NCMHD Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics

  • Stephensen, Charles Bolt (PI)
  • Gregg, Jeffrey (PI)
  • Rodriguez, Raymond L (PI)
  • Viteri, Fernando E. (PI)
  • Maslyj, Wasyl (PI)
  • Ames, Bruce (PI)
  • Krauss, Ronald (PI)
  • Beckman, Kenneth (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The landmark 1985 report, the Secretary's Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health revealed that certain minority populations exhibit higher incidence and severity of many chronic diseases including diabetes obesity, asthma, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and certain cancers. Men with African admixture have 60% greater risk of prostate cancer diagnosis and 2 to 3 times greater mortality than European admixture men. Our working hypothesis is that individual genetic variation may exacerbate diet as a risk factor for disease and that dietary intervention based upon knowledge of nutritional status, nutritional requirements, and genotype - that is, intelligent nutrition - can remedy or ameliorate disease symptoms. Certain genotypes will be more severely affected by specific kinds of malnutrition than other genotypes -and no genotype is immune to deleterious effects of all diets. Our scientific program can best be summarized by the term nutrigenomics: nutrition individualized to a person rather than a population. The science of nutrigenomics seeks to identify and characterize genes regulated by naturally-occurring chemicals in foods and the subset of those genes that influence balance between healthy and disease states. Such knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to address health disparities observed in ethnic populations and the poor. Genetic differences alone however, cannot explain these health disparities. Social and cultural attitudes among health care workers, researchers who design health studies to identify causative genes and environmental factors, and attitudes in both the minority and general population also contribute significantly to minority health disparities. Achieving and maintaining optimum health care can be assisted by (i) developing better approaches to human association studies that recognize the importance of population stratification in ethnically mixed populations, (ii) educating health care professionals about the non-biological factors contributing to health disparities such as stereotyping, bias, racism and other bad practices in biomedical research and health care delivery, and (iii) establishing community outreach programs whose goals include informing minorities and the poor about the importance of good nutritional habits as they relate to their particular genetic makeup, and disseminating existing information about health matters, including health disparities, that is relevant to these communities.
Effective start/end date1/15/0312/31/10


  • National Institutes of Health: $1,448,287.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,491,541.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,490,032.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $271,554.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,491,541.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,491,541.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $724,144.00


  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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