Vasantha Rupasinghe

Associate Professor


Contact information

Department of Environmental Sciences
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

  • CHEM 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

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Adjunct Professor, Department Process Engineering & Applied Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Chair, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) - Atlantic Section.
  • Food Research Review Panel, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) - 2009-2010.

Memberships continued

Publications

•    Sekhon-Loodu, S., A. Catalli, M. Kulka, Y. Wang, F. Shahidi and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Combination of apple flavonols and omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil improves the efficacy of lowering blood C-reactive protein in rats with hypercholesterolemia and acute inflammation. Nutritional Research. (In Press).
•    Bhullar, K.B., G. Lassalle-Claux, M. Touaibia, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Antihypertensive effect of caffeic acid and its analogs through dual renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibition. European Journal of Pharmacology. 730:125-132.
•    Warford, J., R. Quinton, D. Jones, M. Nichols, V. Sullivan, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and G.S. Robertson. 2014. The flavonoid-enriched fraction AF4 suppresses neuroinflammation and promotes restorative gene expression in a mouse model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 268:71-83.
•    Sudan, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Quercetin-3-O-glucoside induces human DNA topoisomerase II inhibition, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Anti-cancer Research. 34:1691-1699.
•    Gunathilake, K.D.P.P. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2014. Optimization of water based-extraction methods for the preparation of bioactive-rich ginger extract using response surface methodology. European Journal of Medicinal Plants. 4:893-906.


More publications

 

Book Chapters

  • 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. pp. 145-162. ISBN: 978-953-51-0911-2.
  • 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. pp. 333-368. ISBN: 978-1-62081-868-8.
  • 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. 2013. 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. (In Press).
  • 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. pp 213-225. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Inc. Oxford, UK. ISBN: 978-0-8138-1173-4.(In Press).
  • Rupasinghe, H.P.V. and L. J. Yu. 2012. Emerging Preservation Methods for Fruit Juices and Beverages. In: Food Additives (Ed. Y. El-Samragy), pp 65-82. InTech - Open Access Publisher. Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN: 979-953-307-112-0.
  • Kathiirvel 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, pp. 157-186. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY, USA. ISBN: 978-1-61470-963-3.
  • 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. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. pp.260-281. ISBN: 978 0 8138 0408 8.
  • Schofield, A., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and G. Paliyath. 2008. Biosynthesis of isoprenoids in fruits and vegetables. In: Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers (Ed.) Paliyath, G., Murr, D.P., Handa, A.K., and S. Lurie, S. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. pp. 282-300.
  • Jackson, C-J. C. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2002. Food sources and composition of phytoestrogens. In: Phytoestrogens and Health (Ed.) M. Messina, AOCS Press, Champaign, IL, USA. pp. 95-123.

