Ock K. Chun, Ph.D., MPH


Office:      R.E. Jones Building (JONS) Room 209
Phone:    (860) 486-6275
Email:     ock.chun@uconn.edu


For more information about Dr. Ock K. Chun and her lab, please visit: chun.lab.uconn.edu/



    • Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
    • Master of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
    • Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea


    • Professor, Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs, CT, 2020-present
    • Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs, CT, 2014–2020
    • Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut (UCONN), Storrs, CT, 2008–2014
    • Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics, East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, NC, 2007–2008
    • Research Assistant Professor, Food Science & Human Nutrition (FSHN), Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI, 2006–2007
    • Research Associate, FSHN, MSU, East Lansing, MI, 2003–2006
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Food Science & Technology, Cornell University, 2002–2003
    • Research Scientist, Seoul Institute of Public Health and Environment, 1992–2002


    • American Society for Nutrition: Chair of Community and Public Health Nutrition RIS, 2016-2018; Past Chair, 2018-2019; Advisory Board at Large, since 2018
    • American College of Nutrition: Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), since 2014
    • American Chemical Society
    • Korean Public Health Association
    • Korean Society of food Science and Technology


    • CAHNR Research Excellence Award, March 2021
    • Award Recipient of Brain Pool Oversea Scholar Program, Korean Federation of Science and Technology (KOFST) Societies, January – August 2016
    • Selected for Faculty Sabbatical Clinical Training Program, National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center, April – May 2016
    • Fellow of American College of Nutrition, December 10, 2013
    • Charles A. Ragus Award for 2012 the Best Original Research Paper published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, 54th Annual Conference of the American College of Nutrition, November 16, 2013
    • Government Researcher Overseas Scholarships for 2002-2004, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, Korea
    • Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship 2002–2003, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation, Ministry of Science & Technology, Korea
    • Honors Thesis, 2002 Annual Meeting of Korean Society of Food Science and Technology, May 2002
    • Graduated with Honors Thesis, Doctoral degree, Seoul National University, February 1999


    • Guest Co-editor, Food Science and Biotechnology, Special Issue on “Polyphenols and Health,” May 2021 – February 2022
    • Nutrients, since 2018
    • Nutrition Research Practice, since 2018
    • American Journal of Epidemiology & Public Health, since 2017
    • Heliyon, since 2017
    • International Journal of Nutritional Sciences, since 2016
    • Journal of the American College of Nutrition, since 2014
    • Journal of Human Nutrition and Food Science, since 2014
    • Journal of Nutrition and Health, since 2013
    • Vitamins and Minerals, since 2012
    • Journal of Obesity and Weight Loss Therapy, since 2011
    • Journal of Clinical Trials, since 2011
    • Journal of Nutritional Disorders and Therapy, since 2011
    • Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, since 2010
    • World Journal of Orthopaedics (WJO), since 2010


    • Invited Panel Reviewer for the USDA ARS’s Human Nutrition National Program, October – December 2018
    • Invited External Grant Review Panel of the The Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), September – October 2012
    • Invited External Grant Review Panel of the Individual Research Grants (IRG), National Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health, Singapore, January 2010 and February 2012


    • Invited ASN Reviewer of a position statement on Food and Nutrition Program for Community Residing Adults.  The position statement was being developed jointly by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and ASN, July – August 2017
    • Invited External Reviewer of the USDA’s Database for the Proanthocyanidin Contect of Selected Foods, Release 2, April 20 – May 31, 2015
    • Invited Peer Reviewer for the World Cancer Research Fund International and American Institute for Cancer Research Second Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, November – December 2013
    • Invited External Reviewer of the National Center for Complementary and alternative Medicine (NCCAM) consumer fact sheets, Antioxidant Supplements for Health: An Introduction, June 29 – July 16, 2012
    • Panel for Fruit and Vegetable Workshop in Purchase, NY, September 29, 2010



    • NUSC 1165 Fundamentals of Nutrition
    • NUSC 1166 Honors Colloquium
    • NUSC 3180 Experience in Community Nutrition
    • NUSC 3230 Principles of Community Nutrition
    • NUSC 4237W Writing in the Nutritional Sciences
    • NUSC 4260 Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods


    • NUSC 5394 Graduate Seminar
    • NUSC 6317 Nutritional Epidemiology
    • NUSC 6319 Research Design and Methods in Nutritional Sciences


