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Cal Poly Pomona Experts Guide


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Nancy E. Buckley

Nancy Buckley has two research focuses. The first is investigating the role of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors on the immune system. Cannabinoids are known to suppress resistance to bacterial, viral and protozoan infections. Her lab team is investigating the effect of the psychoactive component of marijuana, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on mouse resistance to yeast infections. Recently, they found that THC suppresses mouse resistance to a secondary, but not a primary, systemic Candida albicans infection (Blumstein et al, 2014).


Her second area of research is investigating the role of garlic on immune function. Garlic, an herb consumed for millennia, has been attributed with medicinal effects including immune modulatory activities. Her team recently reported that an aqueous garlic extract enhances lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production (Sung et al, 2015). LPS is a highly immunogenic component of the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria. Their objective is to further characterize the effect of garlic on immune cell response to pathogenic agents such as LPS and yeast.

Recent Grants and Fellowships:

  • Cal Poly Pomona Provost’s Teacher-Scholar Support Program, “The role of cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) and sex on the effects of D9-THC on mouse resistance to Candida albicans infections,” $5,000, 2018-2019 
  • Cal Poly Pomona, Provost’s Teacher-Scholar Support Program, “Investigating the effects of marijuana compounds on immune function,” $6,000, 2017-2018
  • The California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB),
  • “Investigating the effect of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the susceptibility to systemic C. albicans infection in mice treated with an anti‐cancer drug,” $15,000, 2015-2016
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences/MBRS-SCORE Grant, “Effects of Cannabinoids on the Immune Response to Murine Systemic Candidiasis,” $106,500/year, 2009-2014
  • Cal Poly Pomona Agricultural Research Initiative (ARI), Garlic and Immune Function,” $67,649/year, 2010-2013

Selected Publications:

  • With G. Blumstein, A. Parsa, A.K. Park, B.L.P. McDowell, M. Arroyo-Mendoza, M. Girguis, J. P. Adler-Moore and J. Olson, “Effect of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on mouse resistance to systemic Candida albicans infection,” PLoS One, 9(7): e103288, Published online July 24th, 2014.
  • With J. Sung, Y. Harfouche, M. De La Cruz, M.P. Zamora, Y. Liu and J.A. Rego, “Garlic (Allium sativum) Stimulates Lipopolysaccharide-induced Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Production from J774A.1 Murine Macrophages,” Phytotherapy Research 29(2):288-94, 2015
  • With K. Chong, M.P. Zamora, D.A. Tilakawardane, J.A. Rego and Y. Liu, “Investigation of Allicin Stability in Aqueous Garlic Extract by High Performance Liquid Chromatography Method,”  Journal of Scientific Research & Reports (accepted for publication), 2014
  • The Peripheral Cannabinoid Receptor Knockout Mice: An update,” Br J Pharmacol 153(2):309-18, 2008
  • Echinacea purpurea and the immune system a layman’s article for AGRICOLUMN, 2007
  • With Burbridge, M. Buranapramest, T. Ferguson and R.Y. Paau, “Experimental Methods to Study the Role of the Peripheral Cannabinoid Receptor in Immune Function,” Methods Mol. Med. 123:19-40, 2006


B.S., Chemistry and Biology, Texas A&I University

Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Georgetown University

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