DENNIS M. PEFFLEY, JD, PHD
Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - PCOM Georgia
Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology


Contact

Email: dennispe@pcom.edu
Office: 678-225-7575
Publications and Selected Works

After completing his PhD in genetics at the Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Peffley did postdoctoral training in molecular biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. His first faculty position was in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, Tennessee. At this institution, Dr. Peffley obtained his first NIH grant that focused on cholesterol synthesis.

Dr. Peffley then moved to the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine in North Chicago, Illinois where he was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology. His research interests moved from cholesterol research to the dietary prevention of cancer. To support this research, Dr. Peffley received an NIH grant from the National Cancer Institute.

A promotion to full professor lead Dr. Peffley to the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience in the Department of Pharmacology. At this institution he continued his research in dietary prevention of cancer as well as teaching pharmacology, genetics and biochemistry. While in Kansas City, Dr. Peffley finished his Juris Doctor in law at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. He has also served as founding faculty at two medical schools including Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.

  • Education

    • Juniata College, BS, Biology
    • The Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D., Genetics
    • The University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, J.D., Law
  • Courses

    • Pharmacology
    • Genetics
    • Biochemistry
  • Research

    Dr. Peffley's research interests focus on dietary prevention of cancer by plant-derived terpenes or isoprenoids derived from the plant mevalonate biosynthetic pathway. Terpenes have potent antitumor effects and it is believed that diets rich in plant products provide some degree of protection from cancer (chemopreventives). Research has established that terpene-mediated antitumor actions are due in part to suppression of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR is a serine/threonine kinase belonging to the family of phosphatidyl-3-kinase (PI3K) related kinases (PIKK). The mTOR activity is elevated in many tumor cells and has been associated with elevated translation of proteins required for cell cycle regulation and other metabolic processes. Suppression of the mTOR pathway in tumor cells leads to cell death through autophagy.

  • Awards

    • Cora Louise Carson Award from the Tennessee Affiliate of the American Heart Association (In honor of receiving the highest research merit rating)
    • New Investigator Award - American Heart Association, Tennessee Affiliate
    • Travel Award ($500) from the Basic Science Council of the American Heart Association, presented to Jae Won Choi, a graduate student in my laboratory, for his presentation at the 65th Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (1993)
    • Travel Award ($500) from the Basic Science Council of the American Heart Association, presented to Robbie Buechler, a graduate student in my laboratory, for his presentation at the 71st Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (1998)
    • Travel Award ($500) presented to Seon H. Yuh, graduate student in my laboratory, for her poster presentation at the Aspen Lipid Conference (1998)
    • Grant preproposal on genistein/isoprenoid-mediated effects on prostate cancer submitted with Patricia Hentosh, Sc.D. to Soy Health Research Program selected as best proposal for $10,000 incentive award (2001)
    • Recipient of the University of Health Sciences Research Support Award (2002)
    • Recipient of the UHS Faculty Publication Award (2002)
    • 2nd Prize in the Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition (sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers [ASCAP]) for paper entitled “Are Databases Adequately Protected by the 1976 Copyright Act in the Age of Bioinformatics?" (2003)
    • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law: Dean’s Honor List: Fall Semester 2004
    • Excellence Award in Molecular Medicine awarded at the Molecular Medicine: Applying Current and Emerging Technologies Conference, March 2008.
  • Memberships

    • American Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    • Missouri Bar Association
    • District of Columbia Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
  • Grants

    • Multi-investigator grant (ODU Internal Funding) – Modeling and Testing Complex Interactions of Chromatin-associated Proteins in Cancer Cells – Total Direct Funding, $78,000 (Co-principal Investigator).
    • Breeden Foundation  A New Combination Therapy for Cancer Treatment – Subnanosecond Electrical Pulse Treatment of Electro-Sensitized Tumors – Total Direct Funding, $35,000 (Co-investigator)
    • National Cancer Institute (RO1 CA81756)  Modulation of Mevalonate Synthesis by Dietary Isoprenoids: 04/01/99-03/30/06, Total Direct Funding, $621,566: Principal Investigator
    • National Cancer Institute (CA81756S), Minority Faculty Supplement
    • Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Research Development Grant, Proteomic Analysis of Isoprenoid and Isoflavone-mediated Regulation of Cap-dependent and Cap-independent Protein Translation in Human Prostate Tumor Cells, December 1, 2003-November, 2004; Principal Investigator, Total Direct Funding, $25,000.
    • American Health Assistance Foundation, The Translational Control of HMG-CoA Reductase in Mammalian Cells: April 01, 1988-March 31, 1989, Total Direct Funding, $25,000: Principal Investigator
    • American Heart Association – Tennessee Affiliate, The Translational Control of 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase in Mammalian Cells: 7/01/88-6/30/90, Total Direct Funding, $55,000: Principal Investigator
    • American Health Assistance Foundation, Regulation of HMG-CoA Reductase Gene Expression: 04/01/89-06/30/90, Total Direct Funding, $25,000: Principal Investigator
    • American Heart Association (National Chapter), Regulation of HMG-CoA Reductase by Oxysterols and Mevalonate: 7/01/90-6/30/93, Total Direct Funding- $105,000 (awarded but declined): Principal Investigator
    • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (RO1 HL44006), Regulation of HMG-CoA Reductase in Mammalian Cells: 1/01/90-12/31/96, Total Direct Funding – $441,417: Principal Investigator
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (HL 44006-O4S1), Minority Graduate Research Assistant Supplement, $49,000
    • American Heart Association (National Chapter), Regulation of 3 Hydroxy 3 methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase by Mevalonate and Oxysterols: 07/01/96 – 06/30/00, Total Direct Funding, $120,000: Principal Investigator
    • National Cancer Institute (RO1 CA73418), Cancer Prevention by Isoprenoid Constituents of Plants: 9/01/96-8/31/00, Total Direct Funding, $250,000: Co-Investigator
    • National Cancer Institute (R03 CA72527) - Dietary Isoprenoid Regulation of Growth Related Genes: 12/01/96-11/30/99, Total Direct Funding, $50,000: Principal Investigator