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Adrian A. Franke, PhD

Adrian A. Franke, PhD
  • Specialist (Professor) and Associate Member
    Natural Products & Experimental Therapeutics Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Faculty Director
    Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource
  • Academic Appointments

  • Graduate Faculty
    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
    College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • PhD, Pharmacy - Natural Products Chemistry
    University of Freiburg, Germany

Research Focus

Intake of plant foods has been implicated in the risk reduction of chronic diseases including cancer. The identification of the phytochemicals responsible for this effect is therefore of vital interest. Dr. Franke's research centers on the development of biomarkers reflecting exposure to vegetarian foods, on the pharmacokinetics of chemopreventive micronutrients, and on the development of state-of-the-art analytical techniques to determine metabolites in biological matrices. A central role in this respect plays the determination of food phytochemicals, steroids, lipid components, and generally metabolites from body fluids and particularly, from tissues where pharmocodynamic events happen.

In addition, Dr. Franke directs the Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource that provides services for UH Cancer Center members regarding quantitation of biochemicals including but not limited to a wide array of clinical markers (calcium, lipoproteins, CRP, glucose, lipid profiles, etc.) and specific analyte groups including, steroids, particularly estrogen metabolites, phospholipids, choline and its metabolites (TMAO) but also xenobiotics and their metabolites (bisphenol A, array of phthalate metabolites, glyphosate, phenoxyacetic acids) or anything that can be measured by commercially available ELISA based methods. Specific methods have also been developed for accurate, precise, fast, sensitive and affordable determination of caffeine metabolites, lipid-phase micronutrients (carotenoids, tocopherols), flavonoids, isoflavonoids, lignans, betel alkaloids, and other agents with phytoestrogenic effects. Recently, the resource has also established assays for oxidized and reduced coenzyme Q10, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, 5-methyldeoxycytosine, and vitamins A, C, D, and K1. Most methods employ liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LCMS), photo-diode array, fluorescence, or electrochemical detection. A major improvement of analytical capabilities is the availability of a tandem LCMS system awarded from NCRR/NIH in 2005, UHPL equipment acquired in 2008, and by most recently acquired high-resolution accurate-mass orbitrap LCMS. The instrumentation and techniques are currently applied in various interventions as well as in many large-scale cross-sectional and prospective epidemiologic and other studies with focus on biomarker development for cancer prevention.

Selected Publications

  • Franke AA, Li X, Lai JF. (2015). Pilot study on the pharmacokinetics of betel nut and betel quid biomarkers in saliva, urine, and hair of betel consumers. Drug Test Anal – in press (2015).
  • Beckford F, Morimoto Y, Cooney RV, Franke AA, Maskarinec G. (2015). Adherence to cancer prevention recommendations and antioxidant and inflammatory status in premenopausal women. Br J Nutr,114(1):134-143.
  • Sun Q, Wedick NM, Tworoger SS, Pan A, Townsend MK, Cassidy A, Franke AA, Rimm EB, Hu FB, van Dam RM. (2015). Urinary excretion of select dietary polyphenol metabolites is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in proximate but not remote follow-up in a prospective investigation in two cohorts of U.S. Women. J Nutr, 145(6):1280-1288.
  • Li X, Franke AA. (2015). Improvement of bisphenol A quantitation from urine by LCMS. Anal Bioanal Chem, 407(13):3869-3874.
  • Halm BM, Franke AA, Lai JF, Li X, Custer LJ, Pagano I, Cooney RV, Turner HC, Brenner DJ. (2015). Pilot study for the establishment of biomarkers for radiation damage after computed tomography in children. Hawaii J Med Public Health, 74(3):112-119.
  • Li X, Franke AA. (2015). Improved profiling of estrogen metabolites by orbitrap LC/MS. Steroids, 99:84-90.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • A.A. Franke, PI of subcontract (0.6 cal. mo.), (PI: Shrubsole)
    1R03 CA189455
    NIH/NCI subcontract with Vanderbilt University
    "Effect of magnesium treatment on vitamin D resistance"
    07/01/14 - 06/30/16
  • A.A. Franke, Co-Investigator, (PIs: L. Le Marchand/U. Lim)
    5 P01
    09/01/12 - 08/31/17
  • A.A. Franke, Co-Investigator (1.8 cal. mo.), (PI: J. Hedges)
    5 P30 CA071789-14
    "University of Hawaii Cancer Center P30 – Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource"
    09/01/12 - 08/31/17