Jennifer H. Stern, PhD

Cancer Biology Program

Biography

After completing my undergraduate education Northwestern University, I served as a hospice counselor before pursuing a career in research. Working closely with terminally ill patients sparked my interest in understanding links between nutrition and the prevention of age-related disease. Since this experience, I have been fortunate to train with experts in the fields of aging, metabolism, and obesity. I completed my doctoral work in Nutritional Biology at The University of California Davis, followed by postdoctoral training at UA (2012-2014) and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2014-2018). Stern lab research aims to understand the role of glucoregulatory hormone signaling and caloric restriction in obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, and aging.

Cancer Focus

Obesity is the leading cause of multiple solid cancers. In particular, the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is more than doubled in obese people with Type II diabetes. To identify new drug targets to treat HCC, the Stern lab applies a chemical model of accelerated hepatocellular carcinoma. We use this to examine the effects of hepatic lipid accumulation and dysregulated glucoregulatory hormone signaling on HCC development and progression.