University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
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Last updated on Friday, March 4, 2016     Make updates ->

Pratibha  Nerurkar

Name :

Pratibha Nerurkar

Title :

Assoc Prof

Unit :

Department of Molecular Biosciences & BioEngineering

Address :

1955 East-West Rd. #218
                  Honolulu, HI 96822

Room :

Ag Sciences Building 415H

Phone :


Fax :


E-mail :

Professional Prep/Appointments :




Bombay University, Bombay, India


Biochemistry, Chemistry

Bombay University, Bombay, India



Bombay University, Bombay, India



National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD


Chemical and trans-placental carcinogenesis

Projects :

 Ongoing projects are conducted using cell culture models, animal models and human subjects.

  1. Anti-diabetic potential of  noni
  2. Anti-diabetic potential of bitter melon
  3. Diet and human health
  4. Role of gut microbiome in health and disease
  5. Metabolomics


Courses Offered:

MBBE 651 (Signal Transduction and Regulation of Gene Transcription)

MBBE 402 (Essential Biochemistry)

MBBE 341 (Principles of Biochemistry)

Research Interests :

Research Areas
  • Traditional Hawaiian medicine

  • Traditional Ayurvedic medicine

  •  Role of gut microbiome in health and disease (animal and human studies).

  • Role of alternative medicines in ameliorating obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hyperlipidemia (metabolic syndrome).

  • Signal transduction pathways involved in insulin signaling, lipid metabolism and glucose metabolism.

  • Role of inflammation in diabetes

  • Mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicity associated with obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and drug-induced hepatotoxicity.

  • ER function in obesity, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia (metabolic syndrome).

  • Role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nuclear transcription factors in obesity, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia (metabolic syndrome).

Insulin Resistance/Diabetes & Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by general population has been estimated to be as high as 40-50%. Nevertheless, there is lack of systemic evaluation to prove or disprove the efficacy of these alternative medicines. In chronic conditions such as diabetes, patients may turn to alternative remedies that have purported to improve glycemic conditions. Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a common, chronic metabolic disorder, affecting 16 million people or 6.9% of the US adult population. 800,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in United States. In Hawaii alone, an estimated 86,000 people have diabetes. The age-adjusted prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among Hawaiians is the highest reported for any Polynesian population in the world.

The focus of our current research is a multi-disciplinary approach to explore the anti-diabetic effects of noni and ayurvedic medicinal plants using cell culture and animal models.

Selected Publications :

  • Kumar, M., Roe, K., Nerurkar, P.V., Orillo, B., Thompson, K.S., Verma, S. and Nerurkar, V.R. (2014) Reduced immune cell infiltration and increased neuroinflammation in type 2 diabetic mice infected with West Nile virus. J Neuroinflammation Apr 21;11(1):80. PMID: 24750819
  • Rajamoorthi, A., Shrivastava, S., Steele, R.,Nerurkar, P., Gonzalez, J.G., Crawford, S., Varvares, M. and Ray, R.B. (2013) Bitter Melon Reduces Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Growth by Targeting c-Met Signaling. PLoS One. Oct 17;8(10):e78006. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078006. (Impact Factor: 3.73)
  • Kumar, M., Roe, K.,Nerurkar, P. V., Namekar, M., Orillo, B., Verma, S., and Nerurkar, V. R. (2012) Impaired virus clearance, compromised immune response and increased mortality in type 2 diabetic mice infected with West Nile virus. PLoS One, 7, e44682.
  • Nerurkar, P. V., Nishioka, A., Eck, P. O., Johns, L. M., Volper, E., and Nerurkar, V. R. (2012) Regulation of glucose metabolism via hepatic forkhead transcription factor 1 (FoxO1) by Morinda citrifolia (noni) in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Br J Nutr, 108, 218-228.
  • Ru, P., Steele, R.,Nerurkar, P. V., Phillips, N., and Ray, R. B. (2011) Bitter melon extract impairs prostate cancer cell-cycle progression and delays prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in TRAMP model. Cancer Prev Res (Phila), 4, 2122-2130.
  • Snee, L. S., Nerurkar, V. R., Dooley, D. A., Efird, J. T., Shovic, A. C., and Nerurkar, P. V. (2011) Strategies to improve palatability and increase consumption intentions for Momordica charantia (bitter melon): a vegetable commonly used for diabetes management. Nutr J, 10, 78, doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-78. PMID: 21794176; Erratum in: Nutr J. 2014;13:3.
  • Nerurkar, P. V., Johns, L. M., Buesa, L. M., Kipyakwai, G., Volper, E., Sato, R., Shah, P., Feher, D., Williams, P. G., and Nerurkar, V. R. (2011) Momordica charantia (bitter melon) attenuates high-fat diet-associated oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. J Neuroinflammation, 8, 64. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-8-64 PMID: 21639917
  •  Nerurkar, P. V., Lee, Y. K., and Nerurkar, V. R. (2010) Momordica charantia (bitter melon) inhibits primary human adipocyte differentiation by modulating adipogenic genes. BMC Complement Altern Med, 10, 34. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-34.
  •  Nerurkar, P. V., Lee, Y. K., Motosue, M., Adeli, K., and Nerurkar, V. R. (2008) Momordica charantia (bitter melon) reduces plasma apolipoprotein B-100 and increases hepatic insulin receptor substrate and phosphoinositide-3 kinase interactions. Br J Nutr, 100, 751-759.
  •  Nerurkar, P. V., Okinaka, L., Aoki, C., Seifried, A., Lum-Jones, A., Wilkens, L. R., and Le Marchand, L. (2000) CYP1A1, GSTM1, and GSTP1 genetic polymorphisms and urinary 1-hydroxypyrene excretion in non-occupationally exposed individuals. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 9, 1119-1122.
  • Nerurkar, P. V., Le Marchand, L., and Cooney, R. V. (1999) Effects of marinating with Asian marinades or western barbecue sauce on PhIP and MeIQx formation in barbecued beef. Nutr Cancer, 34, 147-152.
  • Nerurkar, P. V., Schut, H. A., Anderson, L. M., Riggs, C. W., Fornwald, L. W., Davis, C. D., Snyderwine, E. G., Thorgeirsson, S. S., Weber, W. W., Rice, J. M., and Levy, G. N. (1996) Ahr locus phenotype in congenic mice influences hepatic and pulmonary DNA adduct levels of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline in the absence of cytochrome P450 induction. Mol Pharmacol, 49, 874-881.