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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Thomas N. Seyfried

professor of biology

Dr. Thomas Seyfried

Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Phone: 617-552-3563

Learn Alternative Treatments to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Fields of Interest

Gene-Environmental Interactions
Lipid Biochemistry
Ganglioside Storage Diseases
Cancer Metabolism
Brain Tumors
Ketogenic Diets
Dietary Energy Restriction

Editorial Boards

ASN NEURO, Senior Editor
Journal of Lipid Research
Neurochemical Research
Nutrition & Metabolism

Academic Profile

Our research program focuses on mechanisms by which metabolic therapy manages chronic diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative lipid storage diseases, and cancer.  The metabolic therapies include caloric restriction, fasting, and ketogenic diets.  Our approach is based on the idea that compensatory metabolic pathways are capable of modifying the pathogenesis of complex diseases. Global shifts in metabolic environment can neutralize molecular pathology.  In the case of cancer, these therapies target and kill tumor cells while enhancing the physiological health of normal cells.  The neurochemical and genetic mechanisms of these phenomena are under investigation in novel animal models and include the processes of inflammation, cellular physiology, angiogenesis, and lipid biochemistry.



Dr. Seyfried published a groundbreaking treatise entitled, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer (Wiley, 1st ed., 2012). The treatise provides extensive information showing that cancer can be best defined as a mitochondrial metabolic disease rather than as a genetic disease. This new concept has implications for the development of new non-toxic cancer therapies including the ketogenic diet. Experts in the cancer research field have praised this comprehensive study as one of science's hottest topics. Amazon customer reviews.

Cancer as a Metabolic DiseaseCancer as a Metabolic Disease


Dr. Seyfried has been a featured speaker at numerous scientific symposia and conferences relating to cancer, including the 2nd Annual Ancestral Health Symposium, 2012; The Educational Session Lecture, American Association Cancer Research, 2013, and the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), 2015. To view his IHMC lecture, “Cancer: A Metabolic Disease With Metabolic Solutions”, click here

Social Media

For the latest news and updates about Dr. Seyfried and his lab's cancer research follow his Facebook page.


If you would like to show your support for the research Dr. Seyfried and his lab undertake, you can easily contribute a donation through Boston College page. Please make sure that you specify Dr. Seyfried and his lab under the 'I wish to make my gift to' section by selecting the 'other' category and filling in this information. Contributions of any size are welcome.

Recent Publications

Maroon JC, Seyfried TN, Donohue JP, Bost J. The role of metabolic therapy in treating glioblastoma multiforme. Surg Neurol Int. 2015 Apr 16;6:61.

Rockwell HE, McCurdy VJ, Eaton SC, Wilson DU, Johnson AK, Randle AN, Bradbury AM, Gray-Edwards HL, Baker HJ, Hudson JA, Cox NR, Sena-Esteves M, Seyfried TN, Martin DR. AAV-mediated gene delivery in a feline model of Sandhoff disease corrects lysosomal storage in the central nervous system. ASN Neuro. 2015 Apr 13;7(2).

Meidenbauer JJ, Mukherjee P, Seyfried TN. The glucose ketone index calculator: a simple tool to monitor therapeutic efficacy for metabolic management of brain cancer. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2015 Mar 11;12:12.

Akgoc Z, Sena-Esteves M, Martin DR, Han X, d'Azzo A, Seyfried TN. Bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate: a secondary storage lipid in the gangliosidoses.

J Lipid Res. 2015 May;56(5):1006-13.

Heinecke KA, Luoma A, d'Azzo A, Kirschner DA, Seyfried TN. Myelin abnormalities in the optic and sciatic nerves in mice with GM1-gangliosidosis. ASN Neuro. 2015 Feb 18;7(1).

McCurdy VJ, Rockwell HE, Arthur JR, Bradbury AM, Johnson AK, Randle AN, Brunson BL, Hwang M, Gray-Edwards HL, Morrison NE, Johnson JA, Baker HJ, Cox NR, Seyfried TN, Sena-Esteves M, Martin DR. Widespread correction of central nervous system disease after intracranial gene therapy in a feline model of Sandhoff disease. Gene Ther. 2015 Feb;22(2):181-9.