    • Dalia Marmash: Assessment of Nutritional and Health Status and Feasibility of Personalized Nutrition Education Intervention in Mobile Food Pantry Users (MS: May 2021)
    • Xin Sun (MS: May 2017)
    • Xi Zheng (MS: May 2015)
    • Patrice Hubert (MS: May 2015)
    • Catherine G. Davis: Estimation of the Number of Days Required to Determine Usual Antioxidant Intakes and Assessment of the Prevalence of Nutrient Inadequacy Among College Students (MS: May 2011)
    • Anna Floegel: Development of an Algorithm to Establish a Total Antioxidant Capacity Database of the U.S. Population (MS: August 2009)


    • Melissa M. Melough: Relationship between dietary furocoumarin exposure and skin cancer risk (PhD: July 2019)\
    • Terrence M. Vance: The Association between Dietary Antioxidants and Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness (PhD: November 2015).
    • Sang-Gil Lee: Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Berries: Effect of Anthocyanin Composition (PhD: December 2014)
    • Ying Wang, Dietary Antioxidant Capacity: A Useful Tool in Assessing Dietary, Plasma Antioxidant Status and Cardiovascular Disease Risk (PhD: December 2012)
    • Meng Yang: Development and Validation of a Food Frequency Questionnaire to Assess Antioxidant Intake in U.S. Adults (PhD: June 2012)


    • Manije Darooghegi; PhD student since Fall 2021
    • Rachel Hair; PhD student since Fall 2020
    • Junichi Sakaki; PhD student since Fall 2017


    • Dr. Kijoon Kim, PhD, Visiting Scientist, January 2014 – December 2021
    • Dr. Kyungho Ha, Postdoctoral Fellow, November 2019 – November 2020
    • Dr. Sang Gil Lee, Research Specialist, October 2017 – February 2018
    • Dae-Ok Kim, PhD, Visiting Professor, Kyung Hee University, Korea, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013


Dr. Chun’s long-term research interest is in the area of dietary and lifestyle factors and their impact on chronic diseases with emphasis on prevention and risk reduction. For this goal, her research focuses on the following four areas: 1) nutritional assessment of nationally representative population and populations at high risk; 2) development and validation of dietary total antioxidant capacity (TAC) as a tool for assessing antioxidant intake status and application for predicting chronic disease risk such as CVD and cancers; 3) human intervention studies to evaluate the role of dietary behaviors (dietary antioxidants, dietary supplements, beverage consumption) in reducing disease risk and improving health and well-being; and 4) investigation of the extent to which dietary antioxidants contribute to the health disparity of prostate cancer aggressiveness between Caucasian and African American men. Dr. Chun is currently leading four human studies supported by the NIEHS, USDA NIFA, and the Florida State Citrus Department.


