Principal Academic Responsibilities:
Dr. Lei as PI has acquired a total of more than $11 million in funding, during his career, with ~$2.3 million in federal competitive grant awards. Current research is focused in the area of nutrient control of gene expression. Major efforts are being devoted to the elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for the altered gene expression modulated by cellular zinc status. Studies are being conducted to examine the influence of zinc status on the expression of tumor suppressor p53 gene and its target genes (p21, Gadd45 and Mdm2), as well as on cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, in normal human bronchial epithelial, prostate epithelial and aortic endothelial cells, and in human tumor cell lines. A new program was initiated in 2006 to examine the influence of food and medicinal plant materials with bioactivities on cell cycle modulation and on tumor suppressor genes in normal human prostate epithelial cells and prostate tumor cell lines. In mid 2008, Lei as director of equipment acquisition initiated the establishment of a new nutritional sciences biotechnology lab (NSB lab) at King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In late 2009, Lei as PI of a collaborative research program, on target delivery of bioactives by nano particles, between the NSB lab and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Nano Science Center in Beijing, was recommended for funding by KSU.
Awards and Honors: