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The future of nutritional genomics is collaboration

Nutrigenomics experts worldwide have aligned, and they are calling for teamwork. Jos Ordovas, PhD, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University joined more than eighty other leading researchers in the fields of nutrition and genetics to co-author a report outlining their strategy for maximizing the impact of nutrigenomics research on global poverty and health.

As Jim Kaput, PhD, of University of California, Davis, Ordovas, and their many colleagues write in the British Journal of Nutrition, their goal is to create an international consortium with which to harness the power and expertise of a large collaborative network of nutritional genomics researchers dedicated to investigating how genetics and nutrition can promote health or prevent disease.

"Advancing our knowledge of diet-gene interactions is critical," says Ordovas, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, "but knowledge alone is not sufficient for us to effectively address health disparities and combat chronic disease throughout the world." He emphasizes that scientists must collaborate with scholars and policy makers, as well.

"In the spirit of creating a truly integrated research initiative in nutrigenomics," write the authors, "the interaction of partners from agriculture, food processing, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries with academic centers would accelerate technology development and dissemination of nutrigenomic information to the public."

Ordovas and his collaborators believe that this comprehensive approach will benefit human health both in the short and long term. Potential benefits include developing new diagnostic tests for adverse responses to food, identifying specific populations of people who have special nutrient needs, revealing previously undiscovered nutrient-gene interactions, improving current methods for
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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University
9-Feb-2006


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