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Martha Belury

Carol S. Kennedy Professor, Department of Human Sciences
Program Chair, Human Nutrition, Department of Human Sciences

Program Area: Human Nutrition

(614) 292-1680

Personal Website

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Martha Belury is the Carol S. Kennedy professor of human nutrition in the Department of Human Sciences. Her research interests are investigating the mechanisms of bioactive lipids in regulating insulin sensitivity in liver, adipose and muscle; and the role of energy balance in cancer prevention.


  • 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

  • National Needs Fellowship: Multidisciplinary Training of Fellows in Food & Nutrition for Obesity & Cancer Prevention Martha Belury, PI USDA 2017-09503
    This is a pre-doctoral training grant to provide stipend, tuition and fees for three distinguished pre-doctoral fellows in nutrition and foods sciences areas. Dietary fats, mitochondrial function and muscle health in cancer patients
  • Martha Belury and Subha Raman, Dual PI NIH/NCI R21206566
    This is a prospective study that will explore the relationship between mitochondrial phospholipid composition with changes of cardiac and skeletal muscle function in breast cancer patients before and during chemotherapy.

Selected Publications

  1. Banh TH, Puchala SE, Cole RM, Andridge RR, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA . Blood level of adiponectin is positively associated with lean mass in women without type 2 diabetes. Menopause 2019 ; in press
  2. Padin AC, Hébert JR, Woody A, Wilson SJ, Shivappa N, Belury MA , Malarkey WB, Sheridan JF, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. A proinflammatory diet is associated with inflammatory gene expression among healthy, non-obese adults: Can social ties protect against the risks? Brain Behav Immun 2019; in press
  3. Bowman ER, Kulkarni M, Gabriel J, Cichon MJ, Riedl K, Belury MA , Lake JE, Richardson B, Cameron C, Cameron M, Koletar SL, Lederman MM, Sieg SF, Funderburg NT. Altered Lipidome Composition Is Related to Markers of Monocyte and Immune Activation in Antiretroviral Therapy Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and in Uninfected Persons. Front Immunol 2019; 10:785
  4. Angelotti A, Cole RM, Raatz SK, Belury MA . Evaluation of a Rapid Assessment Questionnaire Using a Biomarker for Dietary Intake of n-3 Fatty Acids. Lipids 2019 ; 54: 321-8
  5. Orchard TS, Gaudier-Diaz MM, Phuwamongkolwiwat-Chu P, Andridge R, Lustberg MB, Bomser J, Cole RM, Belury MA , DeVries AC. Low Sucrose, Omega-3 Enriched Diet Has Region-Specific Effects on Neuroinflammation and Synaptic Function Markers in a Mouse Model of Doxorubicin-Based Chemotherapy. Nutrients 2018; 10: doi: 10.3390/nu10122004
  6. Banh T,Snoke D, Cole RM, Angelotti A, Schnell PM, Belury MA . Higher tumor mass and lower adipose mass are associated with colon-26 adenocarcinoma-induced cachexia in male, female and ovariectomized mice. Oncol Reports 2018 ; 41: 2909-18
  7. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Wilson SJ, Bailey ML, Andridge R, Peng J, Jaremka LM, Fagundes CP, Malarkey WB, Laskowski B, Belury MA. Marital Distress, Depression, and a Leaky Gut: Translocation of Bacterial Endotoxin as a Pathway to Inflammation. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2018; 98:52-60
  8. Raatz SK, Conrad Z, Jahns L, Belury MA , Picklo MJ. Modeled replacement of traditional soybean and canola oil with high oleic varieties increases MUFA and reduces both SFA and PUFA intake in the US adult population. Am J Clin Nutr 2018 ; 108(3):594-602
  9. Belury MA, Bowman E, Gabriel J, Snyder B, Kulkarni M, Palettas M, Mo X, Lake JE, Zidar D, Sieg SF, Rodriguez B, Playford MP, Andrade A, Kuritzkes DR, Mehta NN, Lederman MM, Funderburg NT. Prospective analysis of lipid composition changes with antiretroviral therapy and immune activation in persons living with HIV. Pathog Immun 2017 ; 2:376-403
  10. Lustberg MB, Orchard TS, Reinbolt R, Andridge R, Pan X, Belury M, Cole R, Logan A, Layman R, Ramaswamy B, Wesolowski R, Berger M, Patterson E, Loprinzi C, Shapiro CL, Yee L. Randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial of omega 3 fatty acids for prevention of aromatase inhibitor-induced musculoskeletal pain. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2017; doi: 10.1007/s10549-017-4559-z
  11. Christian LM, Young AS, Mitchell AM, Belury MA , Gracious BL, Arnold LE, Fristad MA. Body weight affects ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) accumulation in youth following supplementation in post-hoc analyses of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS One 2017 ; 12(4):e0173087
  12. Ke, J-Y, Banh T, Hsiao Y-H, Cole RM, Straka SR, Yee LD, Belury MA . Citrus flavonoid naringenin reduces mammary tumor cell viability, adipose mass, and adipose inflammation in obese ovariectomized mice. Mol Nutr Food Res 2017 ; 61(9). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600934

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