    • Blackcurrant Modifies Gut Microbiota and reduces the Risk of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). January 2020 – December 2021.  Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Microbiota, Metabolites and Colon Neoplasia. Institutes of Health (1R01CA252045-01A1). May 2021 – April 2026. Role in project: Collaborator (PI: Rosenberg D)
    • Assessment of Risk of Exposure to Estrogenic Chemicals via Capsule Coffee Consumption. National Institutes of Health (1R03ES027983-01A1). June 2018 – May 2022. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Beneficial and Adverse Effects of Natural Chemicals on Human Health and Food Safety: Citrus Intake and Skin Cancer Risk. USDA Hatch Multistate Capacity Grant. October 2019 – September 2022. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Microbiome Plasticity and Pathogenicity in Older Adults: Baselines and Transitions from Skilled Nursing Care. National Institutes of Health (1R56AG060746-01A1). September 2019 – August 2021.  Role in project: Collaborator (PI: Oh J)
    • The Impact of the Nutrition Guidance System on the Nutrient Density of the Food Distributed in Pantries, the Food Pantry Clients’ Dietary Quality and Their Health: An Explorative Study. NUSC Department fund. November 2019 – September 2021. Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Longitudinal Study Assessing Impact of 100% Orange Juice Intake on Anthropometric and Cardiometabolic Indicators and Health-Related Behaviors in U.S. Children. Florida State Department of Citrus. July 2018 – June 2021. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Blackcurrant Prevents Osteoporosis Associated with Aging by Inhibiting Formation of Advanced Oxidation Protein Products. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). December 2015 – December 2018. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Assessment of dietary exposure of furocoumarins and its health impact in the United States. USDA Hatch Grant. October 2017 – September 2022. Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Psoralen and Melanoma. National Cancer Institute Omnibus R21. August 2015 – July 2017. Role in project: Co-PI (PI: Eunyoung Cho at Brown)
    • Contribution of Egg Consumption to Improving Nutrient Adequacy and Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in U.S. Adults. Allen Foundation. July 2015 – June 2018.  Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Evaluation of Total Antioxidant Capacity as a Dietary Tool for Assessing Antioxidant Defense Status, Inflammation, and Diabetes Risk in a Subsample of Korean Adult Population. Korean Federation of Science and Technology (KOFST) Societies Brain Pool Program for Outstanding Oversea Scholars. January 2016 – August 2016
    • Bioavailability of Furocoumarins in Grapefruits: A Pilot Absorption and Excretion Kinetic Study. UConn Research Foundation Research Excellence Program. June 2015 – December 2016. Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Study of the Changes in Furocoumarin and Its Metabolites in Human Blood and Urine after Grapefruit Consumption: Pilot Study funded by Brown Medical School. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Chokeberry Polyphenols Promote Bone Health by Inhibiting Inflammation-Induced Bone Resorption. Nutricia Research Foundation Research Grant. January 2012 – December 2015.  Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Does Pinto Bean Promote Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women? Northarvest Bean Growers Association Dry Bean Health Research Program Incentive Award. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Dietary Supplement Effects on Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance. A Pilot Clinical Trial to Test the Effects of Efficacy. Telomerase Activator Research Grant.  Role in project: Co-PI (PI: Fernandez M.L.)
    • Identification of Anthocyanin Composition of Berries and Their Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties. USDA Hatch Grant, UConn. October 2012 – September 2017.  Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Does Dietary Antioxidant Predict Aggressiveness of Prostate Cancer? National Institutes of Health. March 2012 – February 2015. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • The effect of chokeberry polyphenols on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease and antioxidant defenses in former smokers. Connecticut Department of Public Health Biomedical Research. Role in project: Co-PI (PI: Bolling B.)
    • Nutritional Evaluation of Orange Juice in American Diet. Pepsi Co. July 2010 – December 2011. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Total antioxidant capacity: A useful tool in assessing antioxidant intake status. Donaghue Research Foundation Supported Nutrition Research Competition. April 2010 – March 2011. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Total Dietary Antioxidant Capacity Associated with the Risks of Cardiovascular Disease Mediated by Oxidative Stress. Submitted to the American Heart Association Beginning Grant-in-Aid (BGIA) for Mid-Atlantic Affiliate. July 2008 – June 2010.  Role in project: Principal Investigator
    • Pharmacokinetics and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Quercetin. Donaghue Research Foundation Supported Nutrition Research Competition. July 2009 – June 2010. Role in project: Co-PI (PI: Bruno R.)
    • Development of an Algorithm to Establish Total Antioxidant Capacity Database of US Population. Faculty Large Grant, UConn Research Foundation. January 2009 – December 2009. Role in project:  Principal Investigator
    • Validation of the total antioxidant capacity database of the U.S. population. USDA Hatch Grant, UConn. October 2009 – September 2012.  Role in project:  Principal Investigator


Book Chapters (recent 3 years)

    1. Junichi Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Sun-Kyeong Lee, Ock K. Chun. Chapter 14. Anthocyanins as antioxidants and use in bone pathology. Victor Preedy (eds.), Pathology: Oxidative Stress and Dietary Antioxidants (ISBN: 978-0-12-815972-9). Elsevier Academic Press. Released on April 27, 2020.
    2. Junichi Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Sang Gil Lee, George Pounis, Ock K. Chun. Chapter 10. Polyphenol-rich Diets in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. In Analysis in Nutrition Research. George
      Pounis (eds), Academic Press, London. pp. 259-298, 2018 Oct https://www.elsevier.com/books/analysis-in-nutrition-research/pounis/978-0-12-814556-2

Peer-Reviewed Articles (recent 3 years)

View Authored articles on PubMed.

