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Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Graduate School » Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Ski Chilton, Ph.D.

Ski Chilton, Ph.D.
Education University of Colorado School of Medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1984-1986 Wake Forest University, PhD, 1980-1984 Western Carolina University, BS, 1976-1980 Research Area The role of fatty acid metabolism in human diseases. Brief Summary of Research Dr. Chilton’s laboratory focuses on the effects of bioactive molecules within the human food supply on gene expression (nutrigenomics). More specifically, this lab focuses on the influence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and its metabolites as well as polyphenols and calorie restriction on the expression of genes that control the inflammatory response in humans.


The Gene Smart Diet, Rodale, 2009
Win the War Within, Rodale, 2006
Inflammation Nation, Simon and Schuster, 2005

Chosen from over 120 peer reviewed publications: 

Mathias RA, Fu W, Akey JM, Ainsworth HC, Torgerson DJ, Ruczinski I, Sergeant S, Barnes KC, Chilton FH. Adaptive evolution of the FADS gene cluster within Africa. PLoS ONE Sept 19;  7(9): e44926, 2012.

Sergeant S,Hugenschmidt CE, Rudock ME, Ziegler JT, Ivester P, ­­­Ainsworth, HC, Vaidya D, Case LD, Langefeld CD, Freedman BI, Bowden DW, Mathias RA,Chilton FH. Differences in arachidonic acid levels and fatty acid desaturase (FADS) in African Americans and European Americans with diabetes/metabolic syndrome. Brit J Nutr 107:547, 2012.

Mathias RA, Hugenschmidt CE, Sergeant S, Torgerson DG, Ziegler JT, Ivester P, Case LD, Yanek LR, Bowden DW, Freedman BI, Rudock ME, Becker LC, Langefeld CD, Becker DM, Barnes KC, Chilton FH. The impact of FADS genetic variants on omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in African Americans.BMC Genetics. May 20; 12(1):50, 2011.

Sergeant S, McQuail JE, Riddle D, Chilton FH, Ortmeier S, Jessup JA, Groban L, Nicolle MM. Dietary fish oil attenuates diastolic dysfunction, but has no effect on memory or brain measures of inflammation in aged rats. J Gerontology: Biol Sci.May;66(5):521-33, 2011.

Chilton FH, Lee TC, Willard SL, Ivester P, Sergeant S, Register TC, Shively SA. Depression and altered serum lipids in cynomolgus monkeys on a Western diet.Physiol Behav.104: 222-27, 2011.

Mathias RA, Vergara C, Gao L, Rafaels N, Hand T, Campbell M, Bickel C, Ivester P, Sergeant S, Barnes  KC, Chilton FH. Association of fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster genetic variants with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in a homogeneous island population. J Lipid Res. Sept;51(9):2766-74, 2010.

Ivester P, Sergeant S, Danhauer SC, Case LD, Lamb A, Chilton BG, Delar B, Hollingshead ML, Weaver KL, Chilton FH. Effect of a multifaceted, church-based wellness program on metabolic syndrome in 41 overweight or obese congregants.Prev Chronic Dis. Jul;7(4):A81-A88, 2010.

Weaver KL, Ivester P, Seeds M, Case LD, Arm JP, Chilton FH.  Effect of dietary fatty acids on inflammatory gene expression in healthy humans.  J Biol Chem. 5: 284(23): 15400-7, 2009.

Seeds MC, Peachman KK, Bowton  DL, Sivertson K, and Chilton FH. Regulation of arachidonate remodeling enzymes impacts eosinophil survival during allergic asthma.Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol.41(3):358-66, 2009.

Weaver KL, Ivester P, Chilton JA, Wilson MD, Pandey P, Chilton FH. The content of favorable and unfavorable polyunsaturated fatty acids found in commonly eaten fish. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108:1178-85.

Chilton FH, Rudel LL, Parks JS, Arm JP, Seeds MC. Mechanisms by which botanical lipids affect inflammatory disorders. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb; 87(2):498S-503S.

Monjazeb AM, High KP, Connoy A, Hart LS, Koumenis C, Chilton FH. Arachidonic acid-induced gene expression in colon cancer cells.  Carcinogenesis. 2006 Oct;27(10):1950-60. 

Monjazeb AM, High KP, Koumenis C, Chilton FH. Inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism act synergistically to signal apoptosis in neoplastic cells.Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2005 Dec;73 (6):463-74.

High KP, Sinclair J, Easter LH, Case D, Chilton FH. Advanced age, but not anergy, is associated with altered serum polyunsaturated fatty acid levels. J Nutr Health Aging. 2003;7(6):378-84.

Surette ME, Edens M, Chilton FH, Tramposch KM. Dietary echium oil increases plasma and neutrophil long-chain (n-3) fatty acids and lowers serum triacylglycerols in hypertriglyceridemic humans. J Nutr. 2004 Jun;134(6):1406-11.

Surette ME, Koumenis IL, Edens MB, Tramposch KM, Clayton B, Bowton D,Chilton FH. Inhibition of leukotriene biosynthesis by a novel dietary fatty acid formulation in patients with atopic asthma: a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, prospective trial. Clin Ther. 2003 Mar;25(3):972-9. 

Surette ME, Koumenis IL, Edens MB, Tramposch KM, Chilton FH. Inhibition of leukotriene synthesis, pharmacokinetics, and tolerability of a novel dietary fatty acid formulation in healthy adult subjects. Clin Ther. 2003 Mar;25(3):948-71.



Dr. Chilton is widely recognized in academia and industry for his work on the role of fatty acid metabolism in human diseases. He has extensive experience in leading organizations in both of these areas. Dr. Chilton is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Director of the Wake Forest and Brigham and Women’s Center for Botanical Lipids at Wake Forest University Health Sciences. Dr. Chilton also founded the Program in Molecular Medicine at Wake Forest University Health Sciences and helped build it into one of the most successful Programs of its kind in the United States. During his time in academia, Dr. Chilton has served as Director of Molecular Medicine, Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry at the Wake Forest University as well as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He also served as Associate Director of the Asthma and Airways Diseases Center and Associate Director of Programs in Clinical Research at Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

In 1999, Dr. Chilton founded a biotechnology company, Pilot Therapeutics, and served as the President, CEO and Chief Technology Officer from late 2000 to early 2003. At Pilot Therapeutics, Dr. Chilton developed a medical food called Airozin™ that blocks lipid mediators that cause asthma and arthritis. In 2003, Dr. Chilton was named as an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for the Carolinas (1 of 3 finalists from over 400 CEOs in North and South Carolina in the Biotechnology/Life Sciences category).

Dr. Chilton has authored or co-authored over 110 scientific articles and book chapters. He holds 32 issued and 17 pending patents. In 2005, Dr. Chilton wrote a book, Inflammation Nation, which was published by Simon and Schuster. In 2006, Rodale published Dr. Chilton’s book, Win The War Within. Dr. Chilton's new book entitled The Gene Smart Diet was published by Rodale in 2009.

Dr. Chilton obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from Wake Forest University in 1984. He served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmacology at the University of Colorado until 1986. He has received numerous awards in his career including the Cowgill Scholar Award at Wake Forest, the Sigma Xi Research Award at Wake Forest, the 1999 Distinguished Academic and Achievement Award from Western Carolina University and The Distinguished Service and Teaching Award from the Italian Congress on Allergy and Immunology.