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  • Dr. H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, Ph.D, P.Ag, FCIFST


Professor and Killam Chair in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals


Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Research Interests:

Cancer prevention, DNA damage and repair mechanisms, Food bioactives and health, Phytochemicals-derived anti-cancer drug discovery

Investigating anti-cancer properties of plant flavonoids and their derivatives

Currently, we are investigating the capacity and molecular mechanisms of specific flavonoids in the prevention of carcinogen-induced DNA damage in vitro and tumorigenesis using experimental animal models of certain cancers. Our research team is also interested in understanding the interaction between food bioactives and gut microbiome in relation to cancer prevention. Research in progress to develop cancer-preventive synbiotic functional food products. Furthermore, we synthesize and assess flavonoid derivatives for selective cytotoxicity on cancer cells for potential therapeutic applications to treat certain cancers.

What brought you to your current institution? Faculty position at Dalhousie University

Hometown: Sri Lanka

Learn more about my research:
Google Scholar:

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Rupasinghe is a BHCRI Associate member, supervisor of BHCRI CRTP trainees, member of grant review committees


(902) 893-6623




Room 219-3 Cox Building, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, 50 Pictou Road, Truro, NS, Canada, B2N 5E3


Selected Relevant Refereed Journal Articles: Author Google Scholar h-Index=42 of 176 publications; total citations 5330 
(HQP trainee underlined; * BHCRI CRTP trainees) 

*Fernando, W., K. Coyle, P. Marcato, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and D. Hoskin. 2019. Phloridzin docosahexaenoate, a novel fatty acid ester of a plant polyphenol, inhibits mammary carcinoma cell metastasis. Cancer Letters. 465:68-81. 

Loung, C-Y., *W. Fernando, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and D. Hoskin. 2019. Apple peel flavonoid fraction 4 (AF4) suppresses breast cancer cell growth by cytostatic and cytotoxic mechanisms. Molecules. 24:3355. Doi:10.3390/molecules24183335. 

George, V.C., (others), G. Dellaire, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2019. DNA-dependent protein kinase: Epigenetic alterations and the role in genomic stability of cancer. Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research. 780:92-105. 

Rupasinghe, H.P.V., I. Parmar, and S.V. Neir. 2019. Biotransformation of cranberry proanthocyanidins to probiotic metabolites by Lactobacillus rhamnosus enhances their anticancer activity in HepG2 cells in vitro. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Article ID 4750795, 14 pages. 

*Amararathna, M., K. Goralski, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2019. Pulmonary nano-drug delivery systems targeted for lung cancer: Current knowledge and prospects. Journal of Lung Health and Disease. 3(2): 11-28. 

*Fernando, W., H.P.V. Rupasinghe, D.W. Hoskin. 2019. Dietary phytochemicals with anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant activities: A double-edged sword in relation to adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy? Cancer Letters. 452:168-177. 

Mitsiogianni, M., D.T. Trafalis, H.P.V. Rupasinghe, et al. 2019. Allyl isothiocyanate is a potent inducer of histone modifications in an experimental model of human malignant melanoma. Eur. J.Nutrition. Online on Feb 14, 2019. 

*Thilakarathna, W.P.D.W., M. Langille, and H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2019. Microbial metabolites of proanthocyanidins reduce chemical carcinogen-induced DNA damage in human lung epithelial and fetal hepatic cells in vitro. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 125:479-493. 

Mantso, T., (others), H.P.V. Rupasinghe, and M.I. Panayiotidis. 2018. Novel docosahexaenoic acid ester of phloridzin inhibits proliferation and triggers apoptosis in an in vitro model of skin cancer. Antioxidants. 7, 188; antiox7120188. 1-12. 

George, V.C., …, G. Dellaire, H.P.V. Rupasinghe. 2018. DNA-dependent protein kinase: Epigenetic alterations and the role in genomic stability of cancer. Mutation Research - Reviews. Online on June 19, 2018.

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