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The University of Tennessee

UT Obesity Research Center

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Home » Faculty » Dr. Seung J. Baek

Seung J. Baek

Associate Professor


Seoul National University, KOREA, BS - Agricultural Chemistry
Seoul National University, KOREA, MS - Molecular Biology
University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, PhD - Human Genetics
National Institute of Environmental Health Science, RTP, Post-Doc - Eicosanoid Biochemistry

Research Area:

Cancer chemoprevention – NSAIDS, dietary compounds, and PPAR gamma ligands

Research Description:

After getting his PhD degree at University of Maryland School of Medicine (Human Genetics Program) in 1998, he joined the research fellow at National Institutes of Health where he trained cancer biology and pharmacology. During his fellow, Dr. Baek found 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 College of Veterinary Medicine and pioneered defining the critical target genes in chemoprevention and understanding 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), and other tumor suppressor proteins. 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 and they provide a mechanistic explanation for preventing tumor development.

Dr. Seung J. Baek

Contact Information:


Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-

Complete Bio