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Vasantha Rupasinghe

Associate Professor


Department of Environmental Sciences

Contact information

Email: vrupasinghe@dal.ca
Phone: 902.893.6623
Mailing Address: 
Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University
Rm 219-C Cox Institute Building
50 Pictou Rd. PO Box 550
Truro, NS, B2N 5E3
 

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • CHMA 3001 Biochemistry (Formerly Biochemical Pathways)
  • FOOD 3001 Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
  • FOOD 4000 Directed Studies in Food & Bioproduct Science

Graduate

  • AGRI 5730 Directed Studies in Food & Bioproduct Science
  • AGRI 5710 Graduate module: Plant Secondary Metabolites
  • AGRI 5710 Graduate module: Biochemistry of Fruit Ripening
  • AGRI 5710 Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals and Applications (with Dr. J. Hoyle)

Research Interests

Medicinal biochemistry of phytochemicals; Disease-fighting properties of plant flavonoids and their analogues; Polyphenol micronutrients of cool climate fruits and disease prevention.

Development and evaluation of value-added health food and feed ingredients, natural food additives, functional foods, natural health products and other horticultural bio-products.

Postharvest biology and technology of fruits; Biochemistry of fruit ripening; Novel and improved value-added processing technologies; Shelf life and quality.

Memberships

•  Cross Appointment, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

•  Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

•  Adjunct Professor, Department Process Engineering & Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

•  Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

•  Adjunct Professor, Postgraduate Faculty, Sichuan Agricultural University, China.

•  Board of Directors, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST).

Memberships continued

Publications

•  Arumuggam, N., N.A. Bhowmick, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Phytochemicals targeting JAK/STAT signaling and IDO expression in cancer. Phytotheraphy Research. (In Press).

•  Sekhon-Loodu, S. Ziaullah, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Docosahexaenoic acid ester of phlorizin inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in THP-1 differentiated macrophages. International Immunopharmacology. 25:199-206.

•  Sudan, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Antiproliferative activity of long chain acylated esters of quercetin-3-O-gluocoside in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Experimental Biology and Medicine. doi:10.1177/1535370215570828.

•  Potter, E., M. Jha, K. Bhullar, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, J. Balzarini, and A. Jha. 2015. Investigation of fatty acid conjugates of 3,5-bisarylmethylene-4-piperidone derivatives as antitumor agents and human topoisomerase-IIα inhibitors. Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry. 23:411-421.

•  Bhullar, K.B. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Antioxidant and cytoprotective properties of partridgeberry polyphenols. Food Chemistry. 168:595-605.

More publications

 

Book Chapters

• Ziaullah and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Application of NMR spectroscopy in plant phenolics associated with human health. In: Application of NMR Spectroscopy in Food Sciences (Eds.) Atta-ur-Rahman and M. Iqbal Chaudhary. Bentham Science Publishers, Oak Park, IL, USA. ISBN: 978-1-60805-999-7. pp. 03-92.

• Parmar, I., K.S. Bhullar, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2015. Anti-diabetic effect of ferulic acid and derivatives: An update. In: Ferulic Acid: Antioxidant Properties, Uses and Potential Health Benefits (Ed.). Bryce Warren. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, USA. ISBN: 978-1-63463-299-7. 

Rupasinghe, H.P.V., S. Nair, and R. Robinson. 2014. Chemopreventive properties of fruit phenolics and their possible mode of actions. In: Studies in Natural Products Chemistry. Volume 42 (Ed.) Atta-Ur-Rahman. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam. ISBN: 978-0-444-63281-4. pp. 229-266.

• Parmar, I. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Proanthocyanidins in cranberry and grape seeds: metabolism, bioavailability and biological activity. In: Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods: Natural Remedy (Ed.) S.K. Brar, S. Kaur and G.S. Dhillon, Nova Science Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-62948-793-9. pp. 119-145.

• Fernando, F. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Anticancer properties of phytochemicals present in medicinal plants of North America. In: Using Old Solutions to New Problems - Natural Drug Discovery in the 21st Century. (Ed.) Marianna Kulka. InTech - Open Access Publisher. Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN:  978-953-51-1158-0.  pp. 159-180.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V. and A.P.K. Joshi. 2013. Phytochemicals and health benefits of dried apple snacks. In: Dried Fruits: Phytochemicals and Health Effects (Ed.) C. Alasalvar and F. Shahidi, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Inc. Oxford, UK. ISBN: 978-0-8138-1173-4. pp 213-225.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V. and L. J. Yu. 2013. Value-added fruit processing for human health. In: Food Industry (Ed. I. Muzzalupo, InTech - Open Access Publisher. Rijeka, Croatia.. ISBN: 978-953-51-0911-2. pp. 145-162

