Henry J. Thomposon, PhD

Director, Cancer Prevention Laboratory


Colorado State University


For over two decades Dr. Thompson’s laboratory has been investigating the effects of energy balance (limiting energy intake and increasing energy expenditure via physical activity) on the carcinogenic process in the breast using pre-clinical models.  His laboratory was among the first to show that dietary energy restriction inhibits the carcinogenic process by inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, and suppressing tumor vascularization.  Dr. Thompson and colleagues have also reported that energy restriction mediates these effects not only by downregulating the pathway of which protein kinase B (AKT) is a component, but also by inducing the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase, thereby downregulating the activity of mTOR.  Dr. Thompson’s laboratory has shown innovation by the design and construction of running wheel devices that are now permitting him to investigate how increasing energy expenditure via physical activity affects the carcinogenic process.  Dr. Thompson and collaborators have identified that physical activity exerts effects on mTOR but the mechanisms through which these effects are mediated are distinct from the pathways regulated by energy restriction.  Their work has led them to investigate the role of glucose availability from the diet as a potential modulator of the carcinogenic response and to develop approaches that allow us to study the diets of human subjects in preclinical models for cancer. 

Since 1993, Dr. Thompson has been working with a team of medical oncologists specializing in breast cancer in order to translate our preclinical findings into effective clinical weight control interventions. Dr. Thompson has been the principal investigator on 6 projects in which the effects of dietary interventions on risk biomarkers were investigated in women at risk for breast cancer and in breast cancer survivors. He is the principal investigator for the CHOICE weight loss trial in 259 post-menopausal breast cancer survivors, investigating the effects of dietary patterns differing in carbohydrate and lipid content and progressive fat loss on various prognostic markers of long term survival in post-menopausal breast cancer patients.

Education & Training

PhD Rutgers University, Nutrition (1975)
MPhil Rutgers University, Nutrition (1974)
MS Rutgers University, Nutrition (1974)
BS Rutgers University, Environmental Science (1972)

Contact Info

Henry J. Thomposon, PhD
Mailing Address
Cancer Prevention Laboratory221 Shepardson Building
1173 Campus Delivery

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173