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Mauritius Research Council (MRC) Mauritius Research Council (MRC)

Applied Biochemistry

Professor Theeshan Bahorun, National Research Chair in Applied Biochemistry (2012-2016)
Brief Biodata:
Theeshan Bahorun is Professor of Applied Biochemistry and National Research Chair at the Mauritius Research Council. He has been the Chairman of the Food and Agricultural Research Council and is currently the President of the Society for Free Radical Research Africa (SFRR-Africa), Vice President of the International Association of Medical and Biomedical Researchers (IAMBR) and President of the Board of Governors of the University of Technology, Mauritius. His research endeavors are focused on promoting public health nutrition and disease prevention.
Notable outputs from his works include, his seminal finding on tea consumption which reduces the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and uric acid-indicators of the inflammation of the arteries that contributes to cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients (Toxicology), demonstrating the effect of black tea in the management of CVD markers in a normal population (Preventive Medicine), detailing the modulatory effects of FPP and green tea in a pre-diabetic population (Preventive Medicine, Bio Med Research) and describing the potential utilisation of mushroom extracts to reduce liver cancer incidence ( Food and Function). He is the author/co-author of 113 peer reviewed publications and 70 refereed abstracts. He is deputy Editor in Chief of The Internet Journal of Medical Update, Chief Editor for Archives of Medical and Biomedical Research and is on the Editorial Boards of The World Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISRN Toxicology, Free Radicals and Antioxidants, European Journal of Toxicological Sciences. In 2010 he was awarded the CV Raman Senior Fellowship for African researchers by the Government of India. In 2013 he was conferred the title of Fellow of the Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology and received the Best Mauritian Scientist Award. In 2015 he has been elevated to the rank of Grand Officer of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean for his contribution to Research and Tertiary Education.

National Research Chair Program
The National Research Chair plan in Applied Biochemistry aims to achieve high quality and focused policy and program intervention research outputs through projects of national relevance to medical biotechnology and public health and to support the timely and effective application of research into policies, programs and practice. Furthermore it has been carved to stimulate innovative approaches in interventional research with the view to enhancing infrastructural capacity building, promoting collaborative endeavours with local and international industries/institutions, attracting international funding and developing high level competencies in research at Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral levels. The program uses a multidisciplinary approach including basic and applied research supported by clinical intervention, biochemistry and molecular technologies to the prevention of oxidative linked chronic disease conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular dysfunctions. The program has enabled the setting up of biochemistry, molecular and cell culture laboratories with high tech equipment manned by a core team comprising full time PhDs, a Postdoc, a Research Assistant and academic staff. The effectiveness and success of the themes and projects under the NRC program are fully evidenced by outputs at publication level, training of MPhil/PhDs, international conference participation as invited or keynote speaker, international conference organization, international collaborations and sustained international funding.
The National Research Chair in Applied Biochemistry focuses on 3 main themes that, in spite of their specificities, interact and are complementary to each other in terms of project activities. These are:
Cancer Phytotherapeutics and Chemoprevention


[1] Edible mushrooms as functional foods: an assessment of their nutritional value, phytochemical content, antioxidant and cancer chemopreventive effects
[2] An investigation of the antiproliferative molecular action mechanisms of selected endemic plants and their bioactive fractions in cancer cell line models
[3] An investigation of the functional role of cytoglobin in carcinogenesis
[4] Functional food extracts and breast cancer: an investigation of intra-cellular signal modulation
Oxidative stress, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases: Physiological, molecular and cellular effects of functional foods, nutraceuticals and dietary factors
[1] Molecular and clinical effects of a fermented papaya preparation on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
[2] Biochemical characterization, molecular actions and clinical effects of Mauritian green tea in diabetes and its renal complication
[3] Antioxidant effects of functional foods on cellular and physiological disorders associated with diabetes
Antioxidant, antiproliferative and anticarcinogenic potential of selected Mauritian marine macroalgae, sponges and soft corals in relation to their bioactive constituents
[1] An investigation of the biochemical characterisation, antioxidant potential and anti-carcinogenic activity of selected Mauritian marine invertebrates
[2] An investigation of antioxidant and anticancer activities of extracts from selected marine autotrophs and heterotrophs from the Mauritian waters
Selected Publications (2012-2016)
1. S. Ramsaha, V.S. Neergheen-Bhujun, S. Verma, A. Kumar, R.K. Bharty, A.K. Chaudhary, P. Sharma, R.K. Singh, P. Huzar Futty Beejan, K.S.Kang, T. Bahorun. Modulation of hepatocarcinogenesis in N-methyl-N-nitrosourea treated Balb/c mice by mushroom extracts. Food and Function, 7, 594-609, 2016
2. Y. D. Louis, D. Kaullysing, A. Gopeechund, S. Mattan-Moorgawa, T. Bahorun, S.D. Dyall and R.Bhagooli. In hospite Symbiodinium photophysiology and antioxidant responses in Acropora muricata on a coast-reef scale: implications for variable bleaching patterns. Symbiosis DOI 10.1007/s13199-016-0380-4, 2016
3. Z. Ruhomally, J. Somanah, T. Bahorun, V.S Neergheen-Bhujun. Morinda citrifolia L. fruit extracts modulates H2O2- induced oxidative stress in human liposarcoma SW872 cells. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2015
4. R. Beesoo, V. Neergheen-Bhujun, R. Bhagooli and T. Bahorun. Apoptosis inducing lead compounds isolated from marine organisms of potential relevance in cancer treatment. Mutation Research: Fundamental Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 768:84-97, 2014
5. O. I. Aruoma, J. Somanah, E. Bourdon, P. Rondeau and T. Bahorun. Diabetes as a risk factor to cancer: functional role of a fermented papaya preparation as phytonutraceutical adjunct for cancer prevention. Mutation Research: Fundamental Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenenesis 768: 69-68, 2014.
6. S. Verma, T. Bahorun, R. K. Singh, O. I. Aruoma and A. Kumar. Effect of Aegle marmelos leaf extract on N-methyl N-nitrosourea induced hepatocarcinogensis in Balb/c mice. Pharmaceutical Biology 51(10): 1272–1281, 2013.
7. N. A. Toolsee, O. I. Aruoma, T. K. Gunness, S. Kowlessur, V. Dambala, F. Murad, K. Googoolye, D. Daus, J. Indelicato, P. Rondeau,  E. Bourdon and T. Bahorun. Effectiveness of Green Tea in a Randomized Human Cohort: Relevance to Diabetes and Its Complications. BioMed Research International Volume 2013, Article ID 412379, 12 pages, 2013.
8. S. Verma, T. Bahorun and A. Kumar.  N-methyl N-nitroso Urea (MNU) induced altered DNA structure leads to differential expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and Bcl2 initiating hepato-carcinogensis in Balb/c mice. Preventive Medicine, 54, S130–S136, 2012.
9. J. Somanah, O. I. Aruoma, T. K. Gunness , S.Kowelssur, V. Dambala, F. Murad,  K. Googoolye, D. Daus, J. Indelicato, E. Bourdon and T. Bahorun. Effects of a short term supplementation of a fermented papaya preparation on biomarkers of diabetes mellitus in a randomized Mauritian population. Preventive Medicine, 54. S90–S97, 2012
10. T. Bahorun, A. Luximon-Ramma, V.S Neergheen-Bhujun, T. K. Gunness, K. Googoolye, C. Auger, A. Crozier and O.I. Aruoma.  The effects of black tea on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a normal population. Preventive Medicine, 54, S98–S102, 2012.