My research investigates the potential anti-cancer treatment applications of nutraceuticals (i.e., food-derived bio-active compounds). Specifically, I am interested in 1) identifying novel anti-cancer nutraceuticals, 2) determining the biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which nutraceuticals regulate cell death processes (i.e., apoptosis, autophagy), and 3) characterizing nutraceutical/chemotherapeutic drug interactions. The goals of my research are to improve the efficacy of cancer treatments and to define the role of nutraceuticals in cancer chemotherapy.

Spagnuolo Lab


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"To achieve the impossible one must think the absurd; to look where everyone else has looked, but see what no one else has seen.."

The Spagnuolo lab is located at the University of Guelph, Department of Food Science. Adjacent to the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit and Food Institute, the Spagnuolo lab is uniquely positioned amongst world leaders in food, nutrition and nutraceutical research.
Nutraceuticals (i.e., food-derived bioactive compounds) are consumed by almost 75 per cent of Canadians and it is important for research to catch up to the popularity of these compounds. In my lab, we take a systematic and rigorous approach to evaluate their therapeutic potential with the overall goal of translating this knowledge to improve the lives of Canadians.
Our lab particularly focuses on understanding the cell and molecular mechanisms by which nutraceuticals impart their anti-cancer activity. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach to define the molecular target of our novel anti-cancer nutraceutical and apply state-of-the-art techniques to characterize their pre-clinical efficacy. In short, we are using the well-validated drug discovery platform employed by the pharmaceutical industry and applying it to the nutraceutical research field.
September 6, 2016
August 24, 2016

Publication – August 24, 2016

The mitochondria target drug avocatin B synergizes with induction chemotherapeutics to induce leukemia cell death Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a devastating hematological malignancy characterized by the […]

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