• Dr. Tollefsbol is a professor of Biology and a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and the Comprehensive Diabetes Center. He is director of the UAB Cell Senescence Culture Facility, which he established in 1999.

    Dr. Tollefsbol holds doctorate degrees in molecular biology and osteopathic medicine and has published over 120 articles related to the fields of epigenetics, telomerase, aging, and cancer. He has received generous funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), among other sources. Work from his laboratory has been featured in Women’s Health, Shape, AICR Newsletter, Nutrition Action HealthLetter, More Magazine, and AARP The Magazine, among others, with a total readership of over 30 million. He has been a Scientist in the Spotlight in ScienceNow.

    Dr. Tollefsbol is series editor for Translational Epigenetics published by Elsevier. In addition, he serves as an associate editor for Frontiers in Epigenomics and for Clinical Epigenetics. He is a contributing editor of Lewin’s GENES, the classic textbook on molecular biology, and is on the editorial board of Molecular Biotechnology. Dr. Tollefsbol has been invited to give presentations on his research in many countries including Germany, China, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as well as at various leading institutions in the US. His research has received considerable media attention both nationally and internationally and has been highlighted in eScience News and ScienceDaily. He has published over 14 co-authored and edited books on varied topics such as epigenetics, telomerase, aging, cancer, and molecular biology.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Targeting Telomeres and Telomerase: Studies in Aging and Disease Utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 Technology.Cells.  8. 2019
    2019 Effects of SAHA and EGCG on growth potentiation of triple-negative breast cancer cellsCancers.  11. 2019
    2018 The Role of Non-Coding RNAs and Isothiocyanates in CancerNahrung..  62. 2018
    2018 Combinational proanthocyanidins and resveratrol synergistically inhibit human breast cancer cells and impact epigenetic–Mediating machineryInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences.  19. 2018
    2018 Temporal efficacy of a sulforaphane-based broccoli sprout diet in prevention of breas cancer through modulation of epigenetic mechanismsCancer Prevention Research.  11:451-464. 2018
    2018 Withaferin A and sulforaphane regulate breast cancer cell cycle progression through epigenetic mechanismsExperimental Cell Research.  368:67-74. 2018
    2018 The effects of combinatorial genistein and sulforaphane in breast tumor inhibition: Role in epigenetic regulationInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences.  19. 2018
    2018 Pterostilbene down-regulates hTERT at physiological concentrations in breast cancer cells: Potentially through the inhibition of cMycJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  119:3326-3337. 2018
    2018 Mechanisms for the inhibition of colon cancer cells by sulforaphane through epigenetic modulation of microRNA-21 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) down-regulationCurrent Cancer Drug Targets.  18:97-106. 2018
    2018 Transforming cancer epigenetics using nutritive approaches and noncoding RNAsCurrent Cancer Drug Targets.  18:32-38. 2018
    2017 Combinatorial bioactive botanicals re-sensitize tamoxifen treatment in ER-negative breast cancer via epigenetic reactivation of ERα expressionScientific Reports.  7. 2017
    2017 Impact of genistein on the gut microbiome of humanized mice and its role in breast tumor inhibitionPLoS ONE.  12. 2017
    2017 Epigenetic biomarkers: Current strategies and future challenges for their use in the clinical laboratoryCritical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.  54:529-550. 2017
    2017 The influence of an epigenetics diet on the cancer epigenomeEpigenomics.  9:1153-1155. 2017
    2017 A novel combination of withaferin A and sulforaphane inhibits epigenetic machinery, cellular viability and induces apoptosis of breast cancer cellsInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences.  18. 2017
    2017 Novel Combination of Withaferin A and Sulforaphane Inhibits Epigenetic Machinery, Cellular Viability and Induces Apoptosis of Breast Cancer Cells 2017
    2016 Age-related epigenetic drift and phenotypic plasticity loss: Implications in prevention of age-related human diseasesEpigenomics.  8:1637-1651. 2016
