New degree will deliver scientists to tackle links between diet and disease

A new University of Aberdeen degree is set to deliver a fresh breed of scientists to address the links between diet and diseases including cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Nutri-genomics is an emerging area of scientific research which looks at the relationship between what we eat, disease and our own individual genetic make-up.

The Masters programme in Molecular Nutrition will deliver graduates in this specialism, to work within hospitals, academic institutions, and industry.

The one year programme will be based at the University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and its Foresterhill campus.

Programme coordinator, Dr Janice Drew, from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health said: “We know that the majority of cancers and many chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, are caused by the choices we make in our diets and lifestyle.

“In order to understand how we can prevent these diseases, we need to understand exactly what is happening in the tissues and cells within our body when we eat certain foods, and how and why this contributes to their cause and development.

“The great advances in technology and techniques over the last decade allow new levels of in-depth research to identify the mechanisms in our bodies which cause this relationship between diet and disease.

“In particular the scientific breakthroughs which have been made in understanding the genetic make-up of the human body has opened up this new area of nutritional research called nutri-genomics.

“This will help us understand why we, as individuals may not all respond in the same way to food and in the future it will help us tailor nutritional advice more precisely.

“The degree in Molecular Nutrition will equip graduates with training and skills in the cutting-edge technology and techniques used in this highly pertinent scientific field.

“The programme will develop a new breed of scientists with the potential to forge breakthroughs in our understanding of how what we eat impacts on us as individuals and ultimately comprehend how we can take steps towards preventing diseases such as cancer and diabetes in the first instance.”

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