MRC Human Nutrition Research

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Prof Jonathan Powell

Jonathan Powell

Group Leader

Research Group / Team: Biomineral Research Group


Jonathan was appointed as Head of Department (Cellular & Molecular Sciences) in 2011 and, prior to that, Head of Section and Director of Studies in 2003 at MRC HNR (Cambridge). He was made a Fellow of Hughes Hall College, the University of Cambridge, in 2008. His major research interests are the biology and biochemistry of minerals, especially nanominerals, and the absorption and cellular handling of such particles in the gastrointestinal tract.  He has an active research programme in these areas and also in novel synthetic nanomineral development for therapeutic and nutritional applications.  Diseases of interest are iron deficiency anaemia and Crohn’s disease, as well as ulcerative colitis and osteoporosis. His previous positions were Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Medicine at Kings College London, from April 1999, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Immunology and Rheumatology, University of California at Davis, California, USA from April 1998 and MRC fellow/Honorary Lecturer, Dept. of Gastrointestinal Research, Rayne Institute St Thomas Hospital, London, from August 1995.

Featured publications:

  • Powell JJ, Bruggraber SF, Faria N, Poots LK, Hondow N, Pennycook TJ, Latunde-Dada GO, Simpson RJ, Brown AP, Pereira DI. A nano-disperse ferritin-core  mimetic that efficiently corrects anemia without luminal iron redox activity. Nanomedicine. 2014 Jan 4. pii: S1549-9634(13)00776-4.
  • Jugdaohsingh R, Brown A, Dietzel M, Powell JJ. High-aluminum-affinity silica is a nanoparticle that seeds secondary aluminosilicate formation. PLoS One. 2013  Dec 13;8(12):e84397.
  • Pereira DI, Mergler BI, Faria N, Bruggraber SF, Aslam MF, Poots LK, Prassmayer L, Lönnerdal B, Brown AP, Powell JJ. Caco-2 cell acquisition of dietary iron(III) invokes a nanoparticulate endocytic pathway. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 21;8(11):e81250.
  • Powell JJ, Cook WB, Chatfield M, Hutchinson C, Pereira DIa, Lomer MC. Iron status is inversely associated with dietary iron intakes in patients with inactive or mildly active inflammatory bowel disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Feb 1;10(1):18.
  • Gerloff K, Pereira DI, Faria N, Boots AW, Kolling J, Förster I, Albrecht C, Powell JJ, Schins RP. Influence of simulated gastrointestinal conditions on particle-induced cytotoxicity and interleukin-8 regulation in differentiated and  undifferentiated Caco-2 cells. Nanotoxicology. 2013 Jun;7(4):353-66.
  • Powell JJ, Cook WB, Hutchinson C, Tolkien Z, Chatfield M, Pereira DIa, Lomer MC. Dietary fortificant iron intake is negatively associated with quality of life in patients with mildly active inflammatory bowel disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jan 15;10(1):9.
  • Bruggraber SF, Chapman TP, Thane CW, Olson A, Jugdaohsingh R, Powell JJ. A re-analysis of the iron content of plant-based foods in the United Kingdom. Br J  Nutr. 2012 Dec 28;108(12):2221-8
  • Hewitt RE, Pele LC, Tremelling M, Metz A, Parkes M, Powell JJ. Immuno-inhibitory PD-L1 can be induced by a peptidoglycan/NOD2 mediated pathway in primary monocytic cells and is deficient in Crohn's patients with homozygous NOD2 mutations. Clin Immunol. 2012 May;143(2):162-9.

Recent publications: