Advances, Challenges, and Future Directions in Food Biomarker Research
A virtual symposium co-chaired by Qi Sun (Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Lorraine Brennan (University College Dublin, Ireland), and Jayne Woodside (Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Monday, November 16, 2020
[This event has passed.]
Qi Sun, Lorraine Brennan, and Jayne Woodside
NIH strategic plan and roadmap to accelerate nutrition research over next 10 years – Download slides
Systems epidemiology approach to precision nutrition and metabolic health
Biomarkers powering precision nutrition
Baukje de Roos
Moderator: Qi Sun
The FoodBall project: results of an international consortium on food biomarkers
Implementation of precision versus public health nutrition approaches in improving human diet quality
Effects of the gut microbiome on the reliability of dietary biomarkers
Moderator: Lorraine Brennan
[10:55am EST] Break
Critical roles of phytochemicals in food biomarker research
Harnessing controlled feeding trials to aid in the discovery of novel food biomarkers
Alice H. Lichtenstein
Metabolomic approaches to identification of food biomarkers and application in epidemiological studies
Applications of dietary biomarkers in nutritional epidemiology
Moderator: Jayne Woodside
[12:55pm EST] Break
Metabolomics and Food Intake – current status and future outlook
Qi Sun, Lorraine Brennan, and Jayne Woodside
About the Speakers
Dr. Qi Sun is Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also Associate Professor of Medicine at Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sun’s primary research interests are to identify and examine biomedical risk factors, particularly dietary biomarkers, in relation to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease through epidemiological investigations. His research is primarily based on a few large-scale cohort studies including the Nurses’ Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Dr. Sun is also interested in understanding the role of environmental pollutants, such as perfluoroalkyl substances and legacy persistent organic pollutants, in the etiology of weight change and type 2 diabetes. His research has led to more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Sun is currently leading a few NIH-funded projects that focus on food biomarker discovery and validation, as well as relationships between obesogens and weight change, in human populations.
Professor Lorraine Brennan is a Full Professor of Human Nutrition in University College Dublin, Ireland. Professor Brennan is at the forefront of nutrition and metabolomics research, running the Nutrition, Biomarkers, and Health research group, obtaining considerable National and European research funding and publishing high impact peer-reviewed articles. Recent funding successes have included a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award and US-Ireland tripartite grant. She is involved in a number of European consortia such as FoodBall and SusFood. Professor Brennan was a member of the EU Food2030 Expert group which assisted the European Commission with the development of FOOD2030 and explored possible future R&I policy recommendations and actions cumulating with a published report. Professor Brennan is Editor in Chief of Nutrition and Metabolism and Associate Editor for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. She has published over 170 research articles. She has an active Outreach programme engaging with the local community in terms of Food and Nutrition.
Professor Woodside is Professor of Human Nutrition within the Centre for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, Queen’s University Belfast. She specialises in the use of biomarkers to assess dietary intake, the conduct of human nutrition intervention studies examining clinically relevant endpoints, and also in the development of interventions to promote long term dietary change. She has published widely in the nutrition field (>200 original research communications) and has current funding from the UK Prevention Research Partnership, the Medical Research Council, European Union and the Health & Social Care Research & Development Division (US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme).
Dr. Padma Maruvada is the director of Nutrient Metabolism program at the NIDDK. She manages a grants portfolio that investigates the role of nutrients on various biological processes at the whole body, tissue and cellular level, and how various nutrient transporters and their function impact nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. She also serves as the director of the Clinical Obesity and Nutrition program that supports clinical studies focused on the impact of nutrients and dietary components, on nutritional deficiency conditions and nutritional status, and research projects that explore parenteral and enteral nutritional needs of the critical care patients, and individuals with gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Maruvada also manages a grants portfolio that employs omics approaches for nutrition research, and focuses on the impact of dietary interventions on intestinal physiology (transporters), barrier function, nutrient sensing in the gut and transmission of signals to extra- intestinal organs and tissues, circadian changes that impact nutrient metabolism, interaction/competition between various nutrients and drugs. Also, relevant in this portfolio are projects that explore the discovery and development of biomarkers of nutrient intake, exposure, and status. Microbiome research in her portfolio focuses on the impact of dietary interventions on microbiome composition, gut physiology, barrier function, microbiome-gut-brain axis, identification of microbial metabolites, microbiome induced inflammation, impact of prebiotics and resistant starches, probiotics and secreted probiotic factors on microbial communities, and the influence of breast milk sugars and other bioactive components on microbial colonization and maturation, intestinal function and host metabolism, and other interventions that alter microbiota and impact energy metabolism, adiposity and body weight. In addition, Dr. Maruvada is also involved trans-NIH Common Fund-supported programs.
Dr. Frank Hu is Chair of Department of Nutrition, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He serves as Co-director of the Program in Obesity Epidemiology and Prevention at Harvard and Director of Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center Epidemiology and Genetics Core. His major research interests include epidemiology and prevention of cardiometabolic diseases through diet and lifestyle; gene-environment interactions and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes; nutritional metabolomics in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He has served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventing the Global Epidemic of Cardiovascular Disease, the AHA/ACC Obesity Guideline Expert Panel, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA/HHS. He has served on the editorial boards of Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Diabetes Care, and Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Hu is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Baukje de Roos
Professor Baukje de Roos is Deputy Director the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen. She is an internationally recognised nutrition scientist having over 25 years of experience in the design and delivery of dietary intervention studies, unravelling in vivo mechanisms through which nutrients, foods and diets affect cardiovascular health outcomes and resilience. Her earlier leading work in the field of proteomics and biomarker discovery led to funding for several European research projects and an invitation to join an International Life Sciences Institute task force to establish the usefulness of proteomics for efficacy demonstration of dietary bioactives. Her current work focusses on developing and implementing novel and state-of-the-art interdisciplinary precision and personalised nutrition approaches to improve population and individual health, as well as identifying responders and non-responders to interventions, supported by RCUK and industry funding as well as several international research collaborations. Until recently she was the co-director of NuGO a global nutrigenomics association of 30 universities, research institutes and companies which, in its 15-year history, have helped to shape the nutrition research area with the emergence of sophisticated omics technologies and the development of concepts associated with personalised nutrition. She is deputy director of the Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, one of the UK’s leading research centres for food and nutrition with a state-of-the-art human dietary intervention and analytical unit, and a world-wide reputation for excellence in stakeholder- and policy-driven nutrition research. Her expertise in the area of diet and health has formed the basis of multiple contracts and consultancies with large food companies, food levy boards, the food and drink support sector and national UK television.
