Photo of Maret TraberPrincipal Investigator and Ava Helen Pauling Professor, Linus Pauling Institute 
Director, Oxidative/Nitrative Stress Core Laboratory, Linus Pauling Institute
Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Office: 451 Linus Pauling Science Center
Telephone: 541-737-7977
Fax: 541-737-5077
Email Address:

Mailing/Express Delivery Address:
Maret G. Traber, Ph.D.
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
307 Linus Pauling Science Center
Corvallis, OR 97331

Research Interests

Our laboratory investigates vitamin E.  Why do we need it? How much do we need? What is the best way to consume it? Are there adverse effects from consuming too much? Nearly 100 years after the discovery of vitamin E, we recognize that α-tocopherol is required for human life, functions as a potent fat-soluble antioxidant, and is regulated by the human body. A protein in the liver, the α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP), is critical to maintain adequate vitamin E concentrations in the body. We have discovered that this protein is also necessary in the developing brain, likely to deliver vitamin E as the brain is forming. To do these studies we use the zebrafish because its genes are similar to many of those in humans. Using the zebrafish model, we are now seeking to better define the functional role of α-tocopherol by studying vitamin E deficiency. At the other extreme, we also study vitamin E excess. We have found that vitamin E metabolism serves to prevent excess accumulation of vitamin E in the body. We are currently investigating how these mechanisms might have adverse effects with respect to vitamin K metabolism. Overall, the assessment of the delivery and function of vitamin E in humans has lagged because previously we lacked the appropriate tools. We are in the process of developing an intravenous preparation of vitamin E labeled with deuterium to be able, for the first time, to measure the absorption, biokinetics, and bioavailability of vitamin E in humans. 


1972 B.S., Nutrition and Food Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1976 Ph.D., Nutrition, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Professional Experience

1972-1976 Research Assistant, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1976-1977 Instructor of Nutrition, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
1977-1993 Assistant Research Scientist to Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
1994-1998 Associate Research Biochemist, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1998-present Principal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
1998-2002 Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
2002-present Professor, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Honors and Awards

2003 Outstanding Paper Presentation Award at the 94th Annual AOCS Meeting and Expo, Kansas City, MO
2004 Honorary Lifetime Member, Oxygen Club of California
2008 Faculty Excellence Award, College of Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University
2010 Volunteer Service Award, Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine
2011 Member Recognition Award, Vitamins & Minerals Research Interest Group, American Society for Nutrition
2013 Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Nutrition Sciences Award, presented by the American Society for Nutrition
2013 DSM Nutritional Science Award on Fundamental Research in Human Nutrition

Professional Activities

Editor/Editorial Board

  • Associate Editor, Lipids (1994-2005)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Nutrition (2001-2007; 2015-present)
  • Editorial Board, Free Radical Biology & Medicine (2002-present)
  • Editorial Board, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005-2015)


  • Advisor, Committee on Military Nutrition Research-Institute of Medicine (Aug 2004)

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Society for Nutrition
  • Member, Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine
  • President and Advisory Board Member, Oxygen Club of California


  • Member, Panel on Antioxidants and Related Nutrients, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science (1997-2000)
  • Goodman-Fielder Oration, Monash University Melbourne, Australia (1998)
  • Jean Anderson Centennial Visiting Professor in Nutrition, University of Texas, Austin TX (1999)
  • Burroughs Wellcome Trust Visiting Professor in the Basic Medical Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (2001-2002)
  • Member, Integrated Nutrition and Metabolic Processes Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health (2003-2007)
  • Courtesy Faculty Member, Professor, Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic Internship Program, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon (2003-present)
  • Honorary Lifetime Member, Oxygen Club of California (2004)

Research Projects

R01 DK067930 (Traber, PI)
Vitamin E Requirements in Women
Period: June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2015

DSM (Traber, PI)
Relationship of Vitamin E Adequacy to a Vitamin E Biomarker, α-CEHC
Period: July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015

Recent Publications

Mah E, Sapper TN, Chitchumroonchokchai C, Failla ML, Schill KE, Clinton SK, Bobe G, Traber MG, Bruno RS. (2015) α-Tocopherol bioavailability is lower in adults with metabolic syndrome regardless of dairy fat co-ingestion: a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr 102:1070-80. 

Choi J, Leonard SW, Kasper K, McDougall M, Stevens JF, Tanguay RL, Traber MG. (2015) Novel function of vitamin E in regulation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain lysophospholipids discovered using lipidomics.  J Lipid Res 56:1182-1190.

Traber MG, Leonard SW, Bobe G, Fu X, Saltzman E, Grusak MA, Booth SL. (2015) α-Tocopherol disappearance rates from plasma depend on lipid concentrations: studies using deuterium-labeled collard greens in younger and older adults. Am J Clin Nutr 101:752-759.

