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Seung Baek

Associate Professor



After getting his PhD degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Human Genetics Program) in 1998, Dr. Baek joined the National Institutes of Health as a research fellow where he trained in cancer biology and pharmacology. During his fellowship, Dr. Baek discovered a protein, NAG-1, induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are known chemopreventive drugs in colorectal cancer. Dr. Baek joined the faculty of The University of Tennessee in the College of Veterinary Medicine and pioneered defining the critical target genes in chemoprevention. He seeks to understand how anti-cancer compounds act upon these genes to influence cancer prevention or development. Several chemopreventive target genes were identified and characterized in his laboratory, including activating transcription factor (ATF3), early growth response (EGR-1), NSAID activated gene (NAG-1), KLF4, C/EBPβ, ESE-1, and other tumor suppressors. Interestingly, these proteins were also induced by several dietary compounds and PPARg ligands, supporting their role in anti-cancer, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation activities. His findings have important consequences in the development of new drugs for the prevention of cancer since it may be possible to develop drugs that selectively increase NAG-1 and others in tumors. The findings thus provide a mechanistic explanation for preventing tumor development. Dr. Baek is currently an Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and has published more than 80 manuscripts on the molecular targets of several chemopreventive compounds including phytochemicals, PPARg ligands, and NSAIDs on colorectal tumorigenesis. His research interests include transcriptional regulation of apoptotic genes, chemopreventive study using animal models, and post-translational regulation affected by chemopreventive compounds, with respect to colorectal cancer prevention, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation.


  • Ph.D.: Human Genetics-University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Human Genetics (1998)


Kim HJ, Ryu JH, Kim CH, Lim JW, Moon UY, Lee GH, Lee JG, Baek SJ, Yoon JH (2010) ECG Suppresses Oxidative Stress-Induced MUC5AC Overexpression by Interaction with EGFR. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol.  In Press. PMID: 19855084.

Krisanapun C, Lee SH, Peungvicha P, Temsiririrkkul R, and Baek SJ (2010) Antidiabetic properties involved in insulin sensitivity of Abutilon indicum Sweet are mediated by enhancement of adipocyte differentiation and activation of GLUT1 promoter. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. In Press.

Cekanova M, Lee SH, McEntee M, and Baek SJ (2010) MCC-555-induced NAG-1 expression is mediated in part by KLF4. Eur J Pharm. In Press. PMID: 20385121.

Rojsanga P, Sukthankar M, Krisanapun C, Gritsanapan W, Lawson DB, and Baek SJ. (2010) In vitro Anti-proliferative Activity of Alcoholic Stem Extract of Coscinium fenestratum in human colorectal cancer cells. Exp. Therapeu Med. Jan-Feb 1(1): 181-186.

Choi CK, Sukhthankar M, Kim C, Lee SH, English A, Kihm KD,  and Baek SJ (2010) Cell adhesion property affected by cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase: Opto-electric approach. Biochem Biophys Res Commun Jan 391 (3):1385-1389. PMID: 20026301.

Sukthankar M, Choi CK, English AE, Kim JS and Baek SJ (2010) A potential proliferative gene, NUDT6, is down-regulated by green tea catechins at the posttranscriptional level. J Nutr Biochem. Feb 21(2): 98-106. PMID: 19157820.

Lee SH, Krisanapun C and Baek SJ (2010) NSAID-activated gene-1 as a molecular target for capsaicin-induced apoptosis through a novel molecular mechanism involving GSK3beta, C/EBPbeta and ATF3. Carcinogenesis. Apr 31(4):719-728. PMID: 20110283.

Iguchi G, Chrysovergis K, Lee SH, Baek SJ, Robert Langenbach, and Eling TE. (2009) A Reciprocal Relationship Exists Between Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug-Activated Gene-1 (NAG-1) and Cyclooxygenase-2. Can Lett. Sep 18;282(2):152-8. PMID: 19375854.

Peretich A, Cekanova M, Hurst S, Baek SJ, and Dhar M. (2009) PPAR agonists down-regulate the expression of Atp10c mRNA during adipogenesis. Open Obesity J. Nov 1:41-48.

Kambe S, Yoshioka H, Kamitani H, Watanabe T, Baek SJ, and Eling TE. (2009) The Cyclooxygenase Inhibitor Sulindac Sulfide Inhibits EP4 Expression and Suppresses the Growth of Glioblastoma Cells. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). Dec 2:1088-1099. PMID: 19934343.

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