    2016 Combinatorial epigenetic mechanisms and efficacy of early breast cancer inhibition by nutritive botanicalsEpigenomics.  8:1019-1037. 2016
    2016 Erratum: Erratum to “Down-regulation of hTERT and Cyclin D1 transcription via PI3K/Akt and TGF-β pathways in MCF-7 cancer cells with PX-866 and Raloxifene” [Exp. Cell Res. 344 (2016) 95–102] (Experimental Cell Research (2016) 344 (95–102) (S0014482716300623) (10.1016/j.yexcr.2016.03.022))Experimental Cell Research.  345:255. 2016
    2016 Combinatorial PX-866 and Raloxifene Decrease Rb Phosphorylation, Cyclin E2 Transcription, and Proliferation of MCF-7 Breast Cancer CellsJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  117:1688-1696. 2016
    2016 Down-regulation of hTERT and Cyclin D1 transcription via PI3K/Akt and TGF-β pathways in MCF-7 Cancer cells with PX-866 and RaloxifeneExperimental Cell Research.  344:95-102. 2016
    2016 Regulation of the telomerase reverse transcriptase subunit through epigenetic mechanismsFrontiers in Genetics.  7. 2016
    2016 A novel combinatorial epigenetic therapy using resveratrol and pterostilbene for restoring estrogen receptor-α (ERα) expression in ERα-negative breast cancer cellsPLoS ONE.  11. 2016
    2015 Epigenetic regulation of epidermal stem cell biomarkers and their role in wound healingInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences.  17. 2015
    2015 Influences of diet and the gut microbiome on epigenetic modulation in cancer and other diseasesClinical Epigenetics.  7. 2015
    2015 Epigenetic-based combinatorial resveratrol and pterostilbene alters DNA damage response by affecting SIRT1 and DNMT enzyme expression, including SIRT1-dependent γ-H2AX and telomerase regulation in triple-negative breast cancerBMC Cancer.  15. 2015
    2015 Epigenetic reactivation of p21CIP1/WAF1 and KLOTHO by a combination of bioactive dietary supplements is partially ERα-dependent in ERα-negative human breast cancer cellsMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology.  406:102-114. 2015
    2015 The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer PreventionCurrent Pharmacology Reports.  1:46-51. 2015
    2015 Epigenetic linkage of aging, cancer and nutritionJournal of Experimental Biology.  218:59-70. 2015
    2015 Impact of epigenetic dietary components on cancer through histone modificationsCurrent Medicinal Chemistry.  22:2051-2064. 2015
    2014 Aging and energetics' 'Top 40' future research opportunities 2010-2013F1000Research.  3. 2014
    2014 Molecular mechanisms for inhibition of colon cancer cells by combined epigenetic-modulating epigallocatechin gallate and sodium butyrateExperimental Cell Research.  324:40-53. 2014
    2014 Pathway modulations and epigenetic alterations in ovarian tumorbiogenesisJournal of Cellular Physiology.  229:393-406. 2014
    2014 Dietary epigenetics in cancer and agingCancer Treatment and Research.  159:257-267. 2014
    2014 Impact of epigenetic dietary compounds on transgenerational prevention of human diseasesAAPS Journal.  16:27-36. 2014
    2013 Medicinal chemistry of the epigenetic diet and caloric restrictionCurrent Medicinal Chemistry.  20:4050-4059. 2013
    2013 Genetics and epigenetics of lung cancer: Mechanisms and future perspectivesCurrent Cancer Therapy Reviews.  9:97-110. 2013
    2013 Real-time methylomic aberrations during initiation and progression of induced human mammary epithelial cell tumorigenesisEpigenomics.  5:155-165. 2013
    2013 MicroRNAs: An emerging science in cancer epigeneticsJournal of Clinical Bioinformatics.  3. 2013
    2013 Epigallocatechin gallate and sulforaphane combination treatment induce apoptosis in paclitaxel-resistant ovarian cancer cells through hTERT and Bcl-2 down-regulationExperimental Cell Research.  319:697-706. 2013
    2013 Epigenetic reactivation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) by genistein enhances hormonal therapy sensitivity in ERα-negative breast cancerMolecular Cancer.  12. 2013
    2013 Epigenetic Regulation of Multiple Tumor-Related Genes Leads to Suppression of Breast Tumorigenesis by Dietary GenisteinPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2013 Analysis of biomarkers of caloric restriction in aging cellsMethods in Molecular Biology.  1048:19-29. 2013
    2013 Cell senescence culturing methodsMethods in Molecular Biology.  1048:1-10. 2013
    2013 Enhancement of cisplatin-mediated apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells through potentiating G2/M arrest and p21 upregulation by combinatorial epigallocatechin gallate and sulforaphaneJournal of Oncology2013
