Charles McCormick
Prof Assoc

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities
Cornell University Graduate Field Membership: Nutrition; Toxicology; Animal Science

Current Research Activities
Vitamin E cytotoxicity. In collaborative research, we have found that various forms of dietary Vitamin E can induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in macrophages maintained in cell culture. Other cell types are completely refractory. We are currently exploring the mechanism by which tocopherol induces cell death specifically in these cells. Currently, we hypothesize that a cell "stress" response is induced by the accumulation/exposure of some forms of vitamin E.  We recently found that a marker of this response (CHOP expression) is induced by only one form of vitamin E (the form that constitutes the major dietary form).  We have obtained CHOP -/- mice with which to test the cytotoxicity of this form of vitamin E.  Experiments completed recently indicate that this gene is not necessary in the process of apoptosis.  In other words, macrophages from these mice were as sensitive and those from wild-type.


Biographical Statement
After a brief postdoctoral position, I moved to Cornell in 1981 as an assistant professor in the Department of Poultry & Avian Sciences (Rice Hall). I conducted research on zinc metabolism in young chickens and hens and taught in the Department of Animal Science. The course focused on animal nutrition with an emphasis on cattle. Following the awarding of tenure, I (and my family) spent a 6-month sabbatical at the University of Iowa. I studied under Dr. Alan Goodridge in the Department of Biochemistry. A few years later, the Department of Poultry & Avian Sciences was closed and I was invited to join the faculty in Nutritional Sciences. Since then, I have been teaching in basic Nutrition courses in the Division and have been conducting research mostly in cell culture.


Administrative Responsibilities
I have administrative responsibilities as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Division.  I represent the Division on the Biology curriculum committees. I also am the faculty responsible for assigning teaching assistantships in the Division. This is a collaborative effort with the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Cha-Sook You) who assembles much of the information. I am also chair of the Division curriculum committee.  I am also the Departmental Career Representative for CALS. 

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Courses Taught

NS 331 Physiological and Biochemical Bases of Human Nutrition

NS 431 Mineral Nutrition and Chronic Disease

NS603 Mineral Nutrtion:  Metabolic, Health and Environmental Aspects

NS631 Micronutrients: Minerals and Vitamins

Related Websites
DNS Home Page

I maintain one web site for NS331, NS431 and NS631. On these sites, I archive handouts, lectures (with audio) as Power Point slides. I also provide examples of quizzes and exams. Student feed-back regarding the slide with audio (of lectures) indicates that it is greatly appreciated.

Selected Publications
Parker, R. S. and C. C. McCormick (2005). "Selective accumulation of alpha-tocopherol in Drosophila is associated with cytochrome P450 tocopherol-omega-hydroxylase activity but not alpha-tocopherol transfer protein." Biochem Biophys Res Commun 338(3): 1537-41.

McCormick CC, Parker R. (2004) The cytotoxicity of vitamin E is both vitaminer- and cell-specific and involves a selectable trait. J Nutr 134:3335-3342. 

McCormick CC. (2003) Passive diffusion does not play a major role in the absorption of dietary calcium in normal adults. J Nutr 132(11):3428-30.

Fu Y, McCormick C, Roneker C, Lei X. (2001) Lipopolysaccharide and interferon-g-induced nitric oxide production and protein oxidation in mouse peritoneal macrophages are affected by glutathione peroxidase-1 gene knockout. Free Rad Biol Med 31:450-459. 

McCormick CC, Li A, Calero M. (2000) Oxygen tension limits nitric oxide synthesis by activated macrophages. Biochem J 350:709-716. 

Huang M-C, Muddana S, Horowitz E, McCormick C, Infante JP, Brenna JT. (2000) High precision isotope mass spectrometry and stable isotope precursors for tracer studies in cell culture. Anal Biochem 287:80-86.

McCormick CC. (1998) Altered arginine transport is not necessary to support nitric oxide synthesis in activated macrophages. Nitric Oxide 2 (2):97. 

Lin AW, Chang CC, McCormick CC. (1996) Molecular cloning and expression of an avian macrophage nitric-oxide synthase cdna and the analysis of the genomic 5'-flanking region. J Biol Chem 271:11911-11919. 

Chang CC, McCormick CC, Lin AW, Dietert RR, Sung YJ. (1996) Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase gene expression in vivo and in vitro by repeated doses of endotoxin. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 271:G539-G548.