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Jed W. Fahey


Department Affiliation: Primary: Clinical Pharmacology; Secondary: Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences; Dept. of International Health (Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Degree: Sc.D., Johns Hopkins University
Rank: Assistant Professor
Director of the Cullman Chemoprotection Center
Telephone Number: 443-204-3982
E-mail address:
School of Medicine Address: Room 625, John G. Rangos, Sr. Building, 855 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205

Phytochemistry/​nutrition-based prevention of chronic disease

Dr. Fahey is a nutritional biochemist with broad training and extensive background in plant physiology, human nutrition, phytochemistry and nutritional biochemistry. He is currently the Director of the Cullman Chemoprotection Center at Johns Hopkins Medical School, where plant-based chemoprotective agents are being developed. His research addresses the induction by phytochemicals, of cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant responses in mammalian systems. His work draws on elements of natural product chemistry, enzymology, nutritional epidemiology and clinical research to develop nutritional strategies for chronic disease prevention in humans. Many of these studies deal with the glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that are found primarily in cruciferous vegetables and in a nutritious tropical tree called the drumstick tree or Moringa oleifera. Other work focuses upon a variety of flavonoid and phenolic secondary metabolites from ginseng, honey, ginger, ashwagandha, black cohosh, and other plants.

Dr. Fahey discovered that broccoli sprouts are an exceptionally rich source of inducers of the enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.  He and colleagues determined that two of these inducers (sulforaphane from broccoli and another isothiocyanate from Moringa) have potent antibiotic activity against Helicobacter pylori, a causative agent of peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer. They then discovered that sulforaphane inactivates urease (a major pathogenesis factor of this bacterium) by an apparently independent mechanism. The group at the Cullman Chemoprotection Center has developed, characterized, and supplied preparations rich in specific phytochemicals, primarily sulforaphane, for a large number of animal and clinical studies in which they have played an integral collaborative role.

In addition to his research, Dr. Fahey teaches graduate courses in both the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. Before joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1993, he spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry and held senior management positions in agricultural biotechnology research and process development.


Representative Publications:

  • Fahey, J.W., Zhang, Y., Talalay, P.  Broccoli sprouts: an exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:10367-10372,1997.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Zalcmann, A.T., Talalay, P. The chemical diversity and distribution of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates among plants. Phytochemistry 56(1):5-51, 2001.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Haristoy, X., Dolan, P.M., Kensler, T.W., Scholtus, I., Stephenson, K.K., Talalay, P.,  Lozniewski, A.  Sulforaphane inhibits extracellular, intracellular, and antibiotic-resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori and prevents benzo[a]pyrene-induced stomach tumors.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99: 7610-7615, 2002.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Stephenson, K.K., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., Egner, P.A., Kensler, T.W., Talalay, P.  Chlorophyll, chlorophyllin and related tetrapyrroles are significant inducers of mammalian phase 2 cytoprotective genes.  Carcinogenesis 26: 1247-1255, 2005.  Pub Med Reference​

  • Shapiro, T.A., Fahey, J.W., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., Holtzclaw, W.D., Stephenson, K.K., Wade, K.L., Ye, L., Talalay, P.  Safety, tolerance, and metabolism of broccoli sprout glucosinolates and isothiocyanates: A clinical phase I study.  Nutrition and Cancer 55(1): 53-62, 2006.  Pub Med Reference

  • Yanaka, A., Fahey, J.W., Fukumoto, A., Nakayama, M., Inoue, S., Zhang, S., Tauchi, M., Suzuki, H., Hyodo, I., Yamamoto, M.  Dietary sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts reduce colonization and attenuate gastritis in Helicobacter pylori-infected mice and humans.  Cancer Prevention Research 2(4): 353-360, 2009.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Talalay, P., Kensler, T.W.  Notes from the field: “Green” chemoprevention as frugal medicine.  Cancer Prev Res 5(2):179-188, 2012.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Wehage, S.L., Holtzclaw, W.D., Kensler, T.W., Egner, P.A., Shapiro, T.A., Talalay, P.   Protection of humans by plant glucosinolates: Efficiency of conversion of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates by the gastrointestinal microflora.  Cancer Prevention Research  5(4):603-611, 2012.  Pub Med Reference
  • Fahey, J.W., Stephenson, K.K., Wade, K.L., Talalay, P.   Urease from Helicobacter pylori is inactivated by sulforaphane and other isothiocyanates.  Biochemical & Biophysical Research Communications 435: 1-7, 2013.  Pub Med Reference 