Watts EJ, Shen Y, Lansky EP, Nevo E, Bobe G, Traber MG. (2015) High environmental stress yields greater tocotrienol content while changing vitamin E profiles of wild emmer wheat seeds. J Med Food 18:216-223.

Traber MG. (2014) Vitamin E inadequacy in humans: causes and consequences. Adv Nutr 5:503-514.

Mah E, Pei R, Guo Y, Masterjohn C, Ballard KD, Taylor BA, Taylor AW, Traber MG, Volek JS, Bruno RS. (2014) Greater γ-tocopherol status during acute smoking abstinence with nicotine replacement therapy improved vascular endothelial function by decreasing 8-iso-15(S)-prostaglandin F2α. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), Epub ahead of print.

Hall JA, Bobe G, Vorachek WR, Kasper K, Traber MG, Mosher WD, Pirelli GJ, Gamroth M. (2014) Effect of supranutritional organic selenium supplementation on postpartum blood micronutrients, antioxidants, metabolites, and inflammation biomarkers in selenium-replete dairy cows. Biol Trace Elem Res 161:272-287.

Traber MG. (2014) Vitamin K conundrums. Mol Nutr Food Res 58:1589.

Farley SM, Leonard SW, Stevens JF, Traber MG. (2014) Deuterium-labeled phylloquinone fed to α-tocopherol-injected rats demonstrates sensitivity of low phylloquinone-containing tissues to menaquinone-4 depletion. Mol Nutr Food Res 58:1610-1619.

Athinarayanan S, Wei R, Zhang M, Bai S, Traber MG, Yates K, Cummings OW, Molleston J, Liu W, Chalasani N. (2014) Genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450 4F2, vitamin E level and histological response in adults and children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who participated in PIVENS and TONIC clinical trials. PLoS One 9:e95366.

Kramer CM, Launis KL, Traber MG, Ward DP. (2014) Vitamin E levels in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) expressing a p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate gene from oat (Avena sativa L.). J Agric Food Chem 62:3453-3457.

Motorykin I, Traber MG, Tanguay RL, Maier CS. (2014) Proteome-driven elucidation of adaptive responses to combined vitamin E and C deficiency in zebrafish. J Proteome Res 13:1647-1656.

Miller GW, Truong L, Barton CL, Labut EM, Lebold KM, Traber MG, Tanguay RL. (2014) The influences of parental diet and vitamin E intake on the embryonic zebrafish transcriptome. Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics 10C:22-29.

Murer SB, Aeberli I, Braegger CP, Gittermann M, Hersberger M, Leonard SW, Taylor AW, Traber MG, Zimmermann MB. (2014) Antioxidant supplements reduced oxidative stress and stabilized liver function tests but did not reduce inflammation in a randomized controlled trial in obese children and adolescents. J Nutr 144:193-201.

Lebold KM, Traber MG. (2014) Interactions between α-tocopherol, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and lipoxygenases during embryogenesis. Free Radic Biol Med 66:13-19.

Lebold KM, Kirkwood JS, Taylor AW, Choi J, Barton CL, Miller GW, Du JL, Jump DB, Stevens JF, Tanguay RL, Traber MG. (2013) Novel liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method shows that vitamin E deficiency depletes arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. Redox Biol 2:105-113.

Depner CM, Traber MG, Bobe G, Kensicki E, Bohren KM, Milne G, Jump DB. (2013) A metabolomic analysis of omega-3 fatty acid-mediated attenuation of western diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in LDLR-/- mice. PLoS One 8:e83756.

Mah E, Pei R, Guo Y, Ballard KD, Barker T, Rogers VE, Parker BA, Taylor AW, Traber MG, Volek JS, Bruno RS. (2013) γ-Tocopherol-rich supplementation additively improves vascular endothelial function during smoking cessation. Free Radic Biol Med 65:1291-1299.

Iwaniec UT, Turner RT, Smith BJ, Stoecker BJ, Rust A, Zhang B, Vasu VT, Gohil K, Cross CE, Traber MG. (2013) Evaluation of long-term vitamin E insufficiency or excess on bone mass, density, and microarchitecture in rodents. Free Radic Biol Med 65:1209-1214.

Traber MG. (2013) Mechanisms for the prevention of vitamin E excess. J Lipid Res 54:2295-2306.

Lebold KM, Löhr CV, Barton CL, Miller GW, Labut EM, Tanguay RL, Traber MG. (2013) Chronic vitamin E deficiency promotes vitamin C deficiency in zebrafish leading to degenerative myopathy and impaired swimming behavior. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 157:382-389.

Farley SM, Leonard SW, Taylor AW, Birringer M, Edson KZ, Rettie AE, Traber MG. (2013) ω-Hydroxylation of phylloquinone by CYP4F2 is not increased by α-tocopherol. Mol Nutr Food Res 57:1785-1793.