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Hofseth chosen for NIH grant review board

University of South Carolina pharmacy professor Lorne Hofseth, Ph.D., has been selected to serve as a standing member of the Chemo/Dietary Prevention Study Section at the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review.

Study sections are charged with reviewing NIH grant proposals and surveying research in their field. Members are selected based on their achievements in their discipline, including research accomplishments, publications and honors, according to the NIH.

“This is a very high honor for Dr. Hofseth and brings great recognition to his exemplary scientific background,” said Stephen Cutler, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “Only exceedingly accomplished scientists are invited to serve as standing members of NIH scientific review panels.”

In addition to Hofseth, pharmacy professor Georgi Petkov also serves as a standing member of an NIH study section, for Urologic and Genetourinary Physiology and Pathology.

Hofseth will serve a four-year term ending June 30, 2020. “I believe every scientist should get involved and serve on these committees,” Hofseth said. “They provide insight into the grant funding process and the difference between a good grant and a bad grant.”

The study section, a group of about 20 scientists, will meet three times per year to review grants relating to small molecule inhibitors, complementary and alternative medicine, and their impact on cancer formation. Hofseth has participated as an NIH reviewer in an ad hoc capacity to various study sections since 2012.

“Dr. Hofseth’s appointment demonstrates his recognition as a national leader in research involving prevention of colonic inflammation and cancer by natural compounds present in the diet,” said Kim Creek, chairman of the Drug Discovery and Biological Sciences department at the College of Pharmacy.

Hofseth currently serves as a project principle investigator with Drs. Mitzi and Prakash Nagarkatti for an NIH-funded grant examining the effect of American ginseng on colon inflammation, ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. He is also a co-investigator for research aiming to identify biomarkers for inflammatory disease and cancer duration.

Hofseth’s previous research demonstrated that hormones drive breast cancer in post-menopausal women, and he has performed mechanistic studies for the past 20 years exploring the relationship between inflammation and cancer.

Hofseth said he is proud to be part of an elite team of colon cancer researchers at the university, including Frank Berger (Department of Biological Sciences), James Hebert (Arnold School of Public Health), Vicki Vance (Department of Biological Sciences) and Prakash and Mitzi Nagarkatti (School of Medicine). Hofseth’s most recent undertaking is as part of a team, led by Hebert, developing a grant proposal that aims to explore the relationship between chronic inflammation and colon cancer in African-Americans and probe the influence of lifestyle choices — including diet, exercise, sleep patterns and stress — on chronic inflammation and the process that normal cells undergo to become colon cancer cells.

Hofseth earned his bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He completed post-doctoral research in the Department of Physiology at Michigan State University and in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at the National Cancer Institute.