    2012 Bioactive dietary supplements reactivate ER expression in ER-negative breast cancer cells by active chromatin modificationsPLoS ONE.  7. 2012
    2012 Regulation of the human catalytic subunit of telomerase (hTERT)Gene.  498:135-146. 2012
    2012 The role of nutraceuticals in chemoprevention and chemotherapy and their clinical outcomesJournal of Oncology2012
    2012 Mitochondrial regulation of epigenetics and its role in human diseasesEpigenetics.  7:326-334. 2012
    2011 Epigenomics of ovarian cancer and its chemopreventionFrontiers in Genetics.  2. 2011
    2011 Methylated-CpG Island recovery assayMethods in Molecular Biology.  791:125-133. 2011
    2011 Advances in epigenetic technologyMethods in Molecular Biology.  791:1-10. 2011
    2011 Combined chromatin immunoprecipitation and bisulfite methylation sequencing analysisMethods in Molecular Biology.  791:239-251. 2011
    2011 DNA methylation detection: Bisulfite genomic sequencing analysisMethods in Molecular Biology.  791:11-21. 2011
    2011 Epigenetic regulation of caloric restriction in agingBMC Medicine.  9. 2011
    2011 A novel prodrug of epigallocatechin-3-gallate: Differential epigenetic hTERT repression in human breast cancer cellsCancer Prevention Research.  4:1243-1254. 2011
    2011 Epigenetic diet: Impact on the epigenome and cancerEpigenomics.  3:503-518. 2011
    2011 Insufficient DNA methylation affects healthy aging and promotes age-related health problemsClinical Epigenetics.  2:349-360. 2011
    2011 The transposon-driven evolutionary origin and basis of histone deacetylase functions and limitations in disease preventionClinical Epigenetics.  2:97-112. 2011
    2011 Epigenetic regulation of Thy-1 by histone deacetylase inhibitor in rat lung fibroblastsAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  45:16-23. 2011
    2011 Aberrant DNA hypermethylation patterns lead to transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes in UVB-exposed skin and UVB-induced skin tumors of miceCarcinogenesis.  32:597-604. 2011
    2011 P16INK4A suppression by glucose restriction contributes to human cellular lifespan extension through SIRT1-mediated epigenetic and genetic mechanismsPLoS ONE.  6. 2011
    2011 2D difference gel electrophoresis analysis of different time points during the course of neoplastic transformation of human mammary epithelial cellsJournal of Proteome Research.  10:447-458. 2011
    2010 Epigenetic targets of bioactive dietary components for cancer prevention and therapyClinical Epigenetics.  1:101-116. 2010
    2010 Synergistic epigenetic reactivation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) by combined green tea polyphenol and histone deacetylase inhibitor in ERα-negative breast cancer cellsMolecular Cancer.  9. 2010
    2010 Sulforaphane causes epigenetic repression of hTERT expression in human breast cancer cell linesPLoS ONE.  5. 2010
    2010 Polyphenols and agingCurrent Aging Science.  3:34-42. 2010
    2010 Glucose restriction can extend normal cell lifespan and impair precancerous cell growth through epigenetic control of hTERT and p16 expressionFederation proceedings.  24:1442-1453. 2010
    2010 Impact on DNA methylation in cancer prevention and therapy by bioactive dietary componentsCurrent Medicinal Chemistry.  17:2141-2151. 2010
    2009 Retinoid-induced histone deacetylation inhibits telomerase activity in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cellsAnticancer Research.  29:4959-4964. 2009
    2009 Genistein depletes telomerase activity through cross-talk between genetic and epigenetic mechanismsInternational Journal of Cancer.  125:286-296. 2009
    2009 DNA methylation impacts on learning and memory in agingNeurobiology of Aging.  30:549-560. 2009
    2009 Differential expression of epigenetic modulators during human embryonic stem cell differentiationMolecular Biotechnology.  41:201-207. 2009
    2009 Strategies targeting telomerase inhibitionMolecular Biotechnology.  41:194-199. 2009
    2009 Epigenetic modifications of the estrogen receptor β gene in epithelial ovarian cancer cellsAnticancer Research.  29:139-144. 2009
    2009 Regulation of Thy-1 Expression by Histone Modifications in Lung Fibroblast.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  179. 2009
    2008 Thy-1 promoter hypermethylation: A novel epigenetic pathogenic mechanism in pulmonary fibrosisAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.  39:610-618. 2008
    2008 EGCG inhibits mammary cancer cell migration through inhibition of nitric oxide synthase and guanylate cyclaseBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  375:162-167. 2008