• Warnakulasooriya, S.N. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2012. Physiological role of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in reducing the coronary heart diseases. In: Eicosapentaenoic Acid: Sources, Health Effects and Role in Disease Prevention. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, USA. ISBN: 978-1-62257-480-3. pp. 143-154.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V., S. Thilakarathna, and S. Nair. 2012. Polyphenols of apples and their potential health benefits. In: Polyphenols: Chemistry, Dietary Sources and Health Benefits (Eds.) J. Sun, K. N. Prasad, A. Ismail, B. Yang, X. You and L. Li, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, USA. ISBN: 978-1-62081-868-8. pp. 333-368.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V. and L. J. Yu. 2012. Emerging preservation methods for fruit juices and beverages. In: Food Additives (Ed. Y. El-Samragy), InTech - Open Access Publisher. Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN: 979-953-307-112-0. pp. 65-82.

• Kathirvel, P. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2012. Plant-derived antioxidants as potential omega-3 PUFA stabilizers. In: Fish Oil: Production, Consumption and Health Benefits (Ed.) M. Van Dijk and J. Vitek, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, USA. ISBN: 978-1-61470-963-3. pp. 157-186.

Rupasinghe, H.P.V. 2008. The role of polyphenols in quality, postharvest handling, and processing of fruits. In: Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers (Ed.) Paliyath, G., Murr, D.P., Handa, A.K., and S. Lurie, S. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-8138-0408-8. pp. 260-281.

• Schofield, A, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and G. Paliyath. 2008. Biosynthesis of isoprenoid in fruits and their impact on fruit quality. In: Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers (Ed.) Paliyath, G., Murr, D.P., Handa, A.K., and S. Lurie, S. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-8138-0408-8. pp. 282-300.

 

Conference Proceedings

• d’Entremont, C., S. Macé, H.P.V. Rupasinghe and L. Truelstrup-Hansen. 2015. Use of natural antimicrobial compounds for the removal of biofilms formed by Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica serovar, Typhimurium and commensal bacteria. Annual Conference of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP-2015). Portand, OR, USA. (July 25-28, 2015).

• Fernando, W., D.W. Hoskin, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. PZ-DHA, a novel polyphenol fatty acid ester derivative, is cytotoxic for breast cancer cells. The 6th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Terry Fox Research Institute. St. John’s, NL. (May 7-9, 2015).

• Bhullar, K.S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Amyloid-beta induced neurotoxicity is attenuated by partridgeberry polyphenols through Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and Keap1‐Nrf2 activation. The 21st Annual meeting of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Seattle, WA, USA. (November 19-23, 2014).  

• Bhullar, K.S., A. Jha, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. CUR-3d: A novel curcumin inspired molecule inhibits cancer cell growth by switching on multiple apoptotic pathways. The 5th Cancer Research Conference in Atlantic Canada, Halifax, NS. (November 3-4, 2014).

• Arumuggam, N., C. Too, J. Berman, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Cytotoxic effects of phloridzin docosahexaenoate on chronic myeloid leukemic K562 cells. The 5th Cancer Research Conference in Atlantic Canada, Halifax, NS. (November 3-4, 2014).

• Fernando, W., D.W. Hoskin, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Apple peel flavonoids cause the death of MDA-MB-231 cells via a reactive oxygen species-independent mechanism. The 5th Cancer Research Conference in Atlantic Canada, Halifax, NS. (November 3-4, 2014).

• Fei, C. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Combination effect of sorafenib and apple flavonoids AF4 on hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell proliferation. The 5th Cancer Research Conference in Atlantic Canada, Halifax, NS. (November 3-4, 2014).

• Fernando, W., D.W. Hoskin, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Efficacy of docosahexaenoic acid acylated phloridzin: for treating triple negative breast cancer. The 18th SIS World Congress on Breast Healthcare-2014, Orlando, FL, USA. (October 16-19, 2014).

• Sekhon-Loodu, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Docosahexaenoic acid and phloridzin inhibit inflammation in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Fernando, W., D.W. Hoskin, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Phloretin and apple peel flavonoids cause the death of triple-negative breast cancer cells via a reactive oxygen species-independent mechanism. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Parmar, I. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Characterization of phenolics in cranberry pomace with anti-oxidant, anti-tyrosinase and anti-proliferation activities in vitro. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Parmar, I. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Bioactive characterization and anti-diabetic potential of polyphenol rich novel wild berry extracts from Eastern Canada. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Bhullar, K.S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Cytoprotective properties of wild partridgeberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. var. minus Lodd) polyphenols in human fibroblasts. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Boehm, M.A., I. Parmar, S. Sekhon-Loodu, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) berry. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Balasuriya, N., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, M. Sweeney-Nixson, S. McCarron, and K.  Gottschall-Pass. 2014. Diet supplemented with flavonoid-rich apple peel extract lowers blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Zou, Q., S. Sekhon-Loodu, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Anti-inflammatory activities of selected food phytochemicals. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Gunathilake, K.D.P.P. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Optimization of extraction methods and evaluation of antioxidant properties of ginger. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Nandasiri, R. Y. Wang, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Blood pressure lowering and plasma lipid profile improving properties of functional fruit vinegar beverages in spontaneously hypertensive rats fed with high cholesterol diet. The 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology and Expo (IUFoST 2014). Montreal, QC. (August 17-21, 2014). 

