Jian Yang, PhD

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Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Professor, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, College of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Guam, Mangilao, GU
Adjunct Professor, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Degree(s):
PhD, Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
MS, Food Science Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Research Focus

One of aims in this project is to investigate the effect of non-alkaloids on tumor pathogenesis. The study requires extracting and separating bioactive components from two main Guam variants of Areca nut by preparatory HPLC. With my professional training in Food Science and previous research experiences on natural products such as noni (Morida citrifolia) fruit and purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, I have expertise and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the proposed investigation.

My laboratory is equipped with basic instruments to extract phytochemicals and bioactive components from natural products. We extracted antioxidants, ascorbic acid, and phytochemicals (such as scopletin, quercetin, and rutin) from noni fruits and analyzed them with HPLC to study how processing and storage conditions affect the bioactive compounds. We also extracted anthocyanins from purple-fleshed sweet potatoes and studied the effect of steaming and dehydration on anthocyanin contents in purple-fleshed sweet potatoes. In my early research, I extracted and analyzed free amino acids and glucose, fructose, and sucrose from potatoes with HPLC to study the effect of potato sprout inhibitors on these nutrients.

During past years, as principal investigator (PI), I managed several research projects funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); also, as co-PI, I collaborated with the scientists at the University Hawaiʻi to investigate bioactive components in selected tropical plants. As a result of these experiences, I am aware of the importance of communication, planning, and implementing among project members to achieve the aims of the proposed project. Although I was in sabbatical leave during 2013-2014, I resumed my research and joined the collaborative cancer research program between the University of Guam and the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center.

Selected Publications

Yang J, Powers JR. (2016). Effects of High Pressure on Food Proteins. In High Pressure Processing of Food: Principles, Technology and Applications, Balasubramaniam, V. M.; Barbosa-Canovas, V. G.; Lelieveld, L. M. H., Eds. Springer New York: New York, NY; pp 353-389.

Yang J, Afaisen SJ, Gadi R. (2016). Antimicrobial activity of noni fruit essential oil on Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis. Micronesica 05: 1-10.

Yang J, Lee D, Afaisen S, Gadi R. (2013). Inactivation by lemon juice of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis, and Listeria monocytogenes in beef marinating for the ethnic food kelaguen. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 160: 353-359. PubMed PMID: 23290245.

Yang J, Gadi R. (2011). Antioxidant capacity, total phenols, and ascorbic acid of noni fruits and leaves at various stages of maturity. Micronesica. 41:167-176.

Yang J, Gadi R, Paulino R, Thomson T. (2010). Total phenolics, ascorbic Acid, and antioxidant capacity of noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) juice and powder as affected by illumination during storage. Food Chemistry. 122: 627-632.

Publication list via PubMed

Grants

J. Yang, Project Director
USDA NIFA Hatch – GUA0908
"Determination of shelf-life, quality, and safety of locally-grown fresh-cut produces on Guam"
The goal of this project is to develop local tropical fresh-cut produces and investigate their quality and safety and determine the shelf-life of developed fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
03/29/2016 –09/30/2019

J. Yang, Co-Project Investigator; R. Penner, Co-Leader
NIH U54 Project I
"Identification of pro-inflammatory molecules involved in Areca nut carcinogenesis University of Guam/University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center Partnership"
This grant supports the partnership between the University of Guam and University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center I cancer research, training, education, and outreach.
09/01/2015 – 08/31/2018