headdshot of Zora Djuric

Address

University of Michigan
Department of Family Medicine
1018 Fuller Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Administrative Contact

Biography

Dr. Zora Djuric is a cancer prevention researcher with a joint appointment as a Research Professor in Family Medicine and in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Public Health. Her work focuses mainly on the role of nutrition and nutritional agents in cancer prevention. She also has collaborations in diverse areas that utilize similar dietary approaches for maintaining health. Nationally she is active and has had leadership roles in the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASN) and the Obesity Society.  She serves on several scientific journal editorial boards. Dr. Djuric is regularly invited to participate in grant review for the National Institutes of Health, and she is currently a member of the review panel for the PREVENT Cancer Program of the National Cancer Institute. 

Areas of Interest

Research Interests
  • Relationships between diet composition, obesity and cancer prevention
  • The role of diet in secondary prevention to maximize health in cancer survival
  • Conducting early phase clinical trials to identify nutritional, non-toxic approaches for cancer prevention in high risk individuals
  • Use of biomarker endpoints to optimize dosing and to elucidate the mechanisms by which dietary factors can reduce cancer risk
  • Evaluating mechanisms by which specific types of dietary factors can be utilized to prevent weight gain
  • Developing effective methodology for eliciting changes in diet with a focus on dietary patterns as a whole
  • Applying the intervention methodologies developed to community and clinical settings for broader use
Department Areas

Credentials

Advanced Degrees
  • M.S., Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1980
  • Ph.D., Toxicology, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1983
Fellowships
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, Ark., 1986
  • Fulbright Global Scholar, U.S. Department of State, 2018

Grants

Current Research
  • Early Phase Clinical Cancer Prevention Consortium, National Cancer Institute, award July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2025 (UG1 CA242632, Brenner and Djuric co-PIs). Dr. Djuric is Co-Principal Investigator of a 5-year award to manage a multi-institutional consortium that conducts Phase I and II clinical trials of new cancer preventive agents.
  • MyGI Diet for Colorectal Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, award July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2026 (RO1 CA255743, Djuric and Buis co-PIs), Dr. Djuric is Corresponding Co-Principal Investigator of this grants that seeks to test two different app-supported methods for improving adherence to dietary recommendations for prevention of colorectal cancers.
  • Inflammatory oxylipins and aromatase inhibitor toxicity in breast cancer, National Cancer Institute award April 1, 2021- March 30, 2023 (R21 CA251343; Dr. N. Lynn Henry, PI). Dr. Djuric is a co-investigator on this grant that seeks to identify a mechanism by which aromatase inhibitors elicit toxicities that interfere with breast cancer treatment.
  • Developing a dietary approach in the management of inflammatory bowel disease, award January 1. 2022 – December 31, 2024, Department of Defense award (Principal Investigators Chen, Grace Y & Sun, Duxin). Dr. Djuric is a co-investigator on this grant that seeks to utilize broccoli sprouts for reducing symptoms of IBD.

I started my career focusing on how compounds in our environment contribute to cancer. Over the years, through inter-disciplinary collaborations, I was able to show that diet is an exposure that can affect some of the same pathways as environmental carcinogens. Importantly, diet is a large exposure that each individual can control to at least some extent. I have therefore turned to investigating how we can translate research findings into dietary strategies that people find helpful and useful for maintaining their health and preventing chronic diseases.