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Martha Belury

Professor, Endo, Diabetes & Metabolism
Carol S. Kennedy Professor, Department of Human Sciences
Professor, COPH -Environmental Health Sci
Program Chair, Human Nutrition, Department of Human Sciences

Program Area: Human Nutrition

(614) 292-1680

Personal Website

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  • PhD, Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, 1992
  • BS, Nutrition, University of Texas, Austin, 1987

Research Summary

  • The study of whole body energy metabolism as regulated by interactions between adipose, liver and muscle tissues
    • Canonical mechanisms of energy metabolism involve insulin-dependent and insulin–independent pathways in each of these tissues
    • Adipose secretes adipokines that regulate metabolism and inflammation in non-adipose tissues
  • How the availability or lack of availability of energy substrates and bioactive compounds (e.g., adipokines and dietary components) modulate metabolism and tissue function of adipose and muscle
  • Energy deprivation induces atrophy of muscle and adipose using some overlapping mechanisms including altered metabolism, inflammation, proteolysis and cell death-associated signals
  • Identifying the steps of atrophy related to insulin-resistance, proteolysis and cell death
    • We use a murine model of muscle atrophy that is induced by cancer cachexia where the cachexia appears to involve early alterations of insulin-mediated metabolism and inflammation that contribute to diminished energy substrate and compromised function of skeletal muscle


  • 2002 – Present: Associate/Full Professor, Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2002 – Present: Carol S. Kennedy Endowed Professorship of Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2009 – Present: Adjunct Professor, Division of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2004 – Present: Adjunct Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2002 – 2008: Associate Professor, Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2000 – 2002: Associate Member, Department of Molecular Medicine, Northwest Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • 1998 – 2000: Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1994 – 1998: Assistant Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1992 – 1994: Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana


  • 2014: Robert H. Herman Memorial Award for Outstanding Research, American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Presented at Experimental Biology, San Diego, CA
  • 2012: College of Education and Human Ecology, Award for Distinguished Scholarship, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2012: Most Cited Paper [1] (ranked 17th) in 70-year history of Nutrition Reviews journal, International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), Washington, DC ·    
  • 2011: Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Washington, DC
  • 2011: Visiting Professorship, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2007: Mentor, Director’s Award for Excellence in Student Research, OARDC, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2004: Dean’s Award for Research, College of Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2003: Hot Paper [2], ESI Essential Scientific Indicators, Most Cited Paper for Agricultural Sciences for Third Quarter, Thomson Reuters
  • 2000: E.L.R Stokstad Award for Outstanding Research, American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS), Presented at Experimental Biology, April 16, 2000, San Diego, CA
  • 1999: Outstanding Young Professional Award for 1999, Texas Exes in Human Ecology, University of Texas, Austin, TX
  • 1993: Most Influential Teacher, College of Education, Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
  • 1992: Pre-Doctoral Training Grant in Toxicology, NIEHS, NIH, University of Texas, Austin, TX

[1] Belury, MA. Conjugated dienoic linoleate:  A unique chemoprotective polyunsaturated fatty acid.  Nutr Rev 1995; 53: 83-89
[2] Belury, MA. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid in health: Physiological effects and mechanisms of action. Annu Rev Nutr 2002; 22: 505-531

Selected Grants

  • Loss of adiponectin as a contributing factor in cancer cachexia (May 2014-April 2016). $450,000. This study will probe the value of adiponectin in maintaining muscle by restoring levels of adiponectin activity in mice with cachexia. Martha Belury, PI. Organization: NCI-NIHR21CA185140. Role: PI, 15%
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and ERPR(-) and HER-2/neu(+) breast cancer prevention (Jan 2014-Dec 2017). $1,277,681. This is a randomized clinical trial designed to compare long-chain omega 3 fatty acids as a fish oil supplement to a “placebo” comparative oils supplement for changes of fatty acid composition, eicosanoids, inflammation in breast tissue of women at risk for ERPR(-) and HER-2/neu(+) breast cancer. Lisa Yee, PI. Organization: NCI-NIH R01CA164019. Role: Co-I, 5%
  • Breast cancer survivors' cardiovascular risks: Treatment and behavioral influences (Jan 2014-Dec 2017) $6,000,000. This is a prospective study to assess postprandial lipid and atherogenic responses (triglycerides, VLDLs, adhesion molecules) using a typical Westernized high saturated fat challenge meal in stage I-IIIA breast cancer survivors before any adjuvant treatment, and two years after completion of all primary cancer treatment except for longer-term hormonal therapies. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PI. Organization: NCI-NIH R01CA186720. Role Co-I, 5%
  • Bioavailability and activity of dietary narigenin as a chemopreventive agent (Aug 2012-July 2014). 

