Lunasin Researchers

The scientific community began to see the importance and relevance of science behind the Lunasin peptide after the discovery of its Nutritional Epigenetic mechanism of action.

Researchers from acclaimed colleges and universities began to take notice of this plant based peptide that packs a big health punch.  The list of researchers performing clinical trials involving Lunasin and its various impacts of different health factors continues to grow every year.  The following is a list of the researchers who have discovered the amazing health benefits and mechanisms of action of Lunasin within cells and the body.



List of Researchers

Ben O. de Lumen, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Prof. Ben de Lumen has been a faculty member at the University of California for 30 years. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Chemistry from University of the Philippines and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry/Biochemistry from University of California at Davis. After spending almost 5 years in industry in the U.S., he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley. His current research interest focuses on lunasin, a unique and novel cancer preventive seed peptide that has been shown to be efficacious against chemical carcinogens and oncogenes in cell culture models and a skin cancer mouse model. His lab continues research on lunasin to demonstrate its efficacy against various cancers through dietary administration of lunasin and elucidate its molecular mechanisms of action.

Elvira González de Mejía, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

Dr. Elvira de Mejía has a B.S. degree in Biochemical Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico), an M.S. degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Plant Biotechnology from the National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico). Dr. de Mejia joined the UIUC faculty in 2002. She has published over 110 peer-reviewed publications and has given over 100 scientific presentations in the areas of Food Science, Food Toxicology, and Chemoprevention at different national and international scientific meetings.

Dr. de Mejía conducts research in the areas of Food Chemistry, Food Biochemistry and Food Toxicology. Her research is focused on: food components with health benefits and the analysis, characterization and mechanism of action of antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic compounds in foods (primarily legumes, oilseeds, and vegetables). Dr. de Mejia is currently working with bioactive proteins in different legume genotypes. She is investigating the role of genetic diversity and environmental conditions on the presence, concentration and physicochemical characteristics of the bioactive soybean seed proteins with biological potential against transformed human cells.

Vermont P. Dia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Food Science and Technology The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN

Vermont is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Tennessee where his research focuses on food chemistry and food bioactives. Previously Dia was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His higher education began at the University of the Philippines Los Banos where he earned his Bachelors in Food Technology and Masters in Food Science. In 2011, he completed his Ph.D. in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alfredo F. Galvez, Ph.D.

Project Scientist, Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics, University of California, Davis, CA Chief Scientific Officer, SL Technology, Inc., Chesterfield, MO

Alfredo F. Galvez, Ph.D. is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of SL Tech, Inc., a Reliv subsidiary company, working on the development of functional foods and nutraceutical ingredients based on the lunasin peptide, a soy protein component he serendipitously discovered in 1996 as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. He has a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis, majoring in molecular biology and cytogenetics. He is also a Project Scientist at the Center for Nutritional Genomics, University of California at Davis, working on elucidating the molecular mechanism of lunasin as a peptidomimetic of a human tumor suppressor.

Dr. Galvez earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Genetics and Plant Physiology from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos, and his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Galvez worked for the USDA-ARS at Washington State University and at the University of California Berkeley as a Research Biochemist and Geneticist.

Blanca Hernández-Ledesma, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación Madrid, Spain

Blanca Hernández-Ledesma is currently a researcher at the Institute of Food Science Research in Madrid, Spain. Her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy was earned with Honors at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain in 1998. Some months later, she started to work in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, Madrid, Spain) focusing on the study of biological properties, such as antihypertensive, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities, of peptides and proteins derived from milk and dairy products. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacy in 2002, and she continued working as a postdoctoral fellow at the CSIC group until 2007 when she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for postdoctoral work at the University of California, in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology.

She joined Prof. de Lumen’s group where she studied the cancer preventive properties of lunasin, a peptide first discovered in soy and afterwards in barley and wheat. She conducted animal experiments to demonstrate the in vivo properties of lunasin and studied the molecular epigenetic mechanism of action of this peptide. She continues lunasin research in Madrid.

Chia-Chien Hsieh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Nutritional Science and Education National Taiwan Normal University

Chia-Chien Hsieh is an assistant professor teaching and doing research at National Taiwan Normal University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow for National Health Research Institute Division of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research, then the Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley, and later the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine. Her research expertise are in Nutrition Biochemistry, Nutrition and Immunology, and Nutrition and Cancer. She completed her higher education at National Taiwan Normal University in the department of Agricultural Chemistry and the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Jin Boo Jeong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Medicinal Plant Resources Andong National University, South Korea

Jin Boo Jeong is currently an assistant professor at the Andong National University in South Korea where he focuses on the use of medicinal plants for the prevention of human diseases related to inflammation, cancer and aging. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science where he investigated chemoprevention for human colorectal cancer. He earned his Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Bioresource Sciences at Andong National University. During his education he contributed to studies on lunasin and chemopreventive properties of medicinal plants.