Peko Tsuji, Ph.D.


Professor and Department Chair


Contact Info

Science Complex 4101A


M.S., Biology
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University

M.P.H., Health (Certificate in Nutrition)
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

M.S., Marine Biology
University of Charleston

Ph.D., Biomedicine/Molecular Biology
Medical University of South Carolina

Areas of Expertise

Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Cancer Prevention, Nutrition, Selenium, Polyphenols


My laboratory primarily investigates the molecular mechanisms of colon cancer and inflammation. In particular, the use of dietary compounds as preventive strategies are of interest. Biological models utilized include in vitro (human and mouse cells, tissue samples) and in vivo (mouse) models. Current projects include:

1)      The effects of the micronutrient selenium and the proteins in which selenium is incorporated, in inflammatory colitis and colon tumorigenesis. Potential synergistic or antagonistic mechanisms with other dietary compounds, such as the isothiocyanate sulforaphane, are also investigated.

2)      The effects of commonly consumed polyphenols in colon carcinogenesis and the hallmarks of cancer. Potential synergistic or antagonistic mechanisms with other dietary compounds are also of interest.

Additional interests include the intestinal/fecal microbiome of mammals. Currently, we investigate the effects of dietary selenium, probiotics, or seasonal dietary changes on the relative abundance of microbiota in a variety of mammals (domesticated, captive, wild, or laboratory animals).


Peters KM, Carlson BA, Gladyshev VN, Tsuji PA (2018) Selenoproteins in colon cancer. Free Radical Biology & Medicine pii: S0891-5849(18)30908-0.

Yim SH, Everley RA, Schildberg FA, Lee SG, Orsi A, Barbati ZR, Karatepe K, Fomenko DE, Tsuji PA, Luo HR, Gygi SP, Sitia R, Sharpe AH, Hatfield DL, Gladyshev VN. (2018) Role of Selenof as a Gatekeeper of Secreted Disulfide-Rich Glycoproteins. Cell Rep. 23(5):1387-1398.

Peters KM, Galinn SE, and Tsuji PA (2016). Selenium: Dietary sources, human nutritional requirements and intake across populations. In Selenium: Its molecular biology and role in human health. (4th Edition) Hatfield DL, Schweizer U, Tsuji PA, Gladyshev VN, Editors. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, New York, NY.

Galinn SE and Tsuji PA. Quercetin and kaempferol ameliorate inflammation through Nrf2 and other signaling pathways (2016). In Broccoli: Cultivation, Nutritional Properties and Effects on Health. Juurlink B, Editor. Nova Publishers, Hauppauge, NY.

Courses Taught

BIOL 200 (Intro to Cell Biology and Genetics)

BIOL 411 (Cancer Biology)

BIOL 655 (Biology of Cancer, graduate)

BIOL 796 (Professional Aspects, graduate)

BIOL 797 (Graduate Seminar)

Research Link

Research Gate