  • Tsuji, P.A., Stephenson, K.K., Wade, K.L., Liu, H., Fahey, J.W.  Structure-activity analysis of flavonoids: Direct and Indirect antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory potencies and toxicities.  Nutrition and Cancer 65(7) 1014-1025, 2013.  Pub Med Reference 
  • Egner, P.A., Chen, J-G., Zarth, A.T., Ng, D.K., Wang, J-B., Kensler, K.H., Jacobson, L.P, Muñoz, A., Johnson, J.L., Groopman, J.D, Fahey, J.W., Talalay, P., Zhu, J., Chen, T-Y., Qian, G-S., Carmella, S.G., Hecht, S.S., Kensler, T.W.   Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: Results of a randomized clinical trial in China.  Cancer Prevention Research 7: 813-823, 2014.  Pub Med Reference 

  • Singh, K., Connors, S.L., Macklin, E.A., Smith, K.D., Fahey, J.W., Talalay, P., Zimmerman, A.W.  Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111(43): 15550-15555, 2014.  Pub Med Reference 

  • Wade, K.L., Ito, Y., Ramarathnam, A., Holtzclaw, W.D., Fahey, J.W.   Novel purification of active myrosinase from plants by aqueous two-phase counter-current chromatography.  Phytochemical Analysis 26(1):47-53, 2015.  Pub Med Reference

  • Fahey, J.W., Holtzclaw, W.D., Wehage, S.L., Wade, K.L., Stephenson, K.K., Talalay, P. Sulforaphane bioavailability from glucoraphanin-rich broccoli: Control by active endogenous myrosinase. PLOS ONE  doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0140963, 2015.  Pub Med Reference

  • Liu, H., Talalay, P., Fahey, J.W. Biomarker-guided strategy for treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, 15: 602-613, 2016.Pub Med Reference

  • Axelsson, A.X., Tubbs, E., Mecham, B., Chacko, S., Nenonen, H.A., Tang, Y., Fahey, J.W., Derry, J.M.J., Wollheim, C.B., Wierup, N., Haymond, M.W., Friend, S.H., Mulder, H., Rosengren, A.H. Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.  Science Translational Medicine 9(394): eaah4477, 2017. Pub Med Reference

  • Chodur, G.M., Olson, M.E., Wade, K.L., Stephenson, K.K., Nouman, W., Garima, Fahey, J.W. Wild type and domesticated Moringa oleifera differ markedly in taste, glucosinolate composition, and antioxidant potential, but not myrosinase activity or protein content Scientific Reports 8: art. no. 7995, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26059-26063, 2018. Pub Med Reference

  • Fahey, J.W., Olson, M.E., Stephenson, K.K., Wade, K.L., Chodur, G.M., Odee, D., Noumann, W., Massiah, M., Alt, J., Egner, P.A., Hubbard, W.C. The diversity of chemoprotective glucosinolates in moringaceae (Moringa spp.). Scientific Reports 8: art. no. 7994, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26058-26064, 2018. Pub Med Reference

  • Chen, J-G., Johnson, J., Egner, P., Ng, D., Zhu, J., Wang, J-B., Xue, X-F., Sun, Y., Zhang, Y-H., Lu, L-L., Chen, Y-S., Wu, Y., Zhu, Y-R., Carmella, S., Hecht, S., Jacobson, L., Munoz, A., Kensler, K., Rule, A., Fahey, J., Kensler, T. Dose-dependent detoxication of the airborne pollutant benzene by broccoli sprout beverage in randomized trial in Qidong, China.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 110 (3):675-684, 2019. Pub Med Reference

  • Fahey, J.W., Wade, K.L., Stephenson, K.K., Shi, Y., Liu, H., Panjwani, A.A., WarrickC., Olson, M.E. A strategy to deliver precise oral doses of the glucosinolate or isothiocyanate from Moringa oleifera leaves for use in clinical studies. Nutrients, 11(7), 1547, 2019. Pub Med Reference 

  • Fahey, J.W., Wade, K.L., Stephenson, K.K., Panjwani, A.A., Liu, H., Cornblatt, G., Cornblatt, B., Ownby, S., Fuchs, E., Holtzclaw, W.D., Cheskin, L.J. Bioavailability of sulforaphane following ingestion of glucoraphanin-rich broccoli sprout extract with active myrosinase: A pilot study of the effects of proton pump inhibitor administration. Nutrients, 11(7), 1489, 2019. Pub Med Reference

  • Yagishita, Y., Fahey, J.W., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T. and Kensler, T.W. Broccoli or sulforaphane: is it the source or dose that matters? Molecules 24, 3593, 2019.  Pub Med Reference 

  • Fahey, J.W. Moringa oleifera medicinal potential and benefits.  Chapter 13 in The Miracle Tree: Moringa oleifera, Second Edition.  MC Palada, AW Ebert, and RC Joshi (Eds). September 2019. 494 pp. Xlibris. ISBN 9781796044546, 2019.

  • Liu, H., Zimmerman, A.W., Singh, K., Connors, S.L., Diggins, E., Stephenson, K.K., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., Fahey, J.W.  Biomarker Exploration in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells for Monitoring Sulforaphane Treatment Responses in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scientific Reports, 10:5822, 2020. Pub Med Reference


Other graduate programs in which Dr. Fahey participates:

Program in Human Nutrition - JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health