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Volume 1, Issue 1
September 2020

 
 
Director's Corner
 
 
 
 
 

The 2018-2023 campus Strategic Plan identified personalized nutrition as an area of investment and the NIH 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for Nutrition placed personalized nutrition in the core of its focus for the next 10 years (see below). In the introduction to the NIH Strategic Plan for Nutrition, NIH Director Francis Collins posed the question: “What if each of us had individualized, actionable dietary recommendations that helped us decide what, when, why, and how to eat to optimize our health and quality of life? While this sounds like a straightforward endeavor, to understand an individual’s response to diet, we must know their genome, epigenome, microbiome, dietary intake, physical activity, and the social and behavioral context in which they live. We will need to apply biosensors to monitor the intake and physiological responses, computing, and statistics of large systems to integrate data and machine learning/AI to develop predictive algorithms to translate evidence to action. As such, personalized nutrition requires transdisciplinary collaborative efforts to answer fundamental questions regarding how diet modulates health and disease across the lifespan.

I believe that Illinois is uniquely positioned to more rapidly advance the field of personalized nutrition. The study of nutrition from fundamental molecular mechanisms to application in clinical and community settings has been a historical strength at the University of Illinois. Bringing expertise in bioengineering, engineering, and computer science to bear on nutrigenomic systems biology combined with social and behavioral scientists to understand the determinants driving dietary intake and other health behaviors will put a decidedly “Illinois” stamp on our approach. We hope that you will join us in this exciting endeavor.

The campuswide Personalized Nutrition Initiative was established in July 2020 as a partnership between the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). This fall we will be meeting with campus leaders and faculty gather broad input into the themes of the Initiative. We will also be establishing our Faculty Steering Committee, putting out a call for Affiliate Faculty members, and establishing our Internal and External Advisory Committees, so stay tuned! If you have not yet completed our survey, please do so—your input is important (see below). Also, please join us for the IGB Science Chat on September 29th to hear more about the initiative and the exciting research being conducted by Hannah Holscher and Naiman Khan. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions to personalizednutrition@illinois.edu.

Sincerely

Sharon Donovan
Director, Personalized Nutrition Initiative

 
   
 
 
PNI Campus Survey—We Need Your Input!
 
 
 

The Personalized Nutrition Initiative has compiled a brief survey to better understand the needs of our community, and what members would like to achieve with this initiative. Nearly 70 faculty members across 11 colleges, institutes, and programs have already participated, but we are seeking input on cross-campus research capacity and faculty interest in participating in future activities. Now is the time to help shape our priorities over the next few years. It takes an average of 15 minutes to complete the survey complete the survey.

 
   
 
 
Events
 
 
 
ILSI North America–University of Illinois Webinar Series—STRONG KIDS 2: Childhood Nutrition and Obesity in the Microbiome-Brain Axis
 
 

September 25, 2020 | 2:00-3:30 p.m. CST

 
 
 
 

Presenters

  • Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD
    Director, Personalized Nutrition Initiative
    Professor and Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Diet and Health, University of Illinois
  • Naiman Khan, PhD, RD
    Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois
  • Arden McMath, MS
    Doctoral Student, USDA NNF Fellow, University of Illinois

Register here

 
   
 
 
IGB Science Chat: Personalized Nutrition Initiative at Illinois
 
 

September 29, 2020 | 12:00-1:00 p.m. CST

 
 

We invite you to join the IGB Science Chat to learn about the new Personalized Nutrition Initiative at Illinois and nutrition research related to genetics, cognition, microbiome, and analytics.

Presenters

  • Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD
    Director, Personalized Nutrition Initiative
    Professor and Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Diet and Health, University of Illinois
    Introduction to the Personalized Nutrition Initiative
  • Hannah Holscher, PhD, RD
    Assistant Professor of Nutrition, University of Illinois
    You Aren't Just Eating for One: How Diet and the Microbiome Support Health
  • Naiman Khan, PhD, RD
    Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois
    Nutrition, Genetics, and Cognition: Personalization as the Next Frontier

Join via Zoom | Sign up for additional information

 
   
 
 
News
 
 
 
NIH Issues 10-Year NIH Strategic Plan in Nutrition Highlighting Precision Nutrition
 
 
 
 
 

The NIH Nutrition Research Task Force, guided by input from a broad range of stakeholders, conducted a strategic, scientifically guided approach to fundamentally transform nutrition science. The 2020–2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research presents a bold, unifying vision emergent as “Precision Nutrition.” An important constituent of Precision Medicine, Precision Nutrition in research and practice considers multiple, synergistic levels of influence: dietary habits, genetic background, health status, microbiome, metabolism, food environment, physical activity, socioeconomics, psychosocial characteristics, and environmental exposures. Click here to read their full Strategic Plan.

 
   
 
 
NIH Council of Councils Approves Precision Nutrition Initiative
 
 
 
 
 

During the NIH Council of Councils September 2020 meeting, a Common Fund concept clearance on "Nutrition for Precision Health, powered by the All of Us Research Program" was approved. This new Common Fund program will provide $155,900,000 over 5 years to provide the evidence base for individualized dietary/nutrition recommendations. The presentation, background, and webcast of the meeting are available online.

 
   
 
 
 
 

Click here to join our mailing list and get updates from the Personalized Nutrition Initiative, including our newsletter. 

 
 
 


The Personalized Nutrition Initiative is a campuswide partnership between the Office of
the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (OVCRI), the Carl R. Woese Institute
for Genomic Biology (IGB), and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and
Environmental Sciences (ACES).

Visit the Personalized Nutrition Initiative website for more information.

 
 
 
 
 

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