Completion of the Institute of Medicine's reviews of nutrient based dietary standards and publication of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Healthy People 2010underscore the high and growing importance of nutritional Sciences to improving the public's health. It is clear from these documents that the role of nutrition in promoting health and preventing chronic non-communicable diseases is second only to smoking prevention. The proposed program's objective is to meet the multidisciplinary demands inherent to the research questions of greatest relevance to nutritional Sciences.
Its specific aim i s to train over a 5 year period approximately 20 research leaders for academia, government and the private for-profit and non-profit sectors in the area of nutritional Sciences. A broad range of disciplines is necessary to address this objective and specific aim. These are represented among the proposed training staff, i.e., genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry through sociology, psychology and economics. Externally funded research to complement a strong didactic program is available. NIH funding has grown from a value of$2.1 million in 2000-01, to a value of $10 million in 2003-04. Presently, the Division has 18funded or pending NIH awards worth a total value of $18.5 million. External research support from other federal, state, international, and private sources substantially augment this base. Resources for the continuing annual support of 11 trainees are sought. In the last four years the infrastructure for supporting the proposed training program has been strengthened significantly by the acquisition of equipment key to the program's growing emphases in the nutritional genomics and tracer technologies, and more importantly by the recruitment and tenuring of key professionals with expertise in the biological and social sciences. The DNS' research and training capabilities have been strengthened in areas such as population genetics, computational and developmental biology, epigenetic regulation, dietary/gene/cancer interrelationships, micronutrient regulation of the immune system, domestic nutrition interventions targeting low income groups, and the economics of """"""""globalization's"""""""" impact on diets throughout the world. These new strengths and the program's documented contributions to the training of nutrition professionals presently in key positions in academia, government, and the for-profit and non-profit sectors support the training program's objectives and specific aims.
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