Jody Ralph, R.N., Ph.D.

Position: Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Affiliation: University of Windsor

E-mail:Jody.Ralph@uwindsor.ca

Website: www.uwindsor.ca/nursing/.

Areas of Expertise: Oncology, Epigenetics, Obesity

Brief Description of Research:

Dr. Jody Ralph completed a science undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry, a Ph.D. in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and undergraduate and Masters nursing degrees. Her educational programs and volunteer work with the Canadian Cancer Society led to her focus on cancer, and prostate cancer in particular. Her research focuses on the interactions between the environment and genetics. Over the years since scientists discovered DNA, we have learned more about how our genes are regulated and how they work. More recently, the scientific community has sought a better understanding of the environmental effects on these processes. As a researcher with a nursing background, Dr. Ralph has a desire to perform research that has direct application to patient care. This means that if we understand the environmental effects on our genes, we may be able to treat some diseases more effectively. A particular area of interest for her is epigenetics, which is modifications of the DNA that affect its expressivity. Epigenetic mechanisms are heavily influenced by our lifestyle (nutrition, activity, health behaviours) and the environment around us, which means that we may be able to target these changes more easily and with less risks to patients. Dr. Ralph’s goal is to elucidate the epigenetic changes that occur in different diseases, such as prostate cancer, and determine how we can use that knowledge to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Ralph also teaches in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor.

5 Select Publications:

Ralph, J.L., Ohm, J.E., Anderson, C.M., Ralph, S.G., Dassinger, H.B., Gross, B. The DNA Methylation Patterns of Prostate Tumor Margins Are Altered by Obesity. Manuscript in Preparation.

Anderson CM, Gillespie SL, Thiele DK, Ralph JL, Ohm JE. (2018). Effects of maternal vitamin D supplementation on the maternal and infant epigenome. Breastfeeding Medicine. 13(5), 371-380. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2017.0231

Wright, M.L., Ralph, J.L., Ohm, J.E. and Anderson, C.M. (2013). DNA Methylation in Complex Disease: Applications in Nursing Research, Practice and Policy. Nursing Outlook, 61(4), 235-241.

Tande, D., Ralph, J.L., Johnson, L., Scheett, A., Hoverson, B., Anderson, C.M. (2013). First Trimester Dietary Intake, Biochemical Measures, and Subsequent Gestational Hypertension Among Nulliparous Women. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 58(4), 423-430.

Ralph, J.L., Orgebin-Crist, M.C., Lareyre, J.J., and Nelson, C.C. (2003). Disruption of Androgen Regulation in the Prostate by the Environmental Contaminant Hexachlorobenzene. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(4), 461-466.