Liraz Levi , PhD, MS

Department of Molecular Medicine
School of Medicine
Developmental Therapeutics Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Information

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the molecular-and cellular-level activities of dietary compounds and the effects they have on physiological functions in healthy and disease states. I am especially interested in the biological activities of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A derivatives, retinol and retinoic acid(RA), and long-chain fatty acids. I study in detail the mechanisms that underlie the ability of these compounds to activate gene transcription and consequently, cell function. My findings demonstrated new biological activities for two vitamin A pathways: the retinoic acid axis FABP5/PPARδ, and the vitamin A retinol pathway RBP4/STRA6, in cancer cell biology. These discoveries introduce novel approaches for developing novel cancer therapeutics. In addition, I discovered a novel cross-talk between vitamin A and long-chain fatty acids. This discovery provides a new concept in vitamin A biology that affects our understanding of nutrient-nutrient interactions in regulating gene transcription and cellular functions.