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About the Program

Nutrigenomics is the study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression. This is a relatively new field that is rapidly developing and focuses on identifying and understanding molecular-level interactions between nutrients and other dietary bioactive components with the genome. Many disciplines are involved in nutrigenomic research which also aims at identifying genetic susceptibility to diseases based on genetic variation and the response to nutritional exposures.

In the Feeding Our Genes conference that will take place in Tel Aviv in May 2016, world class scientists and clinicians will present and discuss the "hot topics" in this emerging discipline.

Can tailored diets be developed to complement a unique individual genetic profile? On a larger scale, will this help to prevent society-wide diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and malnutrition? When is it “too early” in one’s life to consider the benefits of personalized nutrition? Can we feed and manipulate our microbiome to optimally interact with our genes? And last but not least: Is the food industry ready for personalized nutrition?

The first 1000 days and the importance of nutrigenomics will be presented by Prof. Zulfikar Bhutta.  During this period of life, cognitive potential is established and future growth and development is determined.  Providing an optimal tailored nutrition based on genetic make-up may impact overall health and lead to improved livelihoods, ultimately impacting the GDP and improving economic status of countries in the developing world.  Prof. Bhutta is a world leader in child health and nutrition and led the Lancet series which originally coined the term nutrigenomics and provided some of the first substantial scientific evidence in this field of research. 

Novel approaches for treating obesity, a session led by Prof. Hermona Soreq from the Hebrew University and Prof. Patrick Giavalesco from the Max Plank institute, will present research focusing on changes over time in lipid catabolism and discuss novel regulators that are possible targets for different modes of therapy- all in relation to nutrigenomics.

A key note lecture on the epigenetics and nutrigenomics will be presented by Prof. Howard Cedar an internationally renowned epigeneticist.

The advantages of the Mediterranean diet and its many components will be discussed by prominent nutritionists, cardiologists, food scientists in a session led by Prof. Raffaele de Caterina from Italy.   Is the Mediterranean Diet the optimal approach to best feed our genes?

Characterization of the microbiome in relation to diet and disease will be a keynote topic with discussions will be led by Dr. Omry Koren and Prof. Andrew Gewirtz- a faculty member at Georgia State University who specializes in research on innate immunity, and the microbiome.  He will be joined by Prof. Gabiannelli and others.

Prof. Bruce German, head of Food Science and Technology in UC Davis, Senior Consultant to several leading food industries and founder of Milk Genomics will lead the session on insights from mother's milk. What can we learn from human milk research and implement in bovine milk research. What major discoveries have been made recently and are waiting to be introduced to the food industry. Prof. Katty Hinde will discuss the organizational effect of mother's milk on infant growth/development outcomes, by looking at milk constituents that shape immunological, neurobiological, and behavioral development. The effect of gender and the variation in mother's milk and behavioral care influences infant outcomes from post-natal life into adulthood and inter-generationally.

Biological targets and mechanisms of action of natural products will be presented as well as the vast potential of natural products to impact gene expression.  Interactions between foods and metabolism will be discussed in a session led by Prof. Peter Jones from Manitoba and Dr. Zohar Kerem from the Hebrew University.

The first day of the Conference will be a workshop led By Dr. Yael Joffe from South Africa, and will include Christine Houghton, a nutritional biochemist specializing in clinical nutrigenomics from Australia, Prof. Alfredo Martinez from Spain, Dr. Baujke de Roos and others, who will discuss the translation of nutrigenomics into clinical practice.

The conference is multidisciplinary and will interest researchers in molecular and cell biology, genetics, immunology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and neonatology.  In addition to, food scientists, nutrition practitioners, physicians and nutritional biochemists.