    • Junichi R. Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Cathy Z. Yang, Anthony A. Provatas, Christopher Perkins, Ock K. Chun. Evaluation of estrogenic activity of plastic capsule coffee using the VM7Luc4E2 assay. Current Research in Toxicology, 10.1016/j.crtox.2021.05.003
    • Kijoon Kim, Melissa M. Melough, Dongwoo Kim, Joonsuk Lee, Kyungju Choi, Junichi R. Sakaki, Ock K. Chun. Nutritional adequacy and diet quality are associated with standardized height-for-age among U.S. children. Nutrients 2021 May 25;13(5):E1689. 10.3390/nu13051689
    • Junichi R. Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Mary B. Roberts, Charles B. Eaton, Aladdin H. Shadyab, Abrar A. Qureshi, Ock K. Chun* and Eunyoung Cho*. Citrus Consumption and Risk of Non-melanoma Skin Cancer in the Women’s Health Initiative. Cancers 2021, 13(9), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092173.
    • Dalia Marmash, Kyungho Ha, Junichi R. Sakaki, Isabella Gorski, Brazil Rule, Jaime Foster, Michael Puglisi, Ock K. Chun. Diet Quality, Nutritional Adequacy, and Sociodemographic Characteristics of
      Food Pantry Users in Northeastern Connecticut. Nutrients. March 2021, 13, 1099. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041099.
    • Junichi R. Sakaki, Jing Li, Simiao Gao, Kyungho Ha, Rulla M. Tamimi, Jorge E. Chavarro, Ming-Hui Chen, Qi Sun, Jaime E. Hart, Ock K. Chun. Longitudinal associations between fruit juice and milk
      consumption and change in BMI in a large prospective cohort of US children and adolescents. Pediatric Obesity. March 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12781.
    • Rachel Hair, Junichi R. Sakaki, Ock K. Chun. Anthocyanins, Microbiome and Health Benefits in Aging. Molecules 2021, 26(3), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030537
    • Junichi R. Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Jing Li, Kyungho Ha, Rulla M. Tamimi, Jorge E. Chavarro, Ming-Hui Chen, Ock K. Chun. Orange juice intake and anthropometric changes in children and
      adolescents. Public Health Nutr. 2020 Oct 7:1-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980020003523.
    • Junichi R. Sakaki, Melissa M. Melough, Anthony A. Provatas, Christopher Perkins, Ock K. Chun. Identification and Quantification of Estrogenic Chemicals in Coffee Prepared from Capsules Using
      Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Toxicology Reports. 7:1020-1024. Online Published on Aug 25, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.08.015
    • Melissa M. Melough, Junichi Sakaki, Linda M. Liao, Rashmi Sinha, Eunyoung Cho, Ock K. Chun. Association between Citrus Consumption and Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Nutrition and Cancer DOI: 10.1080/01635581.2020.1803933. Published online: 13 Aug 2020.
    • Kyungho Ha, Kijoon Kim, Junichi R. Sakaki, Ock K. Chun. Relative Validity of Dietary Total Antioxidant Capacity for Predicting All-Cause Mortality in Comparison to Diet Quality Indexes in US Adults. Nutrients 2020 Apr 25;12(5):E1210. doi: 10.3390/nu12051210.
    • Weiyi Sun, Megan S. Rice, Min Kyung Park, Ock K. Chun, Melissa M. Melough, Hongmei Nan, Wenqing Li, Abrar A. Qureshi, Eunyoung Cho. Intake of Furocoumarins and Risk of Skin Cancer in
      Two Prospective US Cohort Studies. J Nutr. 2020;00:1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa062 (Published on March 28, 2020)
    • Lei Cao, Sang Gil Lee, Melissa Melough, Junichi Sakaki, Kendra Maas, Sung I. Koo, Ock K. Chun. Long-term blackcurrant supplementation modified gut microbiome profiles in mice in an age-dependent manner: an exploratory study. Nutrients 2020 Jan 21;12(2). pii: E290. doi: 10.3390/nu12020290.
    • Kijoon Kim, Melissa M. Melough, Junichi Sakaki, Kyungho Ha, Dalia Marmash, Hwayoung Noh and Ock K. Chun. Association between urinary cadmium-to-zinc intake ratio and adult mortality in follow-up study of NHANES 1988-1994 and 1999-2004. Nutrients. 2019 Dec 24;12(1). pii: E56. doi: 10.3390/nu12010056.
    • Junichi Sakaki, Melissa Melough, Jing Li, Rulla Tamimi, Jorge Chavarro, Ming-hui Chen, Ock K. Chun.Associations between 100% orange juice consumption and dietary, lifestyle and anthropometric
