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Center for Human Nutrition


Jed Fahey

Assistant Professor
Director, Cullman Chemoprotection Center
Academic Degrees
Departmental Affiliation
International Health
Joint Departmental Affiliations
Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences (Primary)
Departmental Address
School of Medicine, Phytochemistry Laboratories, Cullman Chemoprotection Center
855 N. Wolfe St., Suite 625 (John G. Rangos Jr. Bldg.)
Phone: 410-614-2607
Research and Professional Experience

I am a nutritional biochemist with broad training and extensive background in plant physiology, human nutrition, phytochemistry and nutritional biochemistry.  I run the Phytochemistry Laboratories at Johns Hopkins Medical School, part of the Cullman Chemoprotection Center where we are developing plant-based chemoprotective agents. My current research addresses the induction by phytochemicals, of cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant responses in mammalian systems. This work draws on elements of natural product chemistry, enzymology, nutritional epidemiology and clinical research to develop nutritional strategies for chronic disease prevention in humans. Many of these studies deal with the glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that are found primarily in cruciferous vegetables and in a nutritious tropical tree called the drumstick tree or Moringa oleifera. Other work focuses upon a variety of flavonoid and phenolic secondary metabolites from ginseng, honey, ginger, ashwagandha, black cohosh, and other plants. We discovered that broccoli sprouts are an exceptionally rich source of inducers of the enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, (PNAS 94:10367-10372) and developed techniques to detect these inducers and assess their metabolism in humans. More recently, I determined that one of these inducers (sulforaphane) has potent antibiotic activity against Helicobacter pylori, a causative agent of peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer (PNAS 99:7610-7615); and I have just discovered that sulforaphane inactivates urease (a major pathogenesis factor of this bacterium) by an apparently independent mechanism. I have developed, characterized, and supplied preparations rich in specific phytochemicals for a large number of animal and clinical studies in which I have played an integral collaborative role.  

In addition to my research, I teach graduate courses in both the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. Before joining the Hopkins faculty in 1993, I spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry and held senior management positions in agricultural biotechnology research and process development. My work there focused primarily on plant cell culture, plant-microbe interactions, seed physiology, and related aspects of the biology of food crops. 



Diet, disease prevention, chemoprotection, chemoprevention, cancer, phytochemistry, crucifer, brassica, glucosinolate

Honors and Awards

Selected Publications

Fahey JW, KK Stephenson, KL Wade, P Talalay.  (2013)  Urease from Helicobacter pylori is inactivated by sulforaphane and other isothiocyanates.  Biochemical & Biophysical Research Communications 435: 1-7.

Tsuji PA, KK Stephenson, KL Wade, H Liu, JW Fahey.  (2013) Structure-activity analysis of flavonoids: Direct and Indirect antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory potencies and toxicities.  Nutrition and Cancer 65(7) (in press).

Fahey JW, TW Kensler.  (2013) Frugal medicine: Health-span extension through green chemoprevention.  American Medical Association Virtual Mentor 15(4): 311-318.

Fahey JW, P Talalay, TW Kensler.  (2012) Notes from the field: “Green” chemoprevention as frugal medicine.  Cancer Prev Res 5(2):179-188.

Fahey JW, SL Wehage, WD Holtzclaw, TW Kensler, PA Egner, TA Shapiro, P Talalay. (2012)  Protection of humans by plant glucosinolates: Efficiency of conversion of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates by the gastrointestinal microflora.  Cancer Prev Res  5(4):603-611.

Johnson TL, JW Fahey.  (2012)  Black cohosh: Coming full circle?  J Ethnopharmacology  141(3): 775-779.

Kensler TW, D Ng, SG Carmella, M Chen, LP Jacobson, A Munoz, PA Egner, JG Chen, GS Qian, TY Chen, JW Fahey, P Talalay, JD Groopman, J-M Yuan, SS Hecht.  (2011)  Modulation of the metabolism of airborne pollutants by glucoraphanin-rich and sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout beverages in Qidong, China.  Carcinogenesis 33(1):101-107.

Olson ME and JW Fahey. (2011) Moringa oleifera: un árbol multiusos par las zonas tropicales secas.  Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 82:1071-1082.

Suganuma H, JW Fahey, KE Bryan, ZR Healy and P Talalay. (2011) Stimulation of phagocytosis by sulforaphane. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 405(1): 146-151.