    2008 Epigenetic regulation of telomerase in retinoid-induced differentiation of human leukemia cellsInternational Journal of Oncology.  32:625-631. 2008
    2008 An overview of epigenetic assaysMolecular Biotechnology.  38:179-183. 2008
    2008 Epigenetic and genetic mechanisms contribute to telomerase inhibition by EGCGJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  103:509-519. 2008
    2008 Gene-environment interactions and epigenetic basis of human diseasesCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology.  10:25-36. 2008
    2008 The novel retinoid, 9cUAB30, inhibits telomerase and induces apoptosis in HL60 cellsTranslational Oncology.  1:148-152. 2008
    2007 A method to detect DNA methyltransferase I gene transcription in vitro in aging systemsMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:73-80. 2007
    2007 A method to study the expression of DNA methyltransferases in aging systems in vitroMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:81-87. 2007
    2007 Aging cell culture: Methods and observationsMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:9-19. 2007
    2007 Techniques for analysis of biological agingMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:1-7. 2007
    2007 The low-toxicity 9-cis UAB30 novel retinoid down-regulates the DNA methyltransferases and has anti-telomerase activity in human breast cancer cellsInternational Journal of Oncology.  30:641-650. 2007
    2007 Evidence of extra-telomeric effects of hTERT and its regulation involving a feedback loopExperimental Cell Research.  313:322-330. 2007
    2007 Methods of telomerase inhibition.Methods in Molecular Biology.  405:1. 2007
    2007 RNA interference using a plasmid construct expressing short-hairpin RNA.Methods in Molecular Biology.  405:31-37. 2007
    2007 Retrovirus-mediated RNA interference. Targeting hTERT through stable expression of short-hairpin RNA.Methods in Molecular Biology.  405:39-46. 2007
    2007 hTERT knockdown in human embryonic kidney cells using double-stranded RNA.Methods in Molecular Biology.  405:23-29. 2007
    2006 Telomerase inhibition in cancer therapeutics: Molecular-based approachesCurrent Medicinal Chemistry.  13:2875-2888. 2006
    2006 Integrins and cancer: Gene expression, epigenetics and metastasisCurrent Genomics.  7:323-331. 2006
    2006 Loss of the human polycomb group protein BMI1 promotes cancer-specific cell deathOncogene.  25:4370-4375. 2006
    2005 The epigenetics of breast carcinogenesis and metastasisCurrent Genomics.  6:129-135. 2005
    2005 Epigenetic control of telomerase and modes of telomere maintenance in aging and abnormal systemsFrontiers in Bioscience.  10:1779-1796. 2005
    2005 The impact of metabolism on DNA methylationHuman Molecular Genetics.  14. 2005
    2005 Increased thymocyte proliferative response to IL-7 and IL-2 at young age is associated with rapid age-related thymic involution in BXD miceFederation proceedings.  19:A29-A29. 2005
    2004 Novel approaches for RNA interference and their application in cancer therapyCurrent Pharmacogenomics.  2:313-324. 2004
    2004 Genetic and epigenetic modulation of telomerase activity in development and diseaseGene.  340:1-10. 2004
    2004 Epigenetic regulation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter activity during cellular differentiationGenes, Chromosomes and Cancer.  41:26-37. 2004
    2004 Telomerase inhibition by retinoids precedes cytodifferentiation of leukemia cells and may contribute to terminal differentiationMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.  3:1003-1009. 2004
    2004 EGCG down-regulates telomerase in human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells, leading to suppression of cell viability and induction of apoptosis.International Journal of Oncology.  24:703-710. 2004
    2004 Methods of epigenetic analysis.Methods in Molecular Biology.  287:1-8. 2004
    2004 Profiling DNA methylation by bisulfite genomic sequencing: problems and solutions.Methods in Molecular Biology.  287:169-179. 2004
    2003 Telomerase, Telomerase Inhibition, and CancerJournal of Antiaging Medicine.  6:315-325. 2003
    2003 Epigenetic control of hTERT expression and telomerase activity in differentiating leukemia HL60 cells.American Journal of Human Genetics.  73:336-336. 2003
    2003 Induction of endogenous telomerase (hTERT) by c-Myc in WI-38 fibroblasts transformed with specific genetic elementsGene.  316:57-65. 2003
