exploring the molecular mechanisms that regulate rapid signaling pathways in prostate cells.

Calcium, Dairy Products and Body Composition

Our laboratory was one of the first to publish results demonstrating a negative correlation between dairy product or calcium intake and body fat in 2000. We have completed multiple single center clinical trials, several multi-center trials, and a series of cell culture mechanistic studies to investigate this area. Further, the regulation of insulin resistance by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone are also being investigated in her laboratory. We are currently investigating the independent roles of dietary calcium and vitamin D on body composition and insulin resistance in animal models. We are also investigating the impact of parathyroid hormone and 1,25dihydroxyvitamin D on lipid oxidation, lean mass and components of insulin resistance in cell model systems.

Discovery Publications (selected)

Siddiqui SMK, Chang E, Li J, Burlage C, Zou M, Buhman KK, Koser S, Donkin SS and Teegarden D. (2008) Dietary intervention with vitamin D, calcium and whey protein reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in rats. Nutrition Res 28:783-790.

Li J, Byrne ME, Chang E, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Buhman KK, Burgess JR and Teegarden D. (2008) 1á,25-dihydroxyvitamin D hydroxylase in adipocytes, J Steroid Biochem 112:122-126.

Teegarden D and Gunther CW. (2008) Can the controversial relationship between dietary calcium and body weight be mechanistically explained by alterations in appetite and food intake? Nutr Rev 66:601-605.

Taber L, Adams LS, D. Teegarden. Mechanisms of nuclear vitamin D receptor resistance Harvey-ras transfected cells. J Nutr Biochem, in press.

Teegarden D, White K, Lyle RM, Zemel MB, Van Loan M, Matkovic V, Craig B, Schoeller D. Calcium and dairy product modulation of lipid utilization and energy expenditure. Obesity, in press.

Gunther CW, Legowski PA, Lyle RM, McCabe GP, Eagan MS, Peacock M, Teegarden D. Dairy products do not lead to alterations in body weight and fat mass in young women in a one year intervention. Am J Clin Nutr 81:751-6, 2005.

Adams LS, Teegarden D. 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol inhibits apoptosis in C3H10T½ murine fibroblast cells through activation of nuclear factor k B. J Nutr 134:2948-52, 2004.

Castillo SS, D. Teegarden. Ceramide conversion to sphingosine-1-phosphate is essential for survival in C3H10T ½ cells. Journal of Nutrition. 2003. 131:2826-30, 2003.

Castillo SS and D. Teegarden. The requirement of ERK activiation and MKP-1 in sphingosine-1-phosphate mediated inhibition of apopsosis in C3H10T ½ cells. J Nutrition. 2000. 133:3343-3349, 2000.

Lin, Y.-C., R. M. Lyle, L. D. McCabe, G. P. McCabe, C. M. Weaver and D. Teegarden. Calcium intake effects on two year changes in body composition in young women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2000. 19:754-760, 2000.

Books, Chapters, and Monographs Publications

Teegarden D and Gunther C. Minerals and Food Intake: A Human Perspective. In: Appetite and Food Intake: Behavioral and Physiological Considerations. Harris R and Mattes R., ed. Taylor and Francis.

Teegarden D. Dietary Calcium and Obesity. In: Weaver CM and Heaney RP, editors. Calcium in Human Health. pp: 327-339; Humana Press Inc. Totowa NJ, 2005.

Teegarden D. Dietary Calcium and the Metabolic Syndrome. In: Weaver CM and Heaney RP, editors. Calcium in Human Health. pp:401-409, Humana Press Inc. 2005.



Foods and Nutrition 315 Fundamentals of Nutrition - Basic principles of nutrition and their application in meeting nutritional needs during the life cycle.

Lipid Signaling. Graduate level course to understand the molecular mechanisms, impact and conceptual basis of lipid signaling.

Foods and Nutrition 605 Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology I - The goal is to provide a foundation to graduate students in the scientific concepts relevant to nutrient metabolism and nutrient-disease interaction. Topics covered in this semester include: cell biology of the intestine, nutrient transport, carbohydrate metabolism, and mineral metabolism.

Obesity: Physiology, Biochemistry, and Policy. Graduate level course exploring the molecular and environmental etiology of obesity, and to discuss public policy and economic issues associated with obesity.

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