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Tammy Chilton Lee Mustin, M.S


Clinical Study Coordinator
Wake Forest School of Medicine


M.S., Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program, August 2009
Wake Forest University School of Arts and Sciences

Biology concentration, Salem College, 2006 

BS, Business Administration and Economics, High Point University, 1984

Current Research:

An estimated 170,000 new cases of brain metastases occur each year in approximately 10 to 30% of adult cancer patients. Primary malignant central nervous system (CNS) tumors represent about 2% of all cancers, with more than 40,000 cases annually in the United States. Most of these patients will receive radiation therapy (RT), which can lead to injury to the normal brain. The symptoms of radiation-induced brain injury are described as acute, sub-acute, and chronic depending on the time of occurrence which can be hours, days, weeks and even years after radiation. The chronic phase, occurring approximately 6 months or more after radiation, is highly associated with progressive cognitive impairment. Radiation-related brain injury involves multiple cells and tissue types with varying biological changes

Currently, there are no effective treatments for radiation-induced brain injury. Selecting the correct time for intervention and reducing side effects associated with brain radiotherapy are critical. Our lab, under the leadership of Dr. Mike Robbins, investigates experimental strategies to determine and mitigate: i] activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors, ii] upregulation of pro-inflammatory mediators and iii] expression of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS). I am conducting in vivo studies in rat models to test the hypothesis that inhibiting the intrinsic brain RAS using RAS blockers targeted at either angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)1 or Ang II Type 1 receptors (AT1R) will ameliorate the development and progression of radiation-induced brain injury. Additionally, using well-defined in vitro models of normal brain cells, I will test the hypothesis that irradiation activates the intrinsic brain RAS, leading to a chronic and persistent oxidative stress/inflammatory response.

Given the complexities of radiation-induced changes, improved understanding of these processes and interactions will provide a mechanistic basis for optimization of treatment to improve the side effects and quality of life of long-term survivors of brain irradiation.


Susan Sergeant, Ingo Ruczinski, Priscilla Ivester, Tammy C. Lee,  Timothy M. Morgan, Barbara J. Nicklas, Rasika A. Mathias and Floyd H. Chilton. Impact of methods used to express levels of circulating fatty acids on the degree and direction of associations with blood lipids in humans. Br J Nutr (2015).



Lee, Tammy; Chilton, Floyd; Wilson, Martha; Willard, Stephanie; Shively, Carol: Marked Differences in Lipid Metabolism between Depressed and Nondepressed Monkeys: 2nd Annual Symposium: The Role of Dietary Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease, October 2007

Lee TC, Ivester P, Hester AG, Sergeant S, Case LD, Morgan T, Kouba EO, Chilton FH.  The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acid-based dietary supplements on disease biomarkers in a metabolic syndrome/diabetes population.  Lipids in Health and Disease (2014).

Hester AG, Murphy RC, Uhlson CJ, Ivester P, Lee TC, Sergeant S, Miller LR, Howard TD, Mathias RA, Chilton FH.  Relationship between a common variant in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) cluster and eicosanoid generation in humans. J Biol Chem. (2014).


Tammy C. Lee, MS, Dana Greene-Schloesser, PhD, Valerie Payne, BS, Debra I. Diz, PhD,   Fang-Chi Hsu, PhD, Mitra Kooshki, MS,  Rashida Mustafa, David Riddle, PhD, Weiling Zhao, PhD, Michael D. Chan, MD and Mike E. Robbins, PhD.  Chronic administration of the ACE inhibitor, ramipril, prevents fractionated whole-brain irradiation-induced perirhinal cortex-dependent cognitive impairment, Radiation Research (2012).


Chilton Floyd H., Lee Tammy C., Willard Stephanie L., Ivester Priscilla, Sergeant Susan, Register Thomas C., Shively Carol A., Depression and altered serum lipids in cynomolgus monkeys consuming a high fat Western diet, Physiology & Behavior (2011). 

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Contact Information
Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program

Office 336-713-4259

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Last Updated: 07-18-2016
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