Our Lab

Dr. Paul Spagnuolo

Associate Professor, Department of Food Science

519-824-4120 x 53732

Ph.D. – University of Waterloo (2008)
M.Sc. – University of Guelph (2004)
B.Sc. – University of Guelph (2002)

Research background
I began my independent research program at School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo after completing a CIHR-postdoctoral fellowship in drug discovery and drug pharmacology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. There, I was involved in research projects that led to the discovery of 5 new anti-cancer drugs, some of which are currently being evaluated in human clinical trials.

My PhD and Master’s research involved the physiological and biochemical assessment of nutraceuticals and focused on understanding the impact of nutraceuticals in vivo and in model systems, respectively.

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.

Natural Health Products Research Society (NHPRS) Board of Directors.
The Team

Past Members

Eric Lee

Master's student

Eric Lee is an MSc graduate of Dr. Spagnuolo’s lab. Eric was lead on the avocatin B project. He is currently employed in the pharmaceutical industry in Canada.

Leonard Angka

Master's student

Leonard is a University of Waterloo graduate with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. In the beginning of January 2013, Leonard joined the Spagnuolo research group as a Masters student. His research consisted of characterizing glucopsychosine, a compound isolated from bovine milk, as an AML therapeutic. Leonard is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Ottawa University.

Co-op Students and Volunteers

  • Amshar Basheer – Volunteer, Fall 2012
  • Michael Correia – Co-op student, Winter 2013
  • Thomas Hanlon - Co-op student, Summer 2013; now an undergraduate student the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy
  • Iulia Dude – BIOL 499 Honours Project: “The anti-cancer properties of flavanoids”, Fall 2013 to Winter 2014; now doing her Masters at the University of British Colombia
  • Christina Ma – Volunteer May-August 2015