Edith J.M. Feskens
Dr. Edith Feskens is Professor of Global Nutrition Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her group focusses on three themes: 1) Sustainable Food Systems for Healthier Diets, 2) Innovations in Dietary Assessment Methods, and 3) Etiology of Over/Undernutrition in the Lifecycle. Part of the work is located in the low- and middle income countries, where under- and overnutrition co-occur. Research ranges from modelling to physiological studies in human volunteers to evaluation of public health nutrition campaigns. Data science and AI are a new expertise in her group, supporting the development of new tools and apps. Prof. Feskens takes part in numerous European funded projects, and currently is a.o. chair of the scientific advisory board of the JPI Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life, and PI of the JPI-HDHL project FoodBAll, the Food Biomarker Alliance. She has supervised > 50 PhD students towards completion of their theses and published > 530 international scientific papers. Her h-index is 94.
Dr. Lampe is a Professor and Associate Division Director in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She received her PhD in nutritional sciences, with a minor in biochemistry, from the University of Minnesota and trained as a post-doctoral fellow in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Fred Hutch. Dr. Lampe’s research focuses on the effect of diet constituents on cancer susceptibility in humans and the effects of human genetic and gut microbial variation on response to diet. Her collaborative studies have involved the application of a variety of omics approaches to characterization of biochemical and physiologic response in controlled feeding studies and to development of biomarkers of dietary exposure. She has received several awards for her work, including the American Society for Nutrition Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award for research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health and the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention Stars in Nutrition and Cancer award, which recognizes research contributions in the field of nutrition and cancer.
Dr. Shengmin Sang is currently a Professor and Lead Scientist for Functional Foods and Human Health at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University/North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. He is also a full-faculty member in the UNC Linebergar Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill, an adjunct Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences at North Carolina State University, and the Associate Editor of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Dr. Sang’s lab has interest to purify and identify bioactive components from functional foods and herbal medicine and to further study their bioavailability, biotransformation, and preventive effects on cancer, asthma, and metabolic syndrome using in vitro and in vivo models including human trials. His lab also uses metabolomic approaches to study food biomarkers. Currently, his lab is studying the bioactive compounds in whole grains (wheat, oat, and barley), ginger, tea (green tea and black tea), apple, soy, and rosemary. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed SCI articles in reputable journals, over 100 refereed conference abstracts, and over 20 book chapters. He has co-edited a book titled “Herbs: Challenges in Chemistry and Biology”. He has also received nine U.S. patents and licensed three of his patents to a pharmaceutical company. Dr. Sang’s research has been supported by research grants from NIH (including R01 grants), USDA, NCBC, private foundations as well as private companies. He has received several professional awards, such as the Young Scientist Award and the Fellow Award of the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, the Matthew Suffness Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and the Research Article of the Year Award of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. He also serves as the Editorial Board member of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research and Journal of Functional Foods.
Dr. Lichtenstein is the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Friedman School, and Director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and Senior Scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University. She holds secondary appointments as an Associated Faculty member in the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2005 Dr. Lichtenstein was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the medical faculty of the University of Eastern (formally University of Kuopio) in Finland. Dr. Lichtenstein’s career research has focuses on assessing the interplay between diet and cardiometabolic risk factors. Past and current work includes addressing issues related to trans fatty acids, soy protein and isoflavones, sterol/stanol esters, novel vegetable oils differing in fatty acid profile and glycemic index, primarily in postmenopausal females and older males. Additional work is focused on population-based studies to assess the relationship between nutrient biomarkers and cardiovascular disease risk, and application of systematic review methodology to the field of nutrition. She has served on committees for the American Heart Association, National Academies of Sciences, Food and Drug Administration, and US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Dr. Lichtenstein was a member of the 2000 and vice-chair of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Lipid Research, and Executive Editor of the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter. Dr. Lichtenstein received a BS in nutrition from Cornell University, MS in nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University, and MS and Doctorate in Nutritional Biochemistry from Harvard University. She received her post-doctoral training in the field of lipid metabolism at the Cardiovascular Institute at Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Clary Clish is Senior Director of the Metabolomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he is also an Institute Scientist. Prior to joining the Broad Institute, Dr. Clish held senior and executive management positions in the biotechnology industry from 2001-2008, including Vice President of Discovery at Gene Logic Inc. and Director of Metabolite Biochemistry at Beyond Genomics Inc. From 1997-2001, Dr. Clish was a postdoctoral fellow and instructor in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Serhan at the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. In the Serhan laboratory, his work focused on understanding the roles of lipid mediators in acute inflammation and its resolution, including his discovery and characterization of a new class of anti-inflammatory lipid mediators that have since been named “resolvins.” Dr. Clish received his B.Sc. from McGill University in chemistry and biological sciences and his Ph.D. from Portland State University.