International symposium on nutritional genomics

08/17/04

Diet and genes, lifestyles and disease will be on the menu at the Bruce Ames International Symposium on Nutritional Genomics, to be held at the University of California, Davis, Oct. 22-24.

Topics at the meeting include how individuals respond differently to diets; how foods can influence health and aging; and ethical and consumer issues. The symposium will present the latest findings linking diet and genes to heart disease, diabetes, asthma and some cancers.

Nutritional genomics is the study of how diet and genes interact to influence health and disease. It's well known that diet choices are linked to obesity and chronic diseases such as type II diabetes and heart disease, but some individuals are more susceptible to these problems than others.

The symposium will honor Bruce N. Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley and senior scientist at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), for his lifelong contributions to science and for his vision in promoting human health through better nutrition. Ames will be presented with the 2004 Thomas Hunt Morgan Genetics Prize by the Genetics Society of America on the evening of Friday, Oct. 22.

Other notable speakers include: Walter Willett, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, who has proposed revising the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Food Pyramid"; Troy Duster, director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at UC Berkeley, who has written extensively on race, ethics and genetic testing; Jose Ordovas, Tufts University, who is identifying genes and genetic variants related to cholesterol metabolism and cardiovascular disease; Vanessa Northington-Gamble of Tuskegee University, who has written extensively of the use of human subjects for clinical research; and David Castle from the University of Guelph, Canada, who is developing an international bioethical framework for nutritional genomics research.

The meeting is sponsored by the NCMHD (National Center for Minority Health Disparities) Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics. Established in 2003 by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the center is a collaboration between UC Davis, CHORI, the USDA's Western Human Nutrition Research Center and the Ethnic Health Institute, a community service of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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