    2003 Transcriptional control of the DNA methyltransferases is altered in aging and neoplastically-transformed human fibroblastsEnzymologia.  252:33-43. 2003
    2003 Control mechanisms in the regulation of telomerase reverse transcriptase expression in differentiating human teratocarcinoma cellsBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  306:650-659. 2003
    2003 Analysis of telomerase activity and detection of its catalytic subunit, hTERTAnalytical Biochemistry.  315:1-21. 2003
    2003 Assessment of telomere length and factors that contribute to its stabilityEuropean Journal of Biochemistry.  270:389-403. 2003
    2003 Aging, cancer and nutrition: The DNA methylation connectionMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  124:989-998. 2003
    2003 Telomeres, telomerase, and telomerase inhibition: Clinical implications for cancerJournal of the American Geriatrics Society.  51:116-122. 2003
    2002 Control of telomerase gene expression in differentiating human teratocarcinoma cellsGerontologist.  42:3-4. 2002
    2001 Differential maintenance and de novo methylating activity by three DNA methyltransferases in aging and immortalized fibroblastsJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  84:324-334. 2001
    2001 Telomeres and telomerase: Basic science implications for agingJournal of the American Geriatrics Society.  49:1105-1109. 2001
    2001 Activity, function, and gene regulation of the catalytic subunit of telomerase (hTERT)Gene.  269:1-12. 2001
    2001 Correlation of hTERT expression with in vitro morphological changes in senescent and retinoic acid-treated cells-acid-treatedFederation proceedings.  15:A1101-A1101. 2001
    2001 Mechanisms for telomerase gene control in aging cells and tumorigenesisMedical Hypotheses.  56:630-637. 2001
    1998 Analysis in Escherichia coli of the effects of in vivo CpG methylation catalyzed by the cloned murine maintenance methyltransferaseBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  245:670-678. 1998
    1997 Control of methylation spreading in synthetic DNA sequences by the murine DNA methyltransferaseJournal of Molecular Biology.  269:494-504. 1997
    1995 Mammalian DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and characterizedJournal of Biological Chemistry.  270:18543-18550. 1995
    1994 Molecular resurrection of an extinct ancestral promoter for mouse L1Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  91:1569-1573. 1994
    1993 Mechanisms for methylation-mediated gene silencing and agingMedical Hypotheses.  41:83-92. 1993
    1990 The protein synthetic surge in response to mitogen triggers high glycolytic enzyme levels in human lymphocytes and occurs prior to DNA synthesisBiochemical medicine and metabolic biology.  44:282-291. 1990
    1987 The effects of aging on phosphofructokinase induction during lymphocyte mitogenesis in relation to DNA and protein synthesis.Enzymologia.  75:113-122. 1987
    1987 Gene expression of carbohydrate metabolism in cellular senescence and aging.Molecular biology & medicine.  4:251-263. 1987
    1986 Expression of intracellular biochemical defects of lymphocytes in aging: Proposal of a general aging mechanism which is not cell-specificExperimental Gerontology.  21:129-148. 1986
    1986 Role of Protein Molecular and Metabolic Aberrations in Aging, in the Physiologic Decline of the Aged, and in Age‐Associated DiseasesJournal of the American Geriatrics Society.  34:282-294. 1986
    1985 Carbohydrate metabolism in transforming lymphocytes from the agedJournal of Cellular Physiology.  123:417-424. 1985
    1985 Culture kinetics of glycolytic enzyme induction, glucose utilization, and thymidine incorporation of extended‐exposure phytohemagglutinin‐stimulated human lymphocytesJournal of Cellular Physiology.  122:98-104. 1985
    1985 Decreased protein synthesis of transforming lymphocytes from aged humans: Relationship to impaired mitogenesis with ageMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  30:53-62. 1985
    1985 Molecular basis of the accumulation of abnormal proteins in progeria and aging fibroblasts.Basic Life Sciences.  35:427-442. 1985
    1984 Werner's syndrome: An underdiagnosed disorder resembling premature agingAGE.  7:75-88. 1984
    1984 The effect of age on the accumulation of labile triosephosphate isomerase and thymidine incorporation in pokeweed mitogen stimulated human lymphocytesJournal of Gerontology.  39:398-405. 1984
    1982 Increased lability of triosephosphate isomerase in progeria and Werner's syndrome fibroblastsMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  20:93-101. 1982
