Human Nutrition, Environment and Health, Beijing, October 14—18, 2015
Organized in collaboration with BGI. Sponsored by Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences. Part of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Diet is the most important environmental factor for maintaining health and preventing disease. The increasing incidence of complex, age-related chronic diseases, as well as the ongoing prevalence of malnutrition, is fueling scientific, ethical and economic calls for intensifying and improving translational health care research. Understanding the interactions of nutrition and lifestyle with an individual’s genetic makeup is a necessary first step to developing strategies to prevent or delay metabolic and cognitive decline and to complement the reactive approach of using pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms.
Translational research to maintain health and prevent and/or delay disease onset requires an interdisciplinary systems approach that embraces complexity of human individuality in a rapidly changing environment.
Nutrigenomics overarches this theme by investigating how genomic and epigenomic individuality predisposes to dietary response, health and disease and how an individual’s genome expresses itself at different omic levels (proteomics, metabonomics, lipidomics) in response to environment, including nutrition.
Molecular phenotyping of humans over time and across healthy and safe exposures and challenges represents a new research strategy that begins to embrace nutritional, environmental, genomic, microbiological and epidemiological competencies and will thereby challenge more classical nutritional approaches. At the same time, nutrition is advancing from a rather reductionist and descriptive approach to a more quantitative, systems-level science.
The goals and outcomes of this meeting include: 1) Bringing together researchers from traditionally rather separated disciplines: nutrition, (gen)omics, clinics, physiology, epidemiology, analytics, biomathematics; 2) Advancing nutrition research as a quantitative, holistic and molecular science; 3) Reviewing/challenging classical pre-clinical models and clinical study designs and incorporating improved translational in vitro and in vivo models, human intervention study designs, and innovative new tools/technologies for molecular phenotyping and capture of human diet and lifestyle; and 4) Connecting basic laboratory science to patient- and consumer-relevant outputs in terms of personalized dietary/nutritional counseling and monitoring/diagnostics.