      characteristics in a cross-sectional study of U.S. children and adolescents. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 6;11(11):2687. doi: 10.3390/nu11112687.
    • Melissa M. Melough, Shaowei Wu, Charles Eaton, Abrar A. Qureshi, Ock K. Chun*, Eunyoung Cho*. Citrus Consumption and Risk of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma in the Women’s Health Initiative. Nutr Cancer. 2020;72(4):568-575. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2019.1644353. Epub 2019 Jul 23.
    • Melissa M. Melough, Kijoon Kim, Eunyoung Cho, Ock K Chun. Relationship between Furocoumarin Intake and Melanoma History among US Adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2012. Nutr Cancer. 72(1): 24-32, 2020. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2019.1612928.
    • Melissa M. Melough, Sang-Jin Chung, Maria Luz Fernandez, Ock K. Chun. Association of Eggs with Dietary Nutrient Adequacy and Cardiovascular Risk in US Adults. Public Health Nutr. 22(11): 2033-2042, 2019 Aug. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019000211.
    • Hana M. Al-Yousef, Bruno S. Lemos, Minu Sara Thomas, Melissa Melough, Ock K Chun and Maria Luz Fernandez. Low Plasma HDL Cholesterol is Associated with Greater Risk for Cardiovascular
      Disease in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome. Current Topics of Biochemical Research. 19:25-36, 2018 Dec
    • Kijoon Kim, Melissa Melough, Terrence M. Vance, Dongwoo Kim, Hwayoung Noh, Sung I. Koo, Ock K. Chun. The relationship between zinc intake and cadmium burden is influenced by smoking status. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 125:210-216, 2019 Mar. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.01.004.
    • Kijoon Kim, Melissa Melough, Terrence M. Vance, Hwayoung Noh, Sung I. Koo, Ock K. Chun. Dietary cadmium intake and sources in the US. Nutrients. 11(1). pii: E2, 2018 Dec. doi: 10.3390/nu11010002.
    • Junichi Sakaki, Melissa Melough, Sang Gil Lee, Judy Kalinowski, Sun-Kyeong Lee, Sung I. Koo, Ock K. Chun. Blackcurrant supplementation improves trabecular bone mass in young but not aged mice. Nutrients. 10(11). pii: E1671, 2018 Nov. doi: 10.3390/nu10111671.
    • Melissa Melough, Ock K. Chun Dietary Furocoumarins and Skin Cancer: A Review of Current Biological Evidence. Food Chem Toxicol. 122:163-171, 2018 Dec. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.10.027. Epub
      2018 Oct 11. Review.
    • Yoojin Lee, Tho X. Pham, Minkyung Bae, Siqi Hu, Edward O’Neill, Ock K. Chun, Myung Joo Han, Sung I. Koo, Young-Ki Park, Ji-Young Lee. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) consumption prevents obesity-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in mice. Obesity 2019 27, 112-120. doi:10.1002/oby.22353
    • Bong Han Lee, Tae-Gyu Nam, Sun Young Kim, Ock K. Chun, Dae-Ok Kim. Estimated Daily Per Capita Intakes of Phenolics and Antioxidants from Coffee in the Korean Diet. Food Sci Biotechnol 2018. Aug 9;28(1):269-279. doi.org/10.1007/s10068-018-0447-5
    • Maria Luz Fernandez, Minu Sara Thomas, Bruno S. Lemos, Diana DiMarco, Melissa Melough, Amanda Missimer, Ana G. Murillo, Ock K. Chun, Hana Alyousef, Isabel Medina-Vera. TA-65, A
      Telomerase Activator, Improves Cardiovascular Markers in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(17):1905-1911. doi: 10.2174/1381612824666180316114832.
    • Melissa Melough, Eunyoung Cho, Ock K. Chun. Furocoumarins: A Review of Biochemical Activities, Dietary Sources and Intake, and Potential Health Risks. Food Chem Toxicol. 113:99-107, 2018 Mar
    • Kyungho Ha; Kijoon Kim, Ock K. Chun, Hyojee Joung, YoonJu Song. Differential association of dietary carbohydrate intake with metabolic syndrome in US and Korean adults: Data from the 2007-2012 NHANES and KNHANES. Eur J Clin Nutr 72(6):848-860, 2018 June.
    • Kijoon Kim, Terrence M. Vance, Ming-Hui Chen, Ock K. Chun. Dietary total antioxidant capacity is inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality of U.S. adults. Eur J Nutrition 57(7):2469-2476, 2018 Oct.