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The LilaLab promotes a transdisciplinary approach to characterization of plant-derived bioactive chemicals (phytoactives) that interface with human therapeutic targets to modulate human health. Lead projects currently underway involve mitigation of food allergy symptoms, using phytoactive molecules to modulate the immune system response, plant protein functionality, sustainable repurposing of fruit & vegetable secondary processing streams and functional ingredient characterization. In addition, the LilaLab team examines the metabolic fate of phytoactive compounds in human fluids and interprets the biosignatures coincident with intake of food-based interventions. Our lab uses a concerted approach, utilizing advanced techniques and analytical instruments to investigate compounds in a complex natural mixture, achieve clean separations, isolate lead compounds, and formulate potent and effective delivery vehicles.

As part of the Plants for Human Health Institute and North Carolina Research Campus, the LilaLab interfaces with scientists from all related disciplines, dedicated to improving human health and welfare against communicable and chronic disease.