Patrick J. Stover, PhD is Director of the Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture at Texas A&M. He previously served as Vice Chancellor and Dean of AgriLife as well as Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He graduated from Saint Joseph?s University with a BS degree in Chemistry and was awarded the Molloy Chemistry Award at graduation. He received a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia and performed his postdoctoral studies in Nutritional Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2015, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2014 was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2014, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the Osborne and Mendel Award for outstanding recent basic research accomplishments in nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition, and a MERIT award from NIDDK-NIH. In 1996 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. He has been selected as an Outstanding Educator four times by Cornell Merrill Presidential Scholars. He is editor of the Annual Reviews of Nutrition and associate editor of PNAS Nexus.

Research Interests

The essential B-vitamins folate, vitamin B12 and riboflavin function in a metabolic network known as one-carbon metabolism, which is essential for the faithful replication of the genome and maintenance of genome stability. It is also required for the provision of activated methyl groups for cellular methylation reactions. Aberrations in one-carbon metabolism, due to interactions among nutrition and common gene variants, are tightly linked to several common human pathologies. The Stover research group investigates the fundamental chemical, biochemical, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and the associated pathways within the one-carbon metabolic network, that underlie the relationships among nutrition, metabolism and risk for birth defects, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. A primary focus of our research is to understand the regulation of folate cofactor partitioning among the anabolic pathways within the metabolic network, and the role of this regulation in disease etiology. We have demonstrated that the folate-dependent de novo thymidylate biosynthesis pathway enzymes undergo SUMO-dependent translocation to the nucleus at S-phase, and form a multienzyme complex that generates thymidylate at sites of DNA synthesis within the nucleus of mammalian cells. Mild impairments in nuclear dTMP synthesis, as observed in SHMT1+/- mice, sensitizes mice to folate-responsive neural tube defects, colon cancer and neurodegeneration. Our continuing research is revealing the causal role of nuclear dTMP synthesis in folate- and vitamin B12 responsive pathologies, and informing novel nutritional strategies for the prevention and management human pathologies.

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Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences