NRI_Newsletter_Spring2009 by heku


                                                                         ~ STAYING IN TOUCH ~
                                                                                                             with your
                                                               Appetite for Life                                          

Spring/Summer 2009
                                             Economic development and outreach programs
In Partnership
                                             keeping the Nutrition Research Institute busy
Along with the Catawba College Center for
the Environment, the NRI welcomes Dr.           In addition to the goal of improv-         by North Carolina regulations—the     Outside of the NRI’s facility, the
Miroslav Styblo from the UNC Gillings        ing human health, the NRI is com-             NRI itself shops area businesses   Institute takes an active part in pro-
School of Global Public Health to present    mitted to involvement in the local            such as local stationers, business moting wellness by participating in
"Nutrition and Environment: Could Arsenic    community                                     services providers, rental compa-  community health fairs and other
                                                                    Photo: NRI
In Our Water Be Causing Diabetes?" Watch                                                                                      health-oriented events. NRI staff
for the autumn event on the NRI’s calendar
                                             through jobs,
at               services, and out-                                                               were on the committee to plan
                                             reach.                                                                           CMC-NorthEast’s HARVEST
                                                                                                                              community health fair and took part
                                                The NRI has
                                                                                                                              by providing speakers, an informa-
 NRI PODCASTS ON THE WEB                     contributed to the                                                               tion booth, and hands-on activities
                                             area’s economy.                                                                  for toddlers.
VIDEOS                                       Since January
Dr. Zeisel’s appearance on Oprah                                                                                                          NRI employees also participated
                                             2007, the NRI has
Dr. Zeisel’s Atwater Lecture
                                             hired 34 employ-                                                                          in the Kannapolis YMCA Healthy
Dr. Zeisel’s People’s Pharmacy interview     ees, paying them a                                                                        Kids Day by offering interactive,
                                                                    Johnson & Wales Chef Peter Reinhart teamed up with retired Pan-
Dr. Melinda Beck: Nutrition & Viruses        salary on par with ther Mike Rucker and Dr. Zeisel to discuss and prepare healthy         hands-on activities on diet and nu-
                                             the national aver- foods at the Appetite for Life cooking demonstration last autumn. trition.
Inside this issue:                           age. Nine of the                            nies, groceries, restaurants, and             The NRI has been a partner in the
                                             NRI’s employees purchased or built caterers.                                              North Carolina Research
                                             homes in or near Kannapolis since                                                                                             Photo: NRI
Appetite for Life Series Report      2
                                             starting to work here.                         Apart from helping
                                                                                         the local economy, the
                                                Many NRI staff who relocated to Institute also provides
Sponsor Spotlight                    2
                                             Kannapolis restarted their house-           outreach and services.
                                             holds from scratch. Together these In addition to its ongo-
A Special Kind of Gift               3       employees spent more than                   ing Appetite for Life
                                             $250,000 on home goods and ser- Academy (see page 2),
                                             vices, vehicles, electronics, furniture, the NRI sponsored an
Faculty Research                     3
                                             appliances, and more.                       art competition and
                                                When possible—and as allowed exhibit in which 600
Patron Support                       4                                     Photo: NRI    pieces of artwork were
                                                                                         submitted by school-
                                                                                         aged children. Several          Dr. Carol Cheatham addresses students during the KCS
                                                                                         pieces currently hang in science fair. More than 2,300 children visited the NRI
                                                                                         the NRI’s building.             during Science Week.
                                                                                             In early 2009, the NRI hosted               Campus for less than a year. In time
                                                                                          more than 2,300 elementary stu-                our team will grow to more than
                                                                                          dents to hear scientists discuss re-           100 employees, each of whom will
                                                                                          search and to enjoy the hands-on               contribute to the local economy
                                             More than 600 school-aged children contrib- science projects created by fellow              through direct purchases, commu-
                                             uted art to the NRI’s inaugural art contest.
                                                                                          students and placed on display                 nity service, and research innova-
                                             The winners’ art is on display at the NRI.
                                                                                          throughout the NRI.                            tion.
                                        ~ Staying in Touch ~                                                                                                           Page 2
                  From the 
                                        Second Annual Appetite for Life Academy continues a tradition of excellence
                  Desk                       The NRI’s second annual Appe-
                                        tite for Life Academy speaker series,
Steven H. Zeisel, M.D., Ph.D.           Frontiers in Nutrition, was as suc-
  The NRI is closing in on its first    cessful as the first. In fact, the audi-
year on the North Carolina              ence topped 300 for the most popu-
Research Campus, and I am               lar presentation: Fat or Thin: How
pleased to report that our work in      Metabolism Works with Dr. Rosalind
science and service are firmly          Coleman.

                                                                                                                                                                                Photo: NRI
                                                                                            More than 400 participants registered to take part in the 2009 Appetite for Life
  Our mission, in short, is to 
                                            In addition to Dr. Coleman’s
                                                                                Academy Frontiers in Nutrition speaker series.
pursue nutritional individuality        lecture, Dr. Margaret Bentley pre-
using the new sciences of               sented The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, a dis-
                                                                                                   UNC’s Department of Nutrition, spoke on
nutrigenomics, epigenetics, and         cussion of infant and toddler health and feed-
                                                                                                   how nutrition can affect viruses.
metabolomics. With this goal in         ing practices in the North Carolina and beyond.
mind, we have brought on board                                                                          More than a recommendation of which
some of the best researchers in             Dr. Melinda Beck, a viral immunologist in
                                                                                                   foods to eat while sick, Dr. Beck explained her
nutrition science.   
                                                                                                   research which is showing how nutrition—or
  Dr. Carol Cheatham, a child                                                                      lack of it—can help viruses become more viru-
psychologist and neuroscientist, 
joined our team in late 2008. She 
has already begun a study of                                                                                       The last presentation of the series brought
brain development in toddlers.                                                                                 Dr. Barry Popkin to Kannapolis to discuss his
  Dr. Mihai Niculescu, an expert                                                                               new book, The World is Fat.
in epigenetics, is studying—
among other topics—obesity in                                                                                      Dr. Popkin’s lecture focused on the global
pregnant women and whether it                                                                                  obesity epidemic, drawing attention to the in-
causes permanent changes to the                                                                                creased intake of sweetened beverages, the
child’s genetic profile.                                                                                       increased availability of edible oils in China, the
                                        Barry Popkin’s explanation of global obesity included discussion
   And we are happy to have Dr. 
                                        of modern diet, modern transportation, and modern work styles.
                                                                                                               relative low cost of high-fat meat, and de-
Sangita Sharma on our team. She                                                                                creased need for activity, among other topics.
is a well‐known nutritional 
epidemiologist whose research 
takes place all over the world.         Sponsor Spotlight: Appetite for Life depends on the kindness of donors
   Also, the NRI's goal of providing 
economic development and                     The Appetite for Life                     Life series and by providing                   of the series costs, in particular
outreach continues, with                Academy Frontiers in Nutri-                    some of the refreshments.                      the cost of bringing speakers
additional staff hires and local        tion speaker series and other                                                                                        into Kan-
                                                                                           The North
spending, the Appetite for              efforts of the NRI are made                                                                                          napolis for
Life Academy, an art contest 
                                                                                       Carolina Biotech-
                                        possible by the generous sup-                  nology Center also                                                    the event. .
and science fair, and engagement        port of sev-
in local events. 
                                                                                                     continued its sup-               Other supporters-in-kind in-
                                        eral corpo-                                                  port of the NRI’s                clude Dole Foods and the
  As the NRI struggles through          rate spon-                                                   outreach efforts                 North Carolina Research Cam-
the current tough economy,              sors.                                                        with a financial                 pus which contributed refresh-
we’re depending on donors and           Carolinas                                                    contribution to                  ments as well as location and
supporters to help us continue          Medical Cen-                                                 underwrite some                  staff support.
our work.  Thank you for your           ter NorthEast has continued
ongoing interest in the NRI, I look     its support from last year, help-
forward to reporting growth in                                                                  For information on supporting the Academy, please contact
                                        ing to fund the Appetite for                                       Beverly Jordan at 704-250-5008.
the next newsletter.  
             ~ Staying in Touch ~                                                                                 Page 3

