Adrian A. Franke, PhD

Adrian A. Franke, PhD

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Shared Resource Director, Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Professor(Specialist), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Graduate Program Faculty, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

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 pharmacodynamic 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 pollutants including their metabolites (bisphenol A, array of phthalate metabolites, glyphosate, phenoxyacetic acids, array of prabens) --in addition to any analytes 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, and D. 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, UHPLC equipment acquired in 2008, and by two most recently acquired high-resolution accurate-mass orbitrap LCMS systems. 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.

Early in my career, my research focused primarily on the metabolism, bioavailability and biological effects of soy components and their relationship to breast and prostate cancer prevention. This served as a gateway to biomarker identification and most recently to biomarker applications relating to disease risk assessment. The latter materialized being a co-leader of the NCI-funded U54 Project entitled "The Betel Nut Intervention Trial (BENIT)". This project built upon the U54 funded Pre-Pilot Study entitled "Identification of Salivary Biomarkers for Betel Nut Consumption" for which I directed as UHCC project leader. The BENIT will also benefit from my currently funded U54 pilot project entitled "Identification and Application of Improved Biomarkers reflecting Betel Consumption".

Selected Publications

Franke AA, Li X, Lai JF. (2016). Pilot study on the pharmacokinetics of betel nut and betel quid biomarkers in saliva, urine, and hair of betel consumers. Drug Test Anal; 8(10), 1095-1099. PMC4967029.

Li X, Franke AA. (2015). Improvement of bisphenol A quantitation from urine by LCMS. Anal Bioanal Chem;407(13):3869-3874. PMC4439252.

Li X, Franke AA. (2015). Improved profiling of estrogen metabolites by orbitrap LC/MS. Steroids; 99:84-90. PMC4446197.

Maskarinec G, Beckford F, Morimoto Y, Franke AA, Stanczyk FZ. (2015). Association of estrogen measurements in serum and urine of premenopausal women. Biomark Med; 9(5):417-424. PMC4438779.

Franke AA, Lai JF, Morrison CM, Pagano I, Li X, Halm BM, Soon R, Custer LJ. (2013). Coenzyme Q10, carotenoid, tocopherol, and retinol levels in cord plasma from multiethnic subjects in Hawaii. Free Radic Res;47(9):757-768. PMC4439246.

Franke AA, Custer LJ, Morrison CM, Li X, Lai JF. (2013). Simultaneous analysis of circulating 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D2, retinol, tocopherols, carotenoids, and oxidized and reduced coenzyme Q10 by HPLC with photo diode-array detection using C18 and C30 columns alone or in combination. J Chromatogr A;1301:1-9.PMC4128684.

Publication list via PubMed