Photo of Philippe Thuillier, Ph.D.

Philippe Thuillier Ph.D.

    • Assistant Professor of Dermatology School of Medicine
Our lab is focusing on the molecular mechanisms by which dietary nutrients can prevent cancer. We have the unique approach of combining molecular biology and epidemiology to truely assess translationally the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating cancer cell and tumor growth. Starting from the Epidemiological evidence that specific dietary nutrients have a positive or negative impact on cancer risk and outcome our lab has narrowed down in vitro and in vivo on the molecular mechanisms involved in those effects. By doing so we can utilize state of the art molecular biology tools to characterize the pathways and some of the targets by which specific nutrients control cancer cell and tumor growth. Some of those include regulation of cell cycle, oxidative stress and apoptosis. The information gathered from our in vitro and in vivo models can then be used back in the human population to further validate strategies and mechanisms by which these specific nutrients maybe be effective chemopreventive agents and how their effect may differ from individual to individual. The unique approach of our lab is that the information gathered from basic research is fed back to analysis in human population and the resulting outcome tested back again in vitro in a continuous looping manner that allows true interaction between clinical and basic research. Thus using this back and forth cross-talk between basic and clinical research we are able to refine our understanding of the molecular mechanims regulating disease progression and risk in the human population. The resulting potential impact is obviously enormous for the millions of American who could benefit from cancer prevention strategies that would only require dietary manipulation.Our main sites of interest include skin, prostate, breast, liver and ovarian cancer. Some of the nutrients that have shown to be outstdanding chemopreventive agents include fatty acids, sulforophane, green tea polyphenols, phytochemicals and some vitamines. In addition, because of our location in the Cancer Institute we benefit from the close interactions and collaborations with other members of the Cancer Research Center. Finally we have taken advantage of lentiviral systems to design inducible vectors in vitro and in vivo for the purpose of silencing specific genes.The lab is also based on a team spirit that makes the environment stimulating and engaging while keeping it very friendly. We have lab parties and take an annual lab trip every summer to a destination chosen by the lab. Previous trips include "Mt St Helens climb" and "White water rafting on the deschutes".


  • MSc, Univ. Paris XIII, Paris France 1988
  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins Colorado 0 1999

Memberships and associations

  • American InstituteOf Cancer Research American Association for Cancer Research


  • "A novel 3T3-L1 preadipocyte variant that expresses PPARγ2 and RXRα but does not undergo differentiation" Journal of Lipid Research October 1998
  • "Activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α partially inhibit mouse skin tumor promotion" Molecular Carcinogenesis  2000
  • "The peroxisome proliferator phenylbutyric acid (PBA) protects astrocytes from ts1 MoMuLV-induced oxidative cell death" Journal of NeuroVirology August 2002
  • "Differential PPARγ2 and RxRα expression in the differentiating 3T3-L1 adipocyte" FASEB Journal  1997
  • "Troglitazone inhibits cyclin D1 expression and cell cycling independently of PPARγ in normal mouse skin keratinocytes" Journal of Investigative Dermatology December 2004
  • "In vivo measurement of epidermal thickness changes associated with tumor promotion in murine models" Journal of Biomedical Optics July 2010
  • "In vivo measurements of epidermal thickness by reflectance mode confocal microscopy to assess cellular proliferation induced by topical agents"   2009
  • "Cytosolic and nuclear distribution of PPAR-γ2 in differentiating 3T3- L1 preadipocytes" Journal of Lipid Research  1998
  • "Neurotransmitter CART as a new therapeutic candidate for Parkinson's disease" Pharmaceuticals January 18 2013
  • "8s-Lipoxygenase products activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α and induce differentiation in murine keratinocytes" Molecular Cancer Research  2000
  • "Inhibition of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)α by MK886" Biochemical Journal June 15 2001
  • "Lysophosphatidic acid activates peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ in CHO cells that over-express glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase-1" PLoS One  2011
  • "The effect of PPARγ ligands on UV- or chemically-induced carcinogenesis in mouse skin" Molecular Carcinogenesis August 2005
  • "Cytogenetic instability in ovarian epithelial cells from women at risk of ovarian cancer" Journal of Cancer Research September 15 2006
  • "Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for twelve weeks increases lean body mass in obese humans" Journal of Nutrition May 2007
  • "Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition October 1999
  • "Monitoring human melanocytic cell responses to piperine using multispectral imaging"   2011
  • "CART peptide is a potential endogenous antioxidant and preferentially localized in mitochondria" PLoS One January 3 2012
  • "Inhibition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-mediated keratinocyte differentiation by lipoxygenase inhibitors" Biochemical Journal September 15 2002
  • "In Utero Life and Epigenetic Predisposition for Disease"   2010
  • "Sulforaphane bioavailability and chemopreventive activity in women scheduled for breast biopsy" Cancer Prevention Research December 1 2015
  • "Effects of ω-3 Fatty Acids and Catechins on Fatty Acid Synthase in the Prostate" Nutrition and Cancer November 16 2016
  • "MELAS syndrome with mitochondrial tRNA Leu(UUR) mutation" Neurology January 1 1992
  • "Deficiency of skeletal muscle succinate dehydrogenase and aconitase. Pathophysiology of exercise in a novel human muscle oxidative defect" Journal of Clinical Investigation January 1 1991
  • "Broccoli sprouts delay prostate cancer formation and decrease prostate cancer severity with a concurrent decrease in HDAC3 protein expression in transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) Mice" Current Developments in Nutrition March 1 2018

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