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Michael Dunn

Current Research Projects
Principal Investigator Project Title
Dunn, Michael Improving Health Through The Development Of A Relative Iron-Bioavailability Database
Dunn, Michael Identifying Tropical Plant-Derived Sources Of Dietary Iron: Linking Tropical Food Production And Consumption To Consumer Health


Phone: 808-956-3837
Fax: 808-956-4883
Office: AgSci 302 G

Click here to view Dr. Dunn's research portfolio

Educational Background

BS. Biochemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, 1975 Ph.D. Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University 1985 Postdoctoral Position: Nutritional Biochemistry, University of Florida, 1985-1988

Research/Academic Interests

I have broad interests in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism. Most of my research has focused on aspects of vitamin and mineral metabolism, and recently that focus has been on aluminum toxicity and iron metabolism.

Aluminum toxicity can occur in several situations such as renal failure patients who may not be able to excrete ingested aluminum, or in individuals who over consume or are overexposed to aluminum containing pharmaceuticals. Toxicity symptoms include dementia and anemia. The biochemical mechanisms for these symptoms are not understood, but may be related to disturbances in iron metabolism. My research is trying to understand the molecular effects of aluminum to better understand the metabolic processes that cause dementia such as Alzheimer's disease.

We also have a project that is categorizing foods on the basis of their potential to supply iron to the body. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the US and one of the causes is the fact that the iron in many foods is not well absorbed by the body. We have developed a cell-culure based assay system to compare the absorbability of iron from different foods and hope to identify new foods that are good sources of iron.

I also collaborate with Dr. Yong Soo Kim, with whom I share a research lab. The focus of that work is the biochemistry, metabolism, and function of the growth factor "myostatin" which is involved in the regulation of muscle growth and body composition. I also have long-standing interests in the causes of obesity.

Principal Investigator:

Allen Foundation Inc. “Establishing an Iron-Bioavailability Database”
Co-PIs: Drs. Joannie Dobbs, Halina Zaleski, and Yong Soo Kim.


USDA, Special Research Grants, Tropical and Subtropical
Agriculture “Improving skeletal muscle growth by active immunization
against myostatin”
PI: Dr. Yong Soo Kim

FSHN 486 (3) Nutritional Biochemistry II (vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber). FSHN 685 (2) Nutrition and Disease: Cellular and Molecular Aspects FSHN 682 (1) Topics in Nutritional Sciences FSHN 699 (V) Directed Reading and Research FSHN 700 (V) Thesis research

Selected Publications
2007 Kim, Y.S., N. Bobbili, Y.K. Lee, H.J. Jin and M.A. Dunn. Production of a polyclonal anti- myostatin antibody and the effects of in ovo administration of the antibody on posthatch broiler growth and muscle mass. Poult. Sci. 86:1196-1205.

2007 Miyasaka, S.C., N.V. Hue, and M.A. Dunn. Aluminum. In: A.V. Barker and D.J. Pilbeam (eds), Handbook of Plant Nutrition, CRC press, Boca Raton, FL.

2004 Jin, H.J., M.A. Dunn, D. Borthakur, and Y.S. Kim. Refolding and Purification ofUnprocessed Porcine Myostatin Expressed in E. Coli. Protein Expression and Purification 35:1-10.

2001 Cox, K.A. and M.A. Dunn. Aluminum toxicity alters the regulation of calbibdin-D28k protein and mRNA expression in chick intestine.
J. Nutr.131:2007-13.

2000 Han, J., J. Han and M.A. Dunn. Effect of dietary aluminum on tissue nonheme iron and ferritin levels in the chick. Toxicology 142(2):97-109.

1995 Dunn, M.A., A. Ishizaki, M.Y.B. Liew, S.L. Too and N.E. Johnson. Dietary aluminum inhibits the ability of vitamin D to regulate intestinal calbindin D-28K levels in chicks. J. Trace Elem. Exp. Med. 8:47-57.