Faculty and Staff
Nutritional and Metabolic Biology Doctoral Training Faculty
William S. Blaner, Ph.D.
Professor of Nutritional Sciences
B.S. 1972, University of Maryland
M.S. 1975, University of Tennessee
Ph.D. 1979, University of Tennessee
Dr. Blaner's research is focused on understanding the metabolism and actions of retinoids. Recent work has employed genetic manipulations of mice to study these processes. One research project is focused on the essential biological processes that are mediated by retinol-binding protein (RBP), the sole serum transport protein for retinol. Dr. Blaner's group has disrupted the gene for RBP in mice and demonstrated that these mice are a useful model to study retinoid-dependent actions, including ones in cancer prevention and normal embryologic development. The retinoid status of these mice is exceedingly tenuous and consequently retinoid-dependent functions can be conveniently studied. The laboratory is also studying the processes through which provitamin A carotenoids are converted to retinoids. Carotenoid conversion to retinoids is accomplished by the combined actions of three enzymes and several other intestinal proteins. The lab is studying how these different proteins interact and how they are regulated in order to ensure efficient conversion of carotenoids to retinoids. Another project ongoing in the laboratory explores the molecular basis that explains why 13-cis-retinoic acid is a much more effective drug that all-trans-retinoic acid even though the latter retinoid is far more active in regulating retinoid-responsive genes. Here we are seeking to establish possible actions for retinoids that are independent of their roles as transcriptional regulators. Finally the laboratory is developing new methodologies for assessing retinoid status in populations of infants that are at risk of developing vitamin A deficiency. This collaborative work that involves investigators in Brazil seeks to establish practical and cost-effective new methods for assessing vitamin A status in field settings.
Recent Publications - Pubmed
Paik J. Vogel S. Quadro L. Piantedosi R. Gottesman M. Lai K. Hamberger L. Vieira Mde M. Blaner WS. Vitamin A: overlapping delivery pathways to tissues from the circulation. Journal of Nutrition 134:276S-280S, 2004.
Quadro L., Hamberger L, Gottesman ME, Colantuoni V, Ramakrishnan R, Blaner WS. Transplacental delivery of retinoid: the role of retinol-binding protein and lipoprotein retinyl ester. Am J Physiol-Endocrinol Metab 286:E844-51, 2004.
Quadro L, Hamberger L, Colantuoni V, Gottesman ME, Blaner WS. Understanding the physiological role of retinol-binding protein in vitamin A metabolism using transgenic and knockout mouse models. Mol Aspects Med 24:421-30, 2003.
- Fall 2017 Master of Science Program application will open December 1. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
- Fall 2017 Nutritional and Metabolic Biology PhD program application is now closed and will reopen in fall 2017.