Faculty Spotlight: Fighting Dry Mouth in Cancer Survivors While Mentoring the Next Generation of Scientists

Oct. 30, 2018

Kristen Limesand's work as a researcher and graduate mentor has landed her a Research Spotlight in 'Act Against Cancer' magazine and a profile on Lo Que Pasa.


Nutritional Sciences professor Kirsten Limesand, PhD, found an unexpected research niche in studying salivary glands - first of mosquitoes, then of mice, and now of head-and-neck cancer survivors. Her work on fighting dry mouth in cancer patients helps the UA Cancer Center improve the lives of those who've undergone chemoradiation treatments for head-and-neck cancers.

"Most people don’t think about saliva being important — until you don’t have it,” says Dr. Limesand. “It’s like living in the desert in July all the time.”

Dr. Limesand's work in the lab was recently featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Act Against Cancer and in a profile for the UA Cancer Center's website.

In addition to thriving within her research niche, Dr. Limesand is also excited to serve as a mentor to her graduate students, who work with her on her research.

"Hands down, the most rewarding aspect of my career is training students," she said. "I prioritize hiring graduate students. It's like working with a piece of clay – you help start the molding process and help them move down that path."

Both her research and her mentorship were recently featured in Lo Que Pasa.