2017 Presentation Title – Ulcers, Stomach Cancer, Antibiotic Resistance and Cranberries: What’s the Connection?
Dr. Amy B. Howell is an associate research scientist at the Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research at Rutgers University, where she works on isolating natural products from cranberries that benefit health.
Since 1993, Dr. Howell has been engaged in research aimed at identifying the active compounds in cranberries that prevent urinary tract infections and determining their role in maintenance of urinary tract health. Dr. Howell and her team isolated specific compounds from cranberry fruit, called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which they found to be capable of preventing E. coli bacteria from attaching to cells from the urinary tract. This work was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1998.
In a subsequent publication in The Journal of the American Medical Association, she reported on cranberry’s potential role in preventing antibiotic-resistant bacteria from colonizing the urinary tract. Her work on identification of the unique molecular structures of the A-type cranberry PACs has been published in both Phytochemistry and the Journal of Natural Products.
Currently, she is engaged in projects to determine additional mechanisms of action in the gut for cranberry and maintenance of urinary tract health. She is closely involved in method development for accurate quantification of cranberry PACs in powdered supplements to enable the cranberry industry to develop, manufacture and market high quality, efficacious products for human and animal nutrition. She is currently involved in writing the USP monographs on cranberry, and serves on the AOAC SPSFAM Proanthocyanidins in Cranberries (PAC) Working Group.
She has presented her research findings at numerous professional meetings in the U.S. and internationally, and her work has been featured in magazines and newspapers (NY Times, etc.) and has been a guest on radio and television shows (NPR, Dr. Oz, Today Show, Good Morning America, etc.)