Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Physiology and Biophysics

Degree Program

Physiology and Biophysics, PhD

Committee Chair

Galandiuk, Susan

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Joshua, Irving

Committee Member

Joshua, Irving

Committee Member

Schuschke, Dale

Committee Member

Yan, Jun

Committee Member

Bhatnagar, Aruni

Committee Member

Maldonado, Claudio

Author's Keywords

colon cancer; macrophage; inflammation; metabolism; obesity; early-onset


Early-onset colon cancer (EOCC) is a leading cause of cancer death among people younger than 50 years of age in the United States and is associated with metabolic dysfunction and obesity. Anti-inflammatory tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) and low Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARγ) gene expression in colon cancer (CC) tissue promote tumor progression and decreased patient survival. Obesity-related hormones, such as leptin and adiponectin, have the potential to affect gene expression in TAM to promote CC progression and thereby link obesity and EOCC. The aim of this project was to identify target genes in human CC and to investigate the effects of leptin, adiponectin and the inflammatory macrophage metabolite itaconate on age- and obesity-related gene expression.