Mindy Kurzer, PhD

Professor of Medicine (Joint Appointment), Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Mindy Kurzer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Phone

Administrative Fax Number

PhD,University of California, Berkeley, CA

Master's Degree, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Bachelor's Degree, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY


Dr. Mindy S. Kurzer is a nutritional scientist and Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and holds a joint appointment in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation in the Department of Medicine. She is Director of Graduate Studies for the inter-college nutrition graduate program and Director of the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute. Dr. Kurzer received her B.A. in History from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1979 and 1984, respectively. She was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Nutrition Institute in Rome and Odense University in Denmark from 1985-86, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Reproductive Endocrinology Center at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1986-1989. She has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota since 1989. Dr. Kurzer received the International Life Sciences Institute Future Leader Award in 1992 and was a Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Fellow from 2006-07. She currently serves on the NCCAM Clinical Sciences study section and regularly reviews for both the Department of Defense Breast and Prostate Cancer grant programs.


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Kurzer studies dietary effects on endogenous hormones and hormone actions as a mechanism by which substances in food may prevent cancer. She performs clinical studies in healthy subjects and cancer survivors, focusing primarily on breast and prostate cancer prevention. She has conducted many studies in healthy premenopausal and postmenopausal women, healthy young men, men at high risk of prostate cancer, and breast cancer survivors. The diet and lifestyle interventions that Dr. Kurzer has studied include soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones), soy protein, flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids, and exercise. Her laboratory is one of very few worldwide that has the capability to measure the full spectrum of estrogen metabolites in human urine, using sophisticated triple quadrupole tandem liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Other biomarkers of interest include markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, circulating hormones and IGF-axis proteins.


  • Teas J, Irhimeh MR, Druker S, Hurley TG, Hébert JR, Savarese TM, Kurzer MS. Serum IGF-1 Concentrations Change With Soy and Seaweed Supplements in Healthy Postmenopausal American Women. Nutr Cancer. 2011 Jun 28. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Smith AJ, Phipps WR, Arikawa AY, O'Dougherty M, Kaufman B, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, Kurzer MS. Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Premenopausal Sex Hormone Levels: Results of the WISER Study, a Randomized Clinical Trial in Healthy, Sedentary, Eumenorrheic Women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jun;20(6):1098-106.
  • Sturgeon SR, Volpe SL, Puleo E, Bertone-Johnson ER, Heersink J, Sabelawski S, Wähälä K, Bigelow C, Kurzer MS. Dietary intervention of flaxseed: effect on serum levels of IGF-1, IGF-BP3, and C-peptide. Nutr Cancer. 2011 Apr;63(3):376-80.
  • Arikawa AY, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, Kurzer MS. Sixteen weeks of exercise reduces C-reactive protein levels in young women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jun;43(6):1002-9.
  • Sturgeon SR, Volpe SL, Puleo E, Bertone-Johnson ER, Heersink J, Sabelawski S, Wahala K, Bigelow C, Kurzer MS. Effect of flaxseed consumption on urinary levels of estrogen metabolites in postmenopausal women. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(2):175-80.
  • Teas J, Hurley TG, Hebert JR, Franke AA, Sepkovic DW, Kurzer MS. Dietary seaweed modifies estrogen and phytoestrogen metabolism in healthy postmenopausal women. J Nutr. 2009 May;139(5):939-44. Epub 2009 Mar 25. Erratum in: J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1779.
  • Kurzer MS. Soy consumption for reduction of menopausal symptoms. Inflammopharmacology. 2008 Oct;16(5):227-9. Review.
  • Sturgeon SR, Heersink JL, Volpe SL, Bertone-Johnson ER, Puleo E. Stanczyk FZ, Sabelawski S. Wähälä K, Kurzer MS and Bigelow C. (2008) Effect of Dietary Flaxseed on Serum Levels of Estrogens and Androgens in Postmenopausal Women. Nutr Cancer60: 612-18.
  • Tseng M, Olufade T, Kurzer MS, Fang CY, van der Schouw Y, Wähälä K and Daly MB. (2008) Assessment of Soy Intake in a Sample of US Women. Nutr Cancer60: 619-26.
  • Greany KA, Bonorden MJL, Hamilton-Reeves JM, McMullen MH, Wangen KE, Phipps WR, Feirtag J, Thomas W and Kurzer MS. (2008) Probiotic Capsules Do Not Lower Plasma Lipids in Young Women and Men. Eur J Clin Nutr 62 (2): 232-237.