Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Philadelphia
Professor of Biochemistry

Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD


Email: farzanehd@pcom.edu
Office: 215-871-6449
Research Page

Farzaneh Daghigh received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Temple University, School of Medicine. Later, she conducted postdoctoral research at the DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals. She then joined the faculty at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1998. Currently, she is a full Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences at PCOM. Her research in basic sciences involves the study of arginine metabolism and its involvement in airway remodeling of asthmatic patients.

Dr. Daghigh is the biochemistry content expert in the pre-clinical curriculum. She teaches biochemistry and nutrition to medical students and graduate students. She is the co-course director of the Culinary Medicine elective in which medical sciences meet cooking. She has served as a member of several committees, which spearheaded the curricular changes at PCOM. Dr. Daghigh passion is helping students understand, appreciate and integrate the basic sciences to remain as inquisitive physicians during their lifelong medical practice.

Dr. Daghigh believes in engaging students in their own learning and developed many collaborative active learning sessions known as "Enrichment" based on a Flipped Classroom curriculum. Her medical education research is geared towards the goal of inclusion of nutrition in the DO curriculum as best as possible. Her additional research has been on the use of nutrition education and behavior change in overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome.

  • Education

    Postdoctoral fellow - DuPont-Merck Pharmaceutical

    Temple University School of Medicine
    Department of Biochemistry
    Ph.D. Biochemistry

    The College of New Jersey
    B.S. Chemistry, summa cum laude

  • Courses

    Dr. Daghigh participates in the following courses:

    First Year DO class: Teach in CMBM and Cardiovascular Diseases courses
    Second Year DO: Gastroenterology Course Director; Teach in Life Stages course
    Biomed program: Teach in MBM course

  • Research

    Dr. Daghigh’s current research projects:

    Project 1
    Examine the possibility of dietary ω-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil or oily fish, in diminishing chronic inflammation in human lung fibroblast (HLF) by reducing nitric oxide. DHA and EPA, ω-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory actions that may benefit asthmatic patients health.

    Project 2
    This study focuses on portion control as the pillar for an intervention featuring participant nutrition education counseling. This study will offer the participants ways to self-regulate and feel accountable at home. The participants are assigned readings on nutrition topics, logging their meal selections and quantities as well as their physical activity. The goal of this study is to improve participants’ portion control awareness through nutritional coaching: an intervention based on nutrition education and weight loss motivation.

  • Publications

    Selected Publications

    Jennifer King, Jeffrey E. Harris, David Kuo, and Farzaneh Daghigh, One-on-One: The Assessment and Evaluation of a Brief One-on-One Nutritional Coaching in Patients Affected by Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Biomedical Education, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 580287.

    Farzaneh Daghigh, Ph.D., David Vettori, DO, and Jeffrey Harris, Ph.D. (2011). Nutrition in Medical Education: History, Current Status, and Resources. Topics in Clinical Nutrition 26(2) Spring 2011 issue

    Book Chapter: (2007) Oxidative Stress: Clinical and Biomedical Implications, Chapter 18, Reactive Oxidant Species and Emerging Therapies in Clinical Medicine. Nova Publishers.

    Farzaneh Daghigh, Ph.D., Ruth C. Borghaei, Ph.D., Ruth Thornton, Ph.D., and Joseph H. Bee, BS. (2002). Human Gingival Fibroblasts produce nitric oxide in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. J. Periodontology. Apr;73 (4):392-400.

    Selected Presentations

    “To Veg or not to Veg”, was the topic of a presentation at the Philadelphia Science Festival in May 2014. This was a review of the current literature and the state of biomedical consequences of Vegetarianism and Western diets.

    Nutri One-on-One: Improving patients’ Metabolic Profile with One-on-One Nutritional Coaching. Jennifer King, MS, Jeffrey E. Harris, D.P.H., M.P.H., R.D., David Kuo, DO, Farzaneh Daghigh, Ph.D., The Experimental Biology Convention, May 2014. San Diego, CA.

    Vamsee Duggirala, Donald Hasenmeyer, and Farzaneh Daghigh (2013). Effect of Nicotine and Omega-3 Polyunsatated Fatty acids on Arginine Metabolism in Asthma. The Linus Pauling Institute Conference, “Diet and Optimum Health”. May, 2013, Corvallis, Oregon.

  • Grants

    June 2008-June 2009: Principal Investigator, one year grant for $10,000 funded by CCDA (the center for Chronic Disease of Aging). This project is titled, “Determination of the physiologically and pathophysiologicaly relevance of arginase isoforms in NO production by human gingival fibroblasts”.

    2007-2008: Co-Principal Investigator of AOA Grant # 07-10-557 “Documenting Mechanics and Mechanisms in Pedal Pump OMT” for $22,712.

    2006-2007: Co-Principal Investigator of a grant from the Korman’s Foundation for $400,000 titled “Pilot: Gait Analysis, Balance, Nitric Oxide, Fluid Distribution, and Quality-of-Life of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) treated with Whole Body, Periodic Acceleration or Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)”.

    October 2003: Co-Principal Investigator of a grant from the Karen and Herbert Lotman Foundation for $25,000 titled “A pilot study to establish a protocol to determine the change in nitric oxide (NO) concentrations after treatment with the Accelerated Therapeutic 101 (AT101) table in normal healthy subjects and patient volunteers”.

    Media Dr. Daghigh discussed the costs and benefits of a vegetarian diet. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 9, 2014

    Dr. Daghigh discussed the health ramifications of a vegetarian diet at Franklin Institute's program "To Veg or Not to Veg.", May 30, 2014

    Dr. Daghigh Weighs in on Diet Cookies, Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, professor, biochemistry/molecular biology, was tapped by Channel Six to weigh in on the ingredients of a popular diet cookie. Video on PCOM’s Facebook page, October 7, 2009