Graduate Studies Faculty

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Harini Sampath, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Admin Unit: Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Phone: 503-494-8638
Fax: 503-494-6831
Office: RJH 2584
Mail Code: L606
Research Interests:
» PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Sampath has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Sampath has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.


My interest in physiology began with a particularly impassioned childhood reading of Joanna Cole's The Magic School Bus, as it traversed through the nooks and crannies of the human body.  This curiosity to learn about the inner workings of the human body led me to pursue my doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While there, my work in the lab of Dr. James Ntambi was  focused on the role of dietary and cellular lipids in regulating gene expression and altering risk for metabolic diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, and fatty liver disease.  Since earning my doctoral degree in 2008, my interests have expanded to the area of genomic stability in maintaining metabolic health, under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Lloyd at OHSU.  I am particularly interested in understanding how nuclear and mitochondrial DNA stability can impact cellular substrate utilization and alter risk for obesity.  In particular, I am interested in elucidating the role of oxidative stress and resultant cellular damage in modulating signaling through key proteins including PGC-1-alpha and several nuclear and mitochondrial sirtuin isoforms. With this ongoing work, I hope to bridge two seemingly disparate areas of research, namely DNA repair and metabolic disease, to uncover mechanisms underlying diverse maladies, ranging from obesity, fatty liver disease, ulcerative colitis, and several types of cancers.


K99-DK-100640 Sampath (PI) 7/1/14 – 6/30/19
Impact score: 10
This grant investigates the role of dietary and genetic factors in the development of metabolic disease via the induction of oxidative DNA damage.

GCTRI0501N13    Lloyd (PI) Sampath (Co-PI)    6/13/11 – 8/31/14
Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute Pilot Grant
This grant utilizes rodent models of oxidative DNA damage to examine alterations in the gut microbiome and mitochondrial proteome as they relate to metabolic and inflammatory diseases

R01 DK075974-01 Lloyd (PI)   Sampath (Co-PI) 07/01/09 – 06/30/14
DNA Repair Deficiency Associated with Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome
This grant investigates the role of the DNA repair enzyme NEIL1 in promoting obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

11POST7480004 Sampath (PI)  7/1/11 – 6/30/13
American Heart Association, Post-doctoral fellowship                             
This grant investigated and reported on the role of oxidative DNA repair in modulation of energy expenditure and  mitochondrial function.

0415001Z    Sampath (PI)    9/1/04 – 8/31/06
American Heart Association, Pre-doctoral fellowship                
This project investigated and reported on the role of the lipid delta-9 desaturase, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1, in cardiac substrate utilization and its impact on the obese, insulin-resistant heart.


2008, Ph.D. Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dissertation: The role of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 in mediating whole body energy metabolism.

2002, B.S. Nutritional Sciences, University of New Hampshire    


  • Sampath H.  Phenotypes of base excision repair deficient models.  Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. 2014
  • Chu M, Sampath H, Somwar R, Cornea A, Roberts C, and Varlamov O.  Spatiotemporal organization of triglyceride storage sites in unilocular adipocytes.  Molecular Biology of the Cell.  2014
  • Sampath H and Ntambi JM.  The role of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 in skin integrity and whole body energy balance.  J Biol Chem. 2014 289:2482-8.
  • Sampath H, Vartanian V, Rollins R, Sakumi K, Nakabeppu Y, Lloyd RS.  8-Oxoguanine DNA Glycosylase (OGG1) Deficiency Increases Susceptibility to Obesity and Metabolic Dysfunction. PLoS ONE. 2012 7:E51697.
  • Sampath H, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS.  Regulation of DNA glycosylases and their role in limiting disease.  Free Radic. Res. 2012 46:460-78.
  • Sampath H, Batra AK, Vartanian V, Carmical JR, Prusak D, King IB, Lowell B, Earley LF, Wood TG, Marks DL, McCullough AK, Lloyd RS.  Variable penetrance of metabolic phenotypes and development of high fat diet-induced adiposity in neil1-deficient mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 300:E724-34.
  • Sampath H and Ntambi JM.  The role of stearoyl-CoA desaturase in obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation.  Ann NY Acad Sci. 2011 1243: 47-53.
  • Miyazaki M, Flowers MT, Sampath H et al.  Hepatic Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase-1 Deficiency Protects Mice from Carbohydrate-Induced Adiposity and Hepatic Steatosis.  Cell Metab. 2007 6:484-96.
  • Sampath H, Miyazaki M, Dobrzyn A, Ntambi JM.  Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 mediates the pro-lipogenic effects of dietary saturated fat. J Biol Chem. 2007 282: 2483-93.
  • Sampath H, Ntambi JM.  Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of genes of lipid metabolism. Annu Rev Nutr. 2005  25:317-40.