             NRI faculty members begin launching their research programs                                                     Building Our Board
                 The Nutrition Research Institute is improv-             Research in
                                                                                                                                 Our distinguished Board of 
             ing human health by studying why people’s              Dr. Steven
                                                                                                                                 Advisors is working diligently to 
             metabolism and nutrient requirements differ            Zeisel’s labora-
                                                                                                                                 position the NRI for continued 
             from person to person. In time, as scientists,         tory includes work
                                                                                                                                 growth and achievement. The 
             physicians, and healthcare practitioners better        on fetal devel-                                              board is comprised of an elite 

                                                                                         Photo: NRI
             understand nutritional individuality, they will        opment and                                                   group of individuals from across 
             be able to enhance human health, improve               how the lack of                                              the state of North Carolina with a 
             brain development, and more effectively treat          choline in a         Dr. Sharma’s research takes place
                                                                                                                                 broad range of experience and a 
             diseases like obesity and cancer.                      mother’s diet can all over the world. Arctic team mem-       common goal of elevating the NRI 
                                                                    damage the nor-      bers visited in January.
                In pursuit of that goal, NRI researchers                                                                         to world class stature. 
                                                                    mal growth of the                                             
             remain hard at work, investigating how healthy         baby’s blood vessels. Their research is showing
                                   fats affect brain develop-                                                                           Dr. James G. Martin 
                                                                    that only slight changes in gene expression
Photo: NRI

                                   ment of babies and tod-                                                                          Chair, NRI Board of Advisors 
                                                                    caused by low dietary choline can damage this                   Mooresville, North Carolina 
                                   dlers, how a pregnant            process, possibly leading to defective brain
                                   woman’s weight can cause                                                                                         
                                                                    development.                                                        Dr. Roger Billingsley 
                                   changes in her baby be-
                                   fore it is born, and how             Dr. Sangita Sharma’s expertise is in as-                        Monterey, California 
                                   diet can affect a person’s       sessing the relationships among nutrition, eth-                                 
                                   risk of cancer or other          nicity, and disease, focusing on why different                         Mr. Fred Brown 
                                   diseases.                        ethnic groups have unique risk factors Photo: NRI                 Charlotte, North Carolina 
             You won’t see Carol                                    and rates of                                                                    
             Cheatham in a lab coat. HerDr. Carol Cheatham          chronic disease.                                                    Mr. Byron L. Bullard 
             research with toddlers has
                                    has begun recruiting tod-                                                                         Charlotte, North Carolina 
             taught her to dress like a                             Her research staff
                                    dlers for her study of          is working to re-                                                               
             friend, not a physician.
                                    whether flax seed oil in-       duce dietary risk                                                      Dr. Linda Combs 
                                    creases their cognition or      factors for obesity                                            Winston Salem, North Carolina 
             thought process. Sixteen-month-old babies              and diabetes in                                                                 
             will receive flaxseed oil or a control, then play      partnership with                                                        Mr. Phil Ford 
             with toys while being observed by Dr.                  Native North
                                                                                                                                       Raleigh, North Carolina 
             Cheatham and her staff.                                American com-
                                                                                            Mihai Niculescu’s laboratory focuses        Mr. Arthur Gallagher 
                 Dr. Mihai Niculescu, an expert in epige-           munities.               on the new science of epigenetics.
                                                                                                                                      Charlotte, North Carolina 
             netics, is exploring the roles that maternal               As the number of research faculty increases                                 
             weight play in the brain development of off-           and as funding permits, the NRI’s research                            Dr. Hector Henry 
             spring. In particular, his laboratory is investigat-   program will broaden. We will continue to                         Concord, North Carolina 
             ing whether a mother’s obesity during preg-            share the work and accomplishments of NRI                                       
             nancy causes permanent developmental delays            faculty and hope you enjoy learning about the                        Ms. Betsy LaForge 
             in her baby as a result of epigenetic changes.         important advances they are making in improv-                     Durham, North Carolina 
                                                                    ing human health.                                                               
                                                                                                                                          Mr. James K. Polk 
                                                                                                                                      Charlotte, North Carolina 
             Gifts that Make a Difference                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          Mr. Mike Rucker 
                 The NRI is pleased to acknowledge the                  Gifts of this kind are especially valuable be-               Kannapolis, North Carolina 
             Duke Energy Foundation for its generous un-            cause they allow the NRI’s director to target                                   
             restricted gift.                                       resources to the area of greatest need. The NRI                         Ms. Ellen Ruff 
                                                                    is committed to using these donations judi-                       Charlotte, North Carolina 
                                                                    ciously to facilitate ground-breaking research,                                 
                                                                    deliver community programs and maintain an                             Mr. Tom Smith 
                                                                    environment for learning.                                         Salisbury, North Carolina 
                                                                                Thank you, Duke Energy!                               Dr. James H Woodward 
                                                                                                                                      Charlotte, North Carolina 
~ Staying in Touch ~                                                                                                                            Page 4