    1981 Impaired glycolysis of human lymphocytes during agingMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  17:369-379. 1981
    1980 Proteolytic modification of human phosphoglycerate kinase from lymphoblastsArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics.  205:280-282. 1980


    Year Title Altmetric
    2016 Medical Epigenetics 2016
    2016 Preface 2016
    2015 Personalized Epigenetics 2015
    2015 Preface 2015
    2014 Transgenerational Epigenetics 2014
    2013 Preface.  Ed. 1048.  2013
    2013 Preface.  Ed. 1048.  2013
    2012 Epigenetics in Human Disease 2012
    2012 Preface 2012
    2012 Epigenetics in Human Disease 2012
    2011 Handbook of Epigenetics 2011
    2011 Handbook of Epigenetics 2011
    2010 Epigenetics of aging 2010
    2010 Preface 2010
    2007 Telomerase Inhibition Strategies and Protocols 2007
    2007 Methods in Molecular Biology: Preface.  Ed. 371.  2007
    2004 Epigenetics Protocols 2004


    Year Title Altmetric
    2016 An Overview of Medical Epigenetics.  3-7. 2016
    2016 Epigenetic modifications by dietary phytochemicals in cancer prevention.  577-588. 2016
    2015 Epigenetics of Personalized Medicine.  3-13. 2015
    2015 Epigenetic Biomarkers: New Findings, Perspectives, and Future Directions in Diagnostics.  1-18. 2015
    2014 Outline of Epigenetics.  27-44. 2014
    2014 Transgenerational Epigenetics.  1-8. 2014
    2012 Epigenetic Approaches to Cancer Therapy.  111-125. 2012
    2012 Epigenetics of Human Disease.  1-6. 2012
    2011 Epigenetics: The new science of genetics.  1-6. 2011
    2010 Dietary effect on epigenetics during the aging process.  407-416. 2010
    2010 Environmental effects on age-associated epigenetics.  417-429. 2010
    2010 Epigenetics and the aging process.  1-8. 2010
    2010 Role of epigenetics in age-related long-term memory loss.  275-281. 2010
    2010 Telomerase control by epigenetic processes in cellular senescence.  191-204. 2010
    2009 Telomerase regulation in response to green tea.  365-382. 2009

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Tollefsbol's research is primarily involved with cancer and aging epigenetics, the underlying mechanisms of cancer and aging and novel therapeutic approaches to cancer. This work has also involved translational research on breast and ovarian cancer as well as other cancers. The single most important risk factor for developing cancer is age; therefore, both cancer and aging have been a focus of his research.

    Epigenetic processes are heritable changes that do not involve mutations, but rather, modifications of DNA or its associated proteins and Dr. Tollefsbol's laboratory is interested in these processes as controllers of gene expression in cancer and aging in general. We are interested in discovering novel approaches of modifying epigenetic gene expression in cancers and aging and the translational potential of epigenetic-modulating nutritional compounds in inhibiting cancer and impacting aging. The laboratory is using or has plans to use many cutting-edge technological developments in cancer and aging genetics and translational research such as chromatin immunoprecipitation-genomic bisulfite sequencing, ChIP-seq, and MeDIP-seq.

    Studies on the role of telomerase in cancer and aging have made many lists of the most important future research areas in biological sciences. Dr. Tollefsbol's laboratory is also interested in the epigenetic regulation of the gene that produces telomerase (hTERT) and in unraveling the mysteries of how this gene relates to cancer and aging. Located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and synthesized by the enzyme telomerase, telomeres maintain the length of chromosomes. The majority of human cancer cells express high levels of telomerase and inhibition of telomerase activity kills the cancer cells without effect on most normal somatic cells.

    Dr. Tollefsbol’s laboratory directs a Cell Senescence Culture Facility that provides various types of aging cells to investigators nationwide. This facility is one of only a few of this type in the United States and is designed to not only facilitate studies of aging, but to also participate in new investigations in the mechanisms of cellular aging and age-related diseases such as cancer.

    Epigenetics, Telomerase, Cancer Prevention, Aging, Molecular Biology, Gene Regulation
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology, University of North Texas 1982
  • Full Name

  • Trygve Tollefsbol