Photo of Maret TraberPrincipal Investigator and Ava Helen Pauling Professor, Linus Pauling Institute 
Faculty Advisor, Linus Pauling Institute Core Laboratories
Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences

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

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