Recognizing the position of nutritional research in the vanguard of health discovery, a group of investigators from UC Davis schools and departments, including the School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Engineering, and the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, have proposed the Foods for Health Initiative. It will create an umbrella of support and collaboration for the wide range of nutrition study already under way, as well as channel future discoveries into practical applications for scientific investigators, clinicians and the community.
The Foods for Health Initiative aims to anticipate and promote the rapid developments occurring in scientific investigation and apply them to nutritional research. New tools such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics allow investigators to process and analyze massive amounts of information about how nutrients in foods affect biological processes, both in sickness and in health. A publicly accessible electronic bioinformatics environment will allow rapid access to scientific breakthroughs.
One aspect of the initiative, the Sacramento Nutritional Assessment Program, will offer rapid clinical applications. The program will undertake short- and long-term studies of the effects of nutrition on health and disease, primarily for UC Davis Health System patients. It will facilitate comprehensive nutritional assessment for preventing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
"This is a way to bring UC Davis' strong multi-disciplinary assets in nutrition and metabolism into one initiative," says John Rutledge, chief of endocrinology, metabolism and clinical nutrition, who is part of the School of Medicine's team to bring the Foods for Health Initiative into fruition. "It will maximize our collaboration and research potential, and position UC Davis as a world leader in building, applying and validating new nutrition discoveries."