Primary Faculty


Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor; Webb Endowed Chair
1675 University Blvd.
Webb 650
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Miscellaneous Information

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., is professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and the associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Demark-Wahnefried is a nutrition scientist with training in biochemistry, genetics, and behavioral science. She was recently recruited (spring 2010) from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where she was a full professor in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences; earlier in her career she was at Duke University Medical Center. For over two decades, her research career has spanned basic science studies focused on determining mechanisms of action of food-related components on neoplastic progression, to clinical research that involves nutrition-related concerns of cancer patients, as well as determining effective lifestyle interventions that improve the overall health of cancer survivors and their families. Her laboratory has conducted some of the largest studies exploring metabolic and body composition changes in response to cancer treatment. An area of research in which Dr. Demark-Wahnefried has experienced particular success is the delivery of home-based lifestyle interventions among cancer survivors, where she has led and continues to lead a number of NIH-funded trials aimed at improving the diet and exercise behavioral of cancer survivors. She was a named a Komen Professor of Survivorship for her work in this arena, and also received the American Cancer Society’s highest honor (ACS Clinical Research Professor).

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried serves on the several boards and panels, such as the American Cancer Society, several NIH standing and ad-hoc committees, the Institute of Medicine Cancer Research Policy Forum. Her research interests include diet/hormonal and genetic interactions and their association with neoplasia (specifically breast and prostate cancer); dietary intervention to prevent chronic disease factors affecting compliance and recidivism; and lifestyle modification among cancer survivors.

Select References

  1. Demark-Wahnefried W, Peterson BL, Winer EP, Marks L, Aziz N, Marcom PK, Blackwell K, Rimer BK.  Changes in weight, body composition and factors influencing energy balance among premenopausal breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.  Journal of Clinical Oncology  19:2381-2389, 2001. PMID: 11331316
  2. Lin X, Switzer BR, Demark-Wahnefried W.  Effect of mammalian lignans on the growth of prostate cancer cell lines.  Anticancer Research 21: 3995-4000, 2001. PMID: 11911282
  3. Lin X, Gingrich JR, Bao W, Li J, Haroon ZA, Demark-Wahnefried W.  The effect of flaxseed supplementation on prostatic carcinoma in transgenic mice.  Urology 60:919-924, 2002. PMID: 12429338
  4. Demark-Wahnefried W, Aziz N, Rowland J, Pinto BM.  Riding the crest of the teachable moment: Promoting long-term health after the diagnosis of cancer.  Journal of Clinical Oncology 23:5814-5830, 2005. PMCID: 1550285
  5. Demark-Wahnefried W,Clipp EC, Lipkus IM, Lobach D, Snyder DC, Sloane R, Peterson B, Macri JA, Rock CL, McBride C, Kraus WE.  Main outcomes of the FRESH START trial: A sequentially-tailored diet and exercise mailed print intervention among breast and prostate cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology 25:2709-2719, 2007.  PMID: 17602076
  6. Chen L-H, Fang J, Demark-Wahnefried W, Lin X.  Enterolactone induces apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells via a mitochondrial-mediated, caspase-dependent pathway.  Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 6: 2581-90, 2007. PMID: 17876055
  7. Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ,Madden JF,Switzer BR, George SL, Ruffin MT, Snyder DC, Hars V, Albala DM, Walther PJ, Robertson CN, Moul JW, Dunn BK, Brenner D, Minasian L, Stella P,Vollmer, RT Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery.  Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention  17:3577-3587, 2008. PMCID: 2703189
  8. Morey MC, Snyder DC, Sloane R,Cohen HJ, Peterson B,Hartman T,Miller PE, Mitchell D, Demark-Wahnefried W.  Effects of home-based diet and exercise on functional outcomes among older, overweight long-term cancer survivors.  RENEW: A randomized controlled trial  JAMA 301: 1883-91, 2009. PMCID: 2752421
  9. Heymach JV, Shackleford TJ, Tran HT, You SY, Do K-A, Saintigny P, Vollmer RT, Polascik TJ, Snyder DC, Ruffin MT, Yan S, Dewhirst M, Aggarwal B, Demark-Wahnefried W.   Effect of low-fat diet on plasma levels of NF-kB-regulated inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors in men with prostate cancer.  Cancer Prevention Research 4(10):1590-8, 2011. PMCID: PMC3438697
  10. Rock CL, Doyle C, Demark-Wahnefried W, Meyerhardt J, Courneya KS, Schwartz AL, Bandera EV, Hamilton KK, Grant B, McCullough M, Byers T, Gansler T. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors.  CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(4):243-74.
  11. Demark-Wahnefried W, Platz EA, Ligibel J, Blair CK, Courneya KS, Meyerhardt JA, Ganz PA, Rock CL, Schmitz KH,Wadden T, Philip EJ, Wolfe B,Gapstur SM,Ballard-Barbash R, McTiernan A,Minasian L,Nebeling, GoodwinPJ. The role of obesity in cancer survival and recurrence. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21:1244-59, 2012. PMCID:PMC3415558
  12. Azrad M, Zhang K, Vollmer RT, Madden J, Polascik T, Snyder DC, Ruffin MT, Moul J, Brenner D, Hardy RW, Demark-Wahnefried W. Prostatic alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is positively associated with aggressive prostate cancer: A relationship which may depend on genetic variation in ALA metabolism. PLOS One . 2012;7(12):e53104. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053104. Epub 2012 Dec 28. PMCID:PMC3532426
  13. Demark-Wahnefried W, Morey MC, Sloane R, Snyder DC, Miller PE, Hartman TJ, Cohen HJ.  Reach out to enhance wellness home-based diet-exercise intervention promotes reproducible and sustainable long-term improvements in health behaviors, body weight, and physical functioning in older, overweight/obese cancer survivors.  J Clin Oncol .30:2354-2361, 2012 PMCID:PMC3675693
  14. Blair CK,Madan-Swain A,Locher JL, Desmond RA,De Los Santos J,Affuso O, Glover T, Smith K, Sharma A, Carley J,Lipsitz M, Anderson-Krontiras H, Cantor A, Demark-Wahnefried W. Harvest for Health Gardening Feasibility Study in Cancer Survivors.  Acta Oncologica 2013 Aug;52(6):1110-8. PMCID: PMC3718632
  15. Demark-Wahnefried W,  Jones LW, Snyder DC, Sloane R, Kimmick GG, Hughes DC, Badr H, Miller PE, Burke L, Lipkus IM. Daughters And MothErS Against Breast Cancer (DAMES):  Main Outcomes of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Weight Loss in Overweight Mothers with Breast Cancer and their Overweight Daughters.  CANCER . 2014 doi: 10.1002/cncr.28761.
  16. Ligibel JA, Alfano C, Courneya K, Demark-Wahnefried W, Burger R, Chlebowski R, Fabian C, Gucalp A, Hershman DL, Hudson M, Jones L, Kakarala M, Ness K, Merrill J, Wollins D, Hudis CA American Society of Clinical Oncology Position Statement on Obesity and Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2014 Oct 1. pii: JCO.2014.58.4680
  17. Demark-Wahnefried W, Rogers LQ, Alfano CM, Thomson CA, Courneya KS, Meyerhardt JA, Stout NL, Kvale E, Ganzer H, Ligibel JA Practical clinical interventions for diet, physical activity, and weight control in cancer survivors.  CA Cancer J Clin DOI: 10.3322/caac.21265

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