•  Bhullar, K.S., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and G.S. Robertson. 2014. Evaluation of wild partridgeberry polyphenols as potential natural health product to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The 2014 Canadian Neuroscience Conference, Montreal, QC. (May 25-28, 2014). 

•  Rupasinghe, H.P.V. 2014. Cardio- and neuro-protective functions of bioactive flavonoids present in cool climate fruits. The 5th International Conference on Natural Products for Health and Beauty. Phuket, Thailand. (May 6-8, 2014). 

•  Nair, S.V.G., Ziaullah, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Phloridzin fatty acid esters induce apoptosis and alter gene expression in human liver cancer cells. The Experimental Biology – 2014. San Diego, CA, USA. (April 26-30, 2014). The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 28:S261.2 (Abstract). 

More Conference Proceedings

Selected Invited Presentations

•    Apple Flavonoids based Functional Foods and Ingredients for the Prevention of Chronic Disorders. Euro Global Summit and Expo on Food & Beverages (Euro-Food 2015). Alicante, Spain (June 16-18, 2015).

•    Dietary flavonoids: Can they keep the doctor away? Grand Rounds Seminar Series. Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax. NS. (November 13, 2014).

•    Cytoprotective and neuroprotective properties of Canadian partridgeberry. Our Food, Our Future, Research that Feeds Newfoundland and Labrador – 2014. Corner Brook, NL. (November 4-6, 2014).

•    Anti-proliferative properties of selected plant polyphenols and their analogs. Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute Seminar Series. Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax. NS. (June 02, 2014).

•    Cardio- and neuro-protective functions of bioactive flavonoids present in cool climate fruits. The 5th International Conference on Natural Products for Health and Beauty. Phuket, Thailand (May 6-8, 2014).

•    Haskap: Antioxidant activity and health benefits. Haskap Berry Symposium, Dalhousie University, Halifax (February 20, 2014).

•    Biological properties of fruit flavonoids and their acylated derivative long chain fatty acids. Acadia University. Wolfville, NS (October 24, 2013).

•    Biocatalytic synthesis, structural elucidation, and Biological activity of long chain fatty acid acylated derivatives of phloridzin and isoquercitrin. The 246th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting. Indianapolis, IN, USA (September 8-12, 2013).

•    Cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties of apple flavonoids. University of Moncton, Moncton, NB (November 15, 2012).

•    Nutraceuticals from processing waste: Disease fighting properties of fruit bioactives. Atlantic Canada Bio-refinery Conference. Shediac, NB (June 19, 2012).

•    Antioxidant, nuroprotective and cardioprotective properties of apple flavonoids. The 50th National Conference of the Canadian Institute of Food science and Technology (CIFST), Niagara Falls, ON. (May 27, 2012).

•    Value-added fruit processing and human health: Global perspectives. International Conference on Postharvest Management and Technology for food Security, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia (May 21, 2012).

•    Biological active compounds of cool climate fruits. Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (May 18, 2012).

•    Inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) by fruit flavonoids in regulation of hypertension. The second World Congress on Diabetes and Metabolism. Philadelphia, PN, USA (December 6-8, 2011).

•    Antioxidant properties of glycosylated flavonols. BIT’s 4th Annual World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology – 2011 (iBio2011),  Dalian, China (April 25-30, 2011).

•    Antioxidant capacity and PUFA oxidation inhibition properties of berry extracts. The 6th International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PacifiChem2010), Honolulu, Hawaii. USA. (December 15-20, 2010).

•    Value-added processing and bioproducts of fruit crops. The Southern Labrador Development Corporation, Labrador, NL. (July 29, 2010).

•    Antioxidant protection of omega-3 fatty acids by bioactive apple flavonoids. The 7th Annual Conference of Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada (NHPRS), Halifax, NS Pharmaceutical Biology 48S1: 16-17. (May 23 – 26, 2010).

•    Apple-derived antioxidants and value-added food products. The 146th Annual Meeting of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. Kentville, NS. (Jan. 28, 2010).

•    Flavonoids from fruits for human health promotion. Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. (April 23, 2009)

•    Dietary quercetin glycosides: A review of current understanding of metabolism and antioxidant action. International Conference and Exhibition on Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods - 2008, Taichung, Taiwan. (November 14-17, 2008)