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Abby Benninghoff

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Agricultural Experiment Station

Toxicology, Diet and Cancer, Epigenetics

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Office Hours: Thu 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and by appointment
Go toOffice Location: AGRS 427
DialPhone: 435-797-8649
SendEmail: abby.benninghoff@usu.edu


Educational Background

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Toxicology, Oregon State University, 2009
PhD, Marine Science, (Comparative Endocrinology), University of Texas at Austin, 2004
BS, Biochemistry and Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1997

Biography

Abby Benninghoff serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Student Services for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University. She is also an Associate Professor in Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1997, she received her B.S. with dual majors in Biochemistry and Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She then completed her doctoral research in Marine Science, with a focus on comparative endocrinology, at the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. Dr. Benninghoff then worked as a post-doctoral research associate at Oregon State University, where she received additional training in the areas of toxicology and carcinogenesis. In 2010, she joined the USU faculty and initiated a multidisciplinary research program in toxicology, cancer and epigenetics. Dr. Benninghoff's laboratory currently includes three graduate students and ten undergraduate student researchers. She also maintains ongoing collaborations with USU faculty in the departments of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Benninghoff is an affiliate faculty member of the USTAR Applied Nutrition Research program, which has a research focus on gut microbiota, diet and health.


Teaching Interests

As Assoc. Dean for Research and Graduate Student Services, Dr. Benninghoff will continue to teach Science Communication (ADVS 5650/6650), a generalized course intended primarily for graduate students or undergraduate student researchers that covers the principles of effective science communication intended for scientific peers and general lay audiences. Instruction centers on effective written and/or oral communication for journal articles, proposals, conference presentation, public lectures and new media.

Research Interests

Research in Dr. Benninghoff’s laboratory is multi-disciplinary, covering topics ranging from diet and cancer to mechanisms of genome reprogramming and gene regulation to toxicology. A major goal of Dr. Benninghoff’s research program is to understand the influence of environmental factors on mechanisms of gene regulation in determining health and disease in animals and humans. Current projects in her lab include 1) a USDA-funded project to investigate the potential health benefits of functional foods (e.g., black raspberries) for prevention of inflammation-associated colorectal cancer; 2) a collaborative project with Dr. Ken White (Animal, Dairy and Sciences) to investigate mechanisms of aberrant genome reprogramming in cloned bovine embryos; and 3) a collaborative project with Dr. Lisa Berreau (Chemistry) investigating the impact of biologically-based CO-releasing molecules on inflammation in vitro. While seemingly disparate, these projects have connecting threads. For example, many of the genes aberrantly expressed in cancer cells are those critical for normal early embryo development. Also, the CO-releasing molecule structure was inspired by nature, based on a flavonoid chemical found in functional foods. Dr. Benninghoff has also recently developed a new collaboration with Dr. Jim Pestka at Michigan State University to investigate genomic responses to dietary DHA supplementation in a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus. Dr. Benninghoff’s research program is currently supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, the National Institutes of Health.

Awards

Sunrise Speaker USU Office of Research and Graduate Studies, 2018

Keynote Speaker Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference, 2016

Award of Excellence to W-3122 Multi-State Research Group, 2016

Western Extension and Research Directors, USDA

Outstanding Graduate Mentor of the Year, 2016

Utah State University

Graduate Mentor of the Year, 2015

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Faculty Researcher of the Year, 2014

Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences

Distinguished Associate Professor of Honors Education, 2014

Utah State University

Faculty Researcher of the Year, 2013

Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences

Colgate/Palmolive Grants for Alternative Research Award, 2006

Society of Toxicology and the Colgate/Palmolive Company

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Publications - Abstracts

    Publications - Books & Book Chapters

      Book Chapters

    • Walter, R.B, Tilton, S.C, Orner, G.O, Benninghoff, A., Bailey, G.S, Williams, D.E, Walsh, P.J, Smith, S.L, Fleming, L.E, Solo-Gabriele, H.M, Gerwick, W.M, (2008). Carcinogenesis models: focus on xiphophorus and rainbow trout: Oceans and Human Health. Risks and Remedies from the Seas.

    * Has not been peer reviewed

    Publications - Fact Sheets

      * Has not been peer reviewed

      Publications - Curriculum

        * Has not been peer reviewed

        Publications - Journal Articles

        * Has not been peer reviewed

        Publications - Literary Journal

          * Has not been peer reviewed

          Publications - MultiMedia

            * Has not been peer reviewed

            Publications - Technical Reports

              * Has not been peer reviewed

              Publications - Translations & Transcripts

                Publications - Other

                  * Has not been peer reviewed

                  Scheduled Teaching

                  ADVS, BIOL 5630, 6630 - Endocrinology, Fall 2017

                  VM 7508 - Research Orientation, Fall 2017

                  VM 7519 - Veterinary Physiology I, Fall 2017

                  HONR 1350 - Integrated Life Science, Spring 2017

                  VM 7509 - Research Issues, Ethics, and Literacy, Spring 2017

                  VM 7508 - Research Orientation, Fall 2016

                  ADVS 5650, 6650 - Science Communication, Fall 2016

                  ADVS, VM 7519 - Veterinary Physiology I, Fall 2016

                  VM 7509 - Research Issues, Ethics, and Literacy, Spring 2016

                  ADVS, BIOL 5630, 6630 - Endocrinology, Fall 2015

                  VM 7508 - Research Orientation, Fall 2015

                  VM 7509 - Veterinary Physiology I, Fall 2015

                  HONR 1350 - Integrated Life Science, Spring 2015

                  VM 7509 - Research Issues, Ethics, and Literacy, Spring 2015

                  VM 7508 - Research Orientation, Fall 2014

                  ADVS 5650,6650 - Science Communication, Fall 2014

                  VM 7509 - Research Issues, Ethics, and Literacy, Spring 2014

                  VM 7519 - Physiology I, Fall 2013

                  VM 7508 - Research Orientation, Fall 2013

                  ADVS 5650,6650 - Science Communication, Fall 2013

                  ADVS 5630,6630 - Endocrinology, Spring 2013

                  VM 7509 - Research Issues, Ethics, and Literacy, Spring 2013

                  VM 7519 - Physiology I, Fall 2012

                  VM 7508 - Research Scholars Orientation, Fall 2012

                  ADVS 5650,6650 - Science Communication, Fall 2012

                  ADVS 6600 - Advanced and Molecular Toxicology, Fall 2011

                  ADVS 1090 - New Student Orientation, Fall 2011

                  ADVS 6650 - Science Communication, Fall 2011

                  ADVS 3910 - ST: ENDOCRINOLOGY, Spring 2011

                  ADVS 1090 - New Student Orientation, Fall 2010

                  ADVS 2040 - Introduction to Biotechnology, Spring 2010


                  Graduate Students Mentored

                  Daphne Rodriguez, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, August 2018
                  Sumira Phatak, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, July 2014
                  Jocelyn Cuthbert, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, January 2014
                  Daphne Rodriguez, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, August 2016 - May 2018
                  Hector Esquer, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, September 2015 - December 2017
                  Trevor Fish, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, July 2011 - August 2015
                  Stephany Perez Monsanto, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, September 2011 - August 2013