Joshua Rabinowitz

Most of us have a sense of what makes a healthy meal. Fish, veggies, water — yes!  Burger, fries, soda — not too often!  Our principles of healthy eating come largely from epidemiological evidence of which foods, in the general population, favor longevity and cardiovascular health.  For example, atherosclerosis is promoted by saturated fats from meat and dairy, but not unsaturated fats from fish and vegetables.

Cancer patients, however, face a unique health threat.  Accordingly, general principles about healthy eating may not apply.  The Ludwig Princeton Branch aims to understand the metabolic interplay between diet, cancer and the immune system rigorously and quantitatively, and to apply the resulting knowledge to identifying new ways of preventing and treating cancer, including by providing cancer-specific dietary guidance.

Evidence from animal models suggests that specific diets can help treat cancer, in some cases making chemotherapy or immunotherapy work better, even for the most intractable cancers.  Our Branch will strive both to understand the underlying biochemistry and advance dietary and metabolic strategies into clinical testing.

To meet our scientific goals, we will engage the rich science ecosystem of Princeton University, including undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and a wide range of faculty.  In addition, we have partnered with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.  These partnerships both strengthen our science and provide the clinical expertise to bring metabolic advances to patients.

Cancer is a disease that touches so many.  The purpose of all our work is to contribute to the prevention and treatment of cancer. That’s what motivates us at the Ludwig Princeton Branch.




Joshua Rabinowitz
Director, Ludwig Princeton Branch
Professor of Chemistry and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University