Conference Proceedings

  •  Fernando, W., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and D.W. Hoskin. 2013. Anti-proliferative activity of  phloridzin and its derivative in breast adenocarcinoma cells. Accepted for the 2013 Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Toronto, ON (Nov 3-6, 2013).
  • Bhullar, K.S., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and A. Jha. 2013. A carbocyclic analog of curcumin inhibits cancer cell proliferation by multiple signaling pathways. Accepted for the 2013 Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Toronto, ON (Nov 3-6, 2013).
  • Sudan, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Apple flavonoids induces cell cycle arrest, DNA topoisomerase II inhibition and apoptosis in human liver cancer cells. Accepted for the 2013 Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Toronto, ON (Nov 3-6, 2013).
  • Nair, S.V.G., M. Hettihewa, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Methanolic leaf extract of Costus speciosus induces apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Accepted for the 2013  Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Toronto, ON (Nov 3-6, 2013).
  • Rupasinghe, H.P.V., Bhullar, K.S., and Ziaullah. 2013. Biocatalytic synthesis, structural elucidation, and tyrosinase inhibition 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).
  • Rupasinghe, H.P.V., Bhullar, K.S., A. Jha. 2013. Antitumor activity of novel curcumin analogs in hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells. The 246th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting. Indianapolis, IN, USA (September 8-12, 2013).
  • Sekhon-Loodu, S., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, Y. Wang and F. Shahidi. 2013. Apple flavonols, omega-3 fatty acid rich fish oil and their combination modulate lipid metabolism in hyperlipidemic rats. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Sudan, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Quercetin-3-O-glucoside induces human DNA topoisomerase II inhibition, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Warnakulasuriya, S. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Cytoprotective effect of long chain fatty acid derivatives of Q3G against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in human lung fibroblasts and primary hepatocytes. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Bhullar, K.S., G. Lassalle-Claux, M. Touaibia, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Antihypertensive activity of caffeic acid derivatives via inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and renin in vitro. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Parmar, I., S. Sharma, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Optimization of β-cyclodextrin-based flavonol extraction from apple pomace using response surface methodology. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Grue, B. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Effect of Partridgeberry Bioactives on Nickel-induced Lung Fibroblast Cytotoxicity. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Bhullar, K.S., Ziaullah, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Effect of structural modification of flavonoids on their antihypertensive activity. The 6th Maritime Natural Products Chemistry Conference. St. Francis Xavier University, Antagonish, NS. (August 12-14, 2013).
  • Curry, W. and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2013. Antihypertensive properties of phytochemical extracts of haskap. Science Atlantic’s ChemCon Conference 2013. Memorial University of New Foundland. St. John’s, NL. (May 21-23, 2013).
  • Bhullar, K.S., A. Jha, D. Youssef, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2012, Anticancer and Antioxidant Properties of Curcumin and its Analogues. The BHCRI 4th Annual Cancer Research Conference in Atlantic Canada, Halifax, NS. (November 4-6, 2012).

Selected Invited Presentations

•    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: Antioixdant activity and health benefits. Haskap Berry Symposium, Dalhousie University, Halifax (February 20, 2014).
•    Value-added fruit processing R&D: What we have learnt in the past. Haskap Berry Symposium, Dalhousie University, Halifax (February 20, 2014).
•    Biological properties of fruit flavonoids and their acylated derivative long chain fatty acids. Acadia Unibersity. 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).
•    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)
•    Distribution and antioxidant properties of apple flavonols. Plant Canada 2007, Saskatoon, Saskatheuwan. (June 10-14, 2007)
•    “Harvesting Polyphenolics”: Tree Fruit Bio-product Research Program. Friday at 3 seminar series, NSAC, Truro, NS. (March 9, 2007).
•    Apples: Current trends in post-harvest and value-added research. Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia (February 19, 2007).
•    An apple a day: scientific evidence for health benefits. Healthy You Health and Wellness Show. Exhibition Park. Halifax, NS. (September 16, 2006).
•    Tree fruit bio-products: Opportunities in science and innovation through Renewal. Annual workshop of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Renewal Working Group. Prince George Hotel. Halifax, NS. (April 26, 2006).
•    Is orchard waste a valuable bio-resource? The Spring Workshop of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. Waterville, NS. (April 18, 2006).
•    Tree fruit research in Japan. The 142nd Annual Meeting of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. Kentville, NS. (Jan. 18, 2006).
•    Apples: Are they a source for value-added opportunities? Horticulture Congress 2005 – Health Wealth & Horticulture. Moncton, New Brunswick. (November 28, 2005).
•    Apple phytochemicals: Structure and functionality. Faculty of Pharmacology Sciences, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan. (November 08, 2005).
•    Bio-products from tree fruits: Research at NSAC, Canada. National Agriculture and Bio-oriented Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. (October 31, 2005).
•    Opportunities for value-added apple products. The 141st Annual Meeting of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. Kentville, NS. (November 30, 2004).
•    Value-added opportunities in fruit crops. New Food Product Development Workshop, AAFC. Charlottetown, PEI. (February 3, 2004).
•    Using change for success: Fruit-based bio-product research. The 140th Annual Meeting of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. Kentville, NS. (December 03, 2003).
•    Medicinal plant research at the University of Guelph. The Annual Meeting of the Saskatchewan Herb and Spice Association, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (June 17, 2003).
•    Climacteric fruit ripening. The 10th Gordon Research Conference, South Hadley, Massassuchets, US (August 7, 2002).
•    To wine or not to wine - that is the question: Making sense of antioxidant claims and tests. Leading Edge 2001, Laboratory Services – University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. (August 21, 2001).