Associate Professor, Pharmacogenomics
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Born in the remote wilds of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, Slavko Komarnytsky is an integrative biologist who combines expertise in botanical research and technological innovation with a commitment to reverse the worldwide rise of metabolic and immune disorders. His scholarly work comprises 70 papers that set trends in biodiscovery from natural sources, including bioactive phytochemicals that interact with the bitter receptors, endocannabinoid system, and gut microbiome to improve human health and wellbeing. He is an Associate Professor of Pharmacogenomics at NC State University, and founder of the Mobile Discovery program that engages students and ethnic communities in global health research.
Among the many projects currently being pursued in his lab are the following:
- Molecular controls linking inflammation to diabetes. We are dissecting the signaling pathways and transcriptional mechanisms that mediate chronic inflammation and associated risk of diabetes. This allows us to define the mode of action of novel bioactive molecules to improve glucose metabolism and glycemic control through analyses of target gene and protein interactions, microbiome profiles, preclinical animal models, and early phase clinical studies.
- Phenotypical screening in cell culture. We lead discovery of novel bioactives and understanding gene function within the context of energy metabolism in conventional animal and human cell cultures with potential applications for pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries. This also allows us to develop new genetic tools to directly map human health to plant genomes.
- Establishment of structure-activity relationships of plant metabolites and health quality of fruits, vegetables, and industrial hemp (Cannabis). We determine biological activities of parent plant molecules (phenolics, cannabinoids) and their breakdown metabolites to identify dietary constituents with maximum potential benefits to public health. These findings are critical to advance current agricultural, breeding, and genetic approaches to produce better crops.
- Discovery and scientific validation of traditional ethnic medicines. We are dedicated to incorporating traditional medicinal knowledge into modern healthcare and ensuring it meets current safety and efficacy standards, in part by directing the Mobile Discovery program. We are also exploring microbes of diverse habitats and unique environments for discovery of novel metabolites.
PhD Rutgers University
MS Kyiv Shevchenko University
BS Kyiv Shevchenko University
- Berries in Microbiome-Mediated Gastrointestinal, Metabolic, and Immune Health , CURRENT NUTRITION REPORTS (2023)
- Current Status and Nutritional Value of Green Leaf Protein , Nutrients (2023)
- Essential Minerals and Metabolic Adaptation of Immune Cells , NUTRIENTS (2023)
- Total Utilization-Upcycling of Mushroom Protein By-Product: Characterization and Assessment as an Alternative Batter Ingredient for Fried Shrimp , Foods (2023)
- All Polyphenols Are Not Created Equal: Exploring the Diversity of Phenolic Metabolites , JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY (2022)
- Effect of Wild Blueberry Metabolites on Biomarkers of Gastrointestinal and Immune Health In Vitro , Immuno (2022)
- Gains and Losses of Agricultural Food Production: Implications for the Twenty-First Century , ANNUAL REVIEW OF FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (2022)
- Mushrooms as Functional and Nutritious Food Ingredients for Multiple Applications , ACS FOOD SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (2022)
- Plant-Based Support of Respiratory Health during Viral Outbreaks , JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY (2022)
- Endocannabinoid System and Its Regulation by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Full Spectrum Hemp Oils , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES (2021)