Jed W. Fahey, Sc.D.

Director - Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University

Faculty Research Associate
Dept. of Pharmacology, School of Medicine
Dept. of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Sc.D. - Human Nutrition (Johns Hopkins Univ.)
M.S. - Plant Physiology (Univ. Maryland)
B.S. - Natural Sciences (Johns Hopkins Univ.)

Research Interests

  • Dietary approaches to disease prevention
  • Chemoprotection against cancer
  • Phytochemistry


Dr. Fahey is a nutritional biochemist in whose laboratory at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, plants are being developed as chemoprotective agents. His current work at Johns Hopkins addresses the induction by phytochemicals, of detoxication enzymes in mammalian systems. This work draws on elements of natural product chemistry, enzymology, nutritional epidemiology and clinical research in order to develop nutritional strategies for cancer chemoprotection in humans. Most of these studies have dealt with the glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that are found primarily in cruciferous vegetables. His work led to the discovery that broccoli sprouts are an exceptionally rich source of inducers of the enzymes that detoxify carcinogens (PNAS 94:10367-10372), and to the development of techniques for their detection and for assessing their metabolism in humans. The most recent development has been the determination that one of these inducers (sulforaphane), has potent antibiotic activity against Helicobacter pylori, a causative agent of peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer (PNAS 99: 7610-7615). Before joining the Hopkins faculty in 1993, he spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry and held senior management positions in agricultural biotechnology research and process development. His work focused primarily on plant cell culture, plant-microbe interactions, seed physiology, and related aspects of the biology of food crops. In that capacity he developed methods for regeneration of elite maize genotypes, for deliberately inoculating grain seeds with beneficial bacteria, and for long term storage of disease-free sugarcane in tissue culture on a commercial scale.

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