                                      Visionaries Needed to Invest in the Future!
                                      Have you ever wondered what it would’ve                     A Place For You in the Patron’s Plaza
                                      been like to be at the start of what the world
                                      recognizes as one of the greatest centers of                Purchasing a brick in Patron’s Plaza is an
                                      scientific research?                                        easy way to make your mark in the world
                                                                                                  and support the NRI at the same time.
                                      We intend to join the ranks of these excep-
                                      tional institutions and make the NRI the                    Whether a gift for a friend or loved one,
                                      best in the world. As our researchers un-                   recognition of an important date, or simply
                                      ravel the mystery of individualized nutrition,              a sign of your personal support, a brick in
                                      they will simultaneously be providing solu-                 Patron’s Plaza will leave a permanent im-
                                      tions to some of our greatest health chal-                  print on
                                      lenges including the prevention of diseases                 the NRI.
                                      like diabetes and cancer and increasing brain
                                                                                                  Each brick
                                                                                                  costs $100
                                      You have a unique opportunity to join us on the             and can
                                      ground floor of discovery and invest in the fu-             contain up            4X8 Engraved Brick ($100) 
                                      ture health of our community, nation and the                to three
                                      world. Make your gift to the NRI today and                  lines of text; each line can contain up to 20
                                      become part of the solution!                                characters (including spaces).

                                      Gifts to the NRI are tax deductible, as allowed
                                      by law. To discuss how a gift to the NRI can
                                                                                                  To purchase a brick, contact Lisa Canada at
                                      make a difference, contact Beverly Jordan at
                                                                                         or at 704-250-5012.
                             or at 704-250-5008.

         500 Laureate Way
                                              USDA honors Zeisel with Atwater Award
         Kannapolis, North Carolina
         28081                                NRI Director Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, was               1907) and to recognize scientists who have
                                              selected to deliver the 2009 W.O. Atwater              made unique contributions toward improving
                                              Lecture, awarded by the U.S. Department of             the diet and nutrition of people around the
         Phone: 704-250-5000
                                              Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service            world. Zeisel’s work not only has improved
         Fax: 704-250-5001
                                              (ARS). Zeisel delivered his presentation at the        the health of individuals, but also has fur-
                                              Experimental Biology meeting in New Or-                thered the study of nutrition as a science.
                                              leans on April 21.
                                                                                                     In addition to directing the NRI on the North
Exploring Nutritional Individuality           His lecture, Individualized Nutrition: How Genes,      Carolina Research Campus, Zeisel also runs
                                              Epigenetics and Sex Interact to Create a Dietary       both the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit and
                                              Requirement for the Nutrient Choline, will likely      the Center of Excellence in Children's Nutri-
                                              introduce the NRI’s mission—to individualize           tion in Chapel Hill, and he maintains research
                                              the study of human nutrition—to the more               projects in multiple laboratories. He is per-
                                              than 8,000 participants expected at the confer-        haps most widely known for his work in the
                                              ence. Watch the lecture.                               study of the nutrient choline, in particular its
                                                                                                     importance in human health and fetal brain
                                              The ARS established the Atwater Lecture in
                                              1968 to honor Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-

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