Sara Coleman

Sara Coleman staff profile picture

School of Food and Nutrition
College of Health


Thesis Title
Dimeric Procyanidins as Modulators of Airway Inflammation in the context of Allergic Asthma

Research Description
The central question of my doctoral project asks, in the context of allergic asthma, what is the relationship between isolated procyanidin treatments and secretion of inflammation biomarkers in alveolar epithelial cells? Current results suggest that specific isolated procyanidins are capable of modulating the inflammatory response. Understanding the mechanisms by which each procyanidin influences cellular signalling in more detail would allow for the focused use of single and multiple procyanidins in fresh and processed foods as a natural means to prevent inflammatory illness, limit the use of pharmaceutical intervention, and assist with improving human health.

Research Benefit
Persons suffering from allergic asthma would benefit from this research. Asthma is an inflammatory lung disease with an estimated 100 million affected individuals worldwide, with New Zealand having the world’s second highest rate.

Personal Description
I was born and raised in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and then went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Molecular Nutrition and Health Sciences from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. My interest in fruit and vegetables as prevention for inflammatory disease led me to New Zealand to pursue a PhD in Human Physiology in the Food and Wellness group at Plant and Food Research. After graduation, I would like to work in an industry setting.

Prof Marlena Kruger
Professor Roger Hurst
Dr Gregory Sawyer