Seyfried TN, Flores R, Poff AM, D'Agostino DP, Mukherjee P. Metabolic therapy: a new paradigm for managing malignant brain cancer. Cancer Lett. 2015 Jan 28;356(2 Pt A):289-300.

Mattson MP, Allison DB, Fontana L, Harvie M, Longo VD, Malaisse WJ, Mosley M, Notterpek L, Ravussin E, Scheer FA, Seyfried TN, Varady KA, Panda S. Meal frequency and timing in health and disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 25;111(47):16647-53.

Seyfried TN, Rockwell HE, Heinecke KA, Martin DR, Sena-Esteves M. Ganglioside storage diseases: on the road to management. Adv Neurobiol. 2014; 9:485-99.

Seyfried TN. Ketone strong: emerging evidence for a therapeutic role of ketone bodies in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

J Lipid Res. 2014 Sep; 55(9): 1815-7.

Mantis JG, Meidenbauer JJ, Zimick NC, Centeno NA, Seyfried TN. Glucose reduces the anticonvulsant effects of the ketogenic diet in EL mice.

Epilepsy Res. 2014 Sep; 108(7): 1137-44.

Meidenbauer JJ, Ta N, Seyfried TN. Influence of a ketogenic diet, fish-oil, and calorie restriction on plasma metabolites and lipids in C57BL/6J mice.

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014 May 22; 11:23.

Poff AM, Ari C, Arnold P, Seyfried TN, D'Agostino DP. Ketone supplementation decreases tumor cell viability and prolongs survival of mice with metastatic cancer.n Int J Cancer. 2014 Oct 1;135(7):1711-20.

Dufort FJ, Gumina MR, Ta NL, Tao Y, Heyse SA, Scott DA, Richardson AD, Seyfried TN, Chiles TC. Glucose-dependent de novo lipogenesis in B lymphocytes: a requirement for atp-citrate lyase in lipopolysaccharide-induced differentiation. J Biol Chem. 2014 Mar 7;289(10):7011-24.

Seyfried TN, Flores RE, Poff AM, D'Agostino DP. Cancer as a metabolic disease: implications for novel therapeutics. Carcinogenesis. 2014 Mar;35(3):515-27.

Ta NL, Jia X, Kiebish M, Seyfried TN. Autosomal dominant inheritance of brain cardiolipin fatty acid abnormality in VM/DK mice: association with hypoxic-induced cognitive insensitivity. Lipids. 2014 Jan;49(1):113-7.

Ahmed SS, Li H, Cao C, Sikoglu EM, Denninger AR, Su Q, Eaton S, Liso Navarro AA, Xie J, Szucs S, Zhang H, Moore C, Kirschner DA, Seyfried TN, Flotte TR, Matalon R, Gao G. A single intravenous rAAV injection as late as P20 achieves efficacious and sustained CNS Gene therapy in Canavan mice.

Mol Ther. 2013 Dec;21(12):2136-47.

Poff AM, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D'Agostino DP. The ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy prolong survival in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 5;8(6):e65522.

Bradbury AM, Cochran JN, McCurdy VJ, Johnson AK, Brunson BL, Gray-Edwards H, Leroy SG, Hwang M, Randle AN, Jackson LS, Morrison NE, Baek RC, Seyfried TN, Cheng SH, Cox NR, Baker HJ, Cachón-González MB, Cox TM, Sena-Esteves M, Martin DR. Therapeutic response in feline sandhoff disease despite immunity to intracranial gene therapy. Mol Ther. 2013 Jul;21(7):1306-15.

Arthur JR, Wilson MW, Larsen SD, Rockwell HE, Shayman JA, Seyfried TN. Ethylenedioxy-PIP2 oxalate reduces ganglioside storage in juvenile Sandhoff disease mice. Neurochem Res. 2013 Apr;38(4):866-75.