    The goal of this study is to determine the uptake and effects of naringenin on metabolism and markers of cell proliferation in mammary tissue of mice. Martha Belury, PI. Organization: 

    NIH-NCI R03CA162551. Role: PI, 7%

Selected Publications

  1. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Jaremka L, Andridge R, Peng J, Habash D, Fagundes CP, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Belury MA. Marital Discord, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: Interpersonal Pathways to Obesity. Psychoneuroimmun, in press
  2. Jaremka LM, Derry HM, Bornstein R, Prakash RS, Peng J, Belury MA, Andridge RR, Malarkey WB, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Omega-3 supplementation and loneliness-related memory problems: secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial.  Psychosom Med, in press
  3. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Habash DL, Fagundes CP, Andridge RR, Peng J, Malarkey WB, Belury MA.  Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity. Biol Psychiatry, in press
  4. Jaremka LM, Belury MA, Andridge RR, Malarkey WB, Glaser R, Christian L, Emery CF, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Interpersonal stressors predict ghrelin and leptin levels in women. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 48; 178-88
  5. Carta G, Murru E, Cordeddu L, Ortiz B, Giordano E, Belury MA, Quadro L, Banni S. Metabolic Interactions between vitamin A and conjugated linoleic acid. Nutrients. 2014; 24;6:1262-72
  6. Yee LD, Agarwal D, Rosol TJ, Lehman A, Tian M, Hatton J, Heestand J, Belury MA, Clinton SK. The inhibition of early stages of HER-2/neu-mediated mammary carcinogenesis by dietary n-3 PUFAs. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013;57(2):320-7
  7. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Epel ES, Belury MA, Andridge R, Lin J, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Hwang BS, Blackburn E. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun 2013; 28:16-24
  8. Orchard TS, Ing SW, Lu B, Belury MA, Johnson K, Wactawski-Wende J, Jackson RD. The association of red blood cell n-3 and n-6 fatty acids to dietary fatty acid intake, bone mineral density and hip fracture risk in the Women's Health Initiative J Bone Miner Res 2013; 28(3):505-15
  9. Asp ML, Collene AL, Richardson JR, Droll KR, Belury MA. Dietary protein and beef consumption predict for markers of muscle mass and nutrition status in older adults. J Nutr Health Aging 2012; 16(9):784-90
  10. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Christian LM, Andridge R, Hwang BS, Malarkey WB, Belury MA, Emery CF, Glaser R.  Adiponectin, Leptin, and Yoga Practice, Physiol Behav 2012; in press.
  11. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Hwang BS, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation in healthy middle-aged and older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun 2012; 26:988-95
  12. Asp ML, Tian M, Kliewer KL, Belury MA. Rosiglitazone delayed weight loss and anorexia while attenuating adipose depletion in mice with cancer cachexia.  Cancer Biol Ther 2012;12(11):957-65
  13. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Brain Behav Immun 2011; 25(8): 1725-34
  14. Tian M, Asp ML, Kliewer KL, Belury MA. Evidence for cardiac atrophic remodeling in cancer-induced cachexia in mice. Int J Oncol 2011;  39 (5): 1321-6
  15. Asp ML, Norris LE, Collene AL, Cole R, Stout MB, Yu S-Z, Hsu JC, Belury MA.   Time-to-effect analyses of improvement of glycemia by dietary safflower oil in obese, post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Clin Nutr 2011; 30 (4) 443-9
  16. Tian M, Kliewer KL, Asp ML, Stout MB, Belury MA. c9t11-CLA rich oil fails to attenuate wasting in colon-26 tumor-induced late stage cancer cachexia in male CD2F1 mice.  Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 2011; 55(2):268-77
  17. Tian M, Yoshinori N, Asp ML, Stout MB, Reiser PJ, Belury MA. Cardiac alterations in cancer-induced cachexia in mice. International Journal of Oncology 2010; 37(2):347-53 
  18. Yee LD, Lester JL, Cole RM, Richardson JR, Hsu JC, Li Y, Lehman A, Belury MA, Clinton SK.  Omega 3 fatty acid supplements in women at high risk for breast cancer show dose dependent effects on breast adipose fatty acid composition. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 91:1185-1194
  19. Asp ML, Tian M, Wendel AA, Belury MA. Insulin resistance occurs early in cancer cachexia. International Journal of Cancer 2010; 126:756-763 

Selected Presentations

  • Invited speaker, Putting out the fire:  Evidence that linoleic acid does not fuel inflammation.  ASN annual meeting, Experimental Biology ’13, Boston, MA, April 22, 2013
  • Keynote speaker, Metabolic consequences of an unemployed adipocyte. Celebratory conference honoring the retirement for Susan M. Fischer, PhD, Professor, MD Anderson and University of Texas, Smithville, TX, Oct 26, 2012
  •  Invited speaker, Using dietary oils to target the metabolic syndrome.  Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University, Shreveport, LA, Dec 13, 2011