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Research Newsletter-Fall/Winter 2006

From the Director

Balz Frei, Ph.D.
LPI Director and Endowed Chair
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. LPI was founded in California in 1973 by Linus Pauling and two associates and moved to OSU in the summer of 1996. Ever since, LPI's mission has been to determine the function and role of vitamins and essential minerals (micronutrients)and chemicals from plants (phytochemicals) in promoting optimum health and preventing and treating disease; to determine the role of oxidative and nitrative stress and antioxidants in human health and disease; and to help people everywhere achieve a healthy and productive life, full of vitality, with minimal suffering, and free of cancer and other debilitating diseases.

We have been very fortunate to attract superb scientists to LPI to carry out research relevant to our mission and now have ten principal investigators who are funded by research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. While the government grants are important to our success, support from our donors continues to be vital. Your support has allowed us to establish a number of crucial programs at LPI, including LPI Pilot Projects, which award grants to researchers to obtain initial results that can be used in applying for larger, extramural grants; the Micronutrient Information Center, which is an online resource for accurate, up-to-date, and peer-reviewed information on vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other constituents of the diet; the LPI Research Newsletter; scientific seminars and public lectures; and our biennial Diet and Optimum Health Conference.

We celebrated the 10th anniversary at the beginning of November with several events here in Corvallis, including an open house and a full day of scientific seminars by our principal investigators highlighting our research. The speakers and their presentations were as follows:

Joseph Beckman: "Free radicals, antioxidants, and Lou Gehrig: The brain is a terrible thing to waste"

Tory Hagen: "Increasing 'healthspan' through age-essential micronutrients"

Fred Stevens: "Bioconjugation of lipid peroxidation products: A new role for vitamin C?"

George Bailey: "Chlorophylls in the prevention of cancer: From animal models to humans"

Rod Dashwood: "Genetic and epigenetic approaches to cancer prevention and therapy by dietary agents"

David Williams: "Dietary supplementation of mothers during pregnancy and nursing protects their offspring from cancer in later life"

Emily Ho: "Dietary influences on DNA integrity and prostate cancer prevention"

Tammy Bray: "Antioxidants, inflammation, and diabetes"

Maret Traber: "Everything and much more than you ever wanted to know about vitamin E"

Balz Frei: "How to live longer and feel better—what we have learned in the last twenty years"

At the banquet on November 1st, Dr. Linus Pauling, Jr. and I welcomed five new members into the Linus Pauling Institute Society, which was established in 2005 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and success of LPI. Jeanne Rousseau, George Whatley, and Burgess and Libby Jamieson were recognized as new members, and Jane Higdon was inducted posthumously.

Finally, I am very pleased to announce that we have recruited an excellent scientist, Dr. Victoria Drake, to manage our Micronutrient Information Center, beginning in September. Victoria earned her B.A. in biology from Grinnell College in Iowa and completed her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published a number of papers in toxicology and on the impact of aging on the response to environmental and oxidative stress. Victoria will write new sections for the MIC, update sections written by the late Jane Higdon, and contribute articles to this Newsletter.

Last updated November, 2006