Diane Cress

Diane Cress

Associate Professor


313-577-8616 (fax)


2022 Science Hall Office
2016 Science Hall Lab

Curriculum vitae



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Diane Cress

Why develop a community-based nutrition program?

My work aims to address the issue of access to healthful food, which in turn is necessary for improving health and addressing the obesity epidemic that threatens our health, our healthcare system and our workforce. I work as a nutrition expert both in the community and in the classroom, working to create change through food policy programs, food access programs, and nutrition education programs.

On the academic side this work creates spaces for students to learn through involvement, experimentation and collaboration, and to become immersed in a model for engagement and lifelong learning that applies across all disciplines.

For information about internships or other volunteer opportunities, please visit https://s.wayne.edu/cress/

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

 PROPOSAL: Develop a program that:

  • Aims to understand how food systems, food access and food policy contribute both positively and negatively to the health of the Detroit community..
  • Requires student engagement in the community through internship and/or global learning
  • Encourages student activism 
  • Advocates for the importance of policies that foster access to healthful foods and healthy living

The goals of my research program meet both the mission of Wayne State University (improve community presence) and of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science (serve the community by increasing awareness of the link between diet and health).  

Contact me if you are interested in participating.


For the past 15 years I have been studying the role of DNA repair in maintaining genome stability, with a particular focus on the impact of aging on these processes. We have also studied the impact of dietary components on genome stability. Most recently we have been evaluating the role that suboptimal DNA repair may play in the accelerated aging seen in individuals with Down syndrome. This work will be carried on by those I have trained and those I have worked with. Contact me if you would like more information on how to get involved in this work.  


  • Ph.D., Nutrition, Wayne State University, 2002
  • MA, Nutrition, Immaculate College, 1990
  • B.A., Political Science, Allegheny College, 1987

Selected publications

1.        Cabelof D.C., Raffoul J.J., Yanamadala S., Ganir C., Guo Z. and A.R. Heydari (2002). Attenuation in DNA polymerase b-dependent                     base excision repair pathway and increased DMS induced mutagenicity in aged mice.  Mutation Research, 500:135-145.

2.        Cabelof D.C., Raffoul J.J., Yanamadala S., Guo Z. and A.R. Heydari (2002). Role of DNA polymerase b-dependent base excision repair               in response to 2-nitropropane.  Carcinogenesis, 23:1419-1425.

3.        Cabelof D.C., Yanamadala S., Raffoul J.J., Soofi A.S., Guo Z. and A.R. Heydari (2003). Caloric restriction promotes genetic stability                      by  induction of base excision repair and reversal of its age-related decline.  DNA Repair 2:295-307.

4.        Cabelof D.C., Guo Z. Raffoul J.J., Sobol R.W., Wilson, S.H., Richardson, A. and A.R. Heydari (2003). Base excision repair deficiency                    caused by polymerase β haploinsufficiency: Accelerated DNA damage and increased mutational response to carcinogens.  Cancer                    Research, 63: 5799-5807.

5.        Cabelof, D.C. ., Nakamura J., and Heydari, A.R. (2006) Development of a sensitive biochemical assay for the detection of uracil in DNA.             Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 47(1):31-7.

6.        Cabelof, D.C., Raffoul, J.J., Ge, Y., Van Remmen, H., Matherly, L.H. and Heydari, A.R. (2006). Age-related loss of the DNA repair                           response following exposure to oxidative stress.  J Gerontology, A Biol Sci. Med. Sci. 61:427-434.

7.        Cabelof, D.C., Ikeno, Y., Nyska, A., Busuttil, R.A., Anyanagwe, N., Vijg, J., Matherly, L.H., Tucker, J.D., Wilson, S.H., Richardson, A., and                Heydari A.R. (2006) Haploinsufficiency in DNA polymerase β increases cancer risk with age and alters mortality rate.  Cancer Research            66:7460-7465.

8.        Cabelof D.C. (2007) Aging and base excision repair: In need of a comprehensive approach.  DNA Repair (Amst). 6:1399-402.

9.        Cabelof D.C., Chen Q, Ge Y, van Remmen H, Matherly LH, and Taub JW (2009) Mutational spectrum at GATA1 provides insights into                   mutagenesis and leukemogenesis in Down syndrome.  Blood 114:2753-63.

10.      Simon, K., Dewundara, S., van Remmen, H., Dombkowski, A.A., and Cabelof, D.C. (2009) Transcriptional profiling of the age-related                   response to genotoxic stress points to differential DNA damage response with age.  Mech Ageing Dev 130: 637-47.

11.      Ventrella-Lucente, L., Unnikrishnan, A., Pilling, A.B., Patel, H.V., Kushwaha, D., Dombkowski, A., Schmelz, E.M., Cabelof, D.C., Heydari,               A.R. (2010). Folate deficiency provides protection against colon carcinogenesis in DNA polymerase β haploinsufficient mice. J Biol                    Chem 285:19246-58.

12.      Unnikrishnan, K.A., Prychitko, T.M., Patel, H.V., Chowdhury, M.E., Pilling, A.B., Ventrella-Lucente, L.F., Papakonstantionu, E.V., Cabelof,               D.C., and Heydari, A.R. (2011) Folate deficiency regulates expression of DNA polymerase β in response to oxidative stress. Free Radic             Biol Med 50:270-80.

13.      Cabelof, D.C. (2012) Haploinsufficiency in mouse models of DNA repair deficiency: modifiers of penetrance. Cell Mol Life Sci 69:727-                 40.

14.      Simon KW, Ma H, Dombkowski AA and Cabelof, D.C. (2012) Aging alters folate homeostasis and DNA damage response in colon.                       Mech Ageing Dev 133:75-82.

 15.      Patterson D and Cabelof D.C. (2012) Down syndrome as a model of DNA polymerase beta haploinsufficiency and accelerated aging.                Mech Ageing Dev 133:133-7.


Currently teaching



  • NFS 4231 Human Nutritoin: Micronutrients ONLINE Asynchronous Winter 2021

Courses taught

  • NFS 6850 Controversial Issues in Nutrition, 2 credits, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
  • NFS 6860 Controversial Issues in Nutrition (Clinical), 2 credits,Wwinter 2016, Winter 2015, Winter 2014
  • NFS 4230 Human Nutrition: Micronutrients, 3 credits, Winter 2017, Winter 2016, Winter 2015
  • NFS 7230 Nutrition and Physical Performance, 3 credits, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
  • NFS 7250 Nutrition and Aging, 3 credits, Fall 2013

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

 Registered Dietitian (RD), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (since 1990)