Egner PA, JG Chen, JB Wang, Y Wu, Y Sun,  JH Lu, J Zhu, YH Zhang, YS Chen, MD Friesen, LP Jacobson, A Muñoz, D Ng, GS Qian, YR Zhu, TY Chen, NP Botting, Q Zhang, JW Fahey, P Talalay, JD Groopman and TW Kensler.  (2011) Bioavailability of sulforaphane from two forms of broccoli sprout beverage: Results of a short term, cross-over clinical trial in Qidong, People’s Republic of China.  Cancer Prevention Research 4(3): 384-395.

Rodriguez-Cantu, L, J Gutierrez-Uribe, J Arreola-Vucovich, R Diaz de la Garza, JW Fahey and S Serna-Saldivar. (2010) Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) sprouts and extracts rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates affect cholesterol metabolism and genes involved on lipid homeostasis in hamsters.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59(4): 1095-1103.

Bhattacharya A, Y Li, KL Wade, JD Paonessa, JW Fahey and Y Zhang. (2010) Allyl isothiocyanate-rich mustard seed powder inhibits bladder cancer growth and muscle invasion.  Carcinogenesis 31(12): 2105-2110.

Dinkova-Kostova, AT, JW Fahey, AL Benedict, SN Jenkins, L Ye, SL Wehage and P Talalay. (2010) Dietary glucoraphanin-rich broccoli sprout extracts protect against UV radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless micePhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences 9: 597-600.

Yanaka A, JW Fahey, A Fukumoto, M Nakayama, S Inoue, S Zhang, M Tauchi, H Suzuki, I Hyodo and M Yamamoto. (2009) Dietary sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts reduce colonization and attenuate gastritis in Helicobacter pylori-infected mice and humans.  Cancer Prevention Research 2(4): 353-360.

Lee SL, KL Stephenson, JW Fahey, TL Parsons, PL Lietman, AA Andrade, X Lei, H Yun, GH Soon, P Shen, S Danishefsky and C Flexner. (2009) Induction of chemoprotective phase 2 enzymes by ginseng and its components.  Planta Medica 75: 1-5.

Doerr, B, KL Wade, KK Stephenson, SB Reed, and JW Fahey. (2009) Cultivar effect on Moringa oleifera glucosinolate content and taste: A pilot study.  Ecology of Food and Nutrition 48: 199-211.

Thurber, M and JW Fahey. (2009) Adoption of Moringa oleifera to combat under-nutrition viewed through the lens of the 'Diffusion of Innovations' theory. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 48: 212-225.

Healy, ZR, AT Dinkova-Kostova, SL Wehage, RE Thompson, JW Fahey and P Talalay. (2009) Precise determination of the erythema response of human skin to ultraviolet radiation and quantification of effects of protectors.  Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 25: 45-50.

Ng, F, H Yun, X Lei, SJ Danishefsky, JW Fahey, KK Stephenson, C Flexner and L Lee.  (2008) (3R,9R,10R)-Panaxytriol: a molecular-based nutraceutical with possible application to cancer prevention and treatment.  Tetrahedron Letters 49: 7178-7179.

Farag, TH, JW Fahey, SS Khalfan and JM Tielsch. (2008) Diet as a factor in unexpectedly low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection.  Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 102(11): 1164-1165.

Dinkova-Kostova, AT, JW Fahey, SN Jenkins, SL Wehage and P Talalay. (2008) Rapid body weight gain increases the risk of ultraviolet radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless mice.  Nutrition Research 28(8): 539-543.

Dinkova-Kostova, AT, SN Jenkins, SL Wehage, DL Huso, AL Benedict, KK Stephenson, JW Fahey, H Liu, KT Liby, T Honda, GW Gribble, MB Sporn and P Talalay. (2008) A dicyano-triterpenoid induces cytoprotective enzymes and reduces multiplicity of skin tumors in UV-irradiated mice.  Biochem Biophys Res Commun 367: 859-865.

Munday, R, P Mhawech-Fauceglia, CM Munday, JD Paonessa, L Tang, JS Munday, C Lister, P Wilson, JW Fahey, W Davis and Y Zhang.  (2008) Inhibition of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by broccoli sprouts. Cancer Res. 68(5): 1593-1600.

Fahey JW and TW Kensler. (2007) Role of dietary supplements/nutraceuticals in chemoprevention through induction of cytoprotective enzymes. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 20: 572-576.


Jed Fahey