Research Workshop – The Effect of Nutrition on Epigenetic Status, Growth and Health


The goal of the Research Workshop, The Effect of Nutrition on Epigenetic Status, Growth and Health, is to focus on influence of nutrition and dietary exposure to xenobiotics on the epigenome during critical periods in development and how these exposures influence disease incidence and severity over multiple generations. 

A growing compendium of research indicates that the incidence and severity of common and costly human diseases are influenced by dietary exposures and deficiencies that modify the epigenome. The greatest periods of vulnerability to these exposures are the periconceptual period and early childhood. Xenobiotics delivered through the food chain, protein malnutrition, methyl donor deficiencies and excesses have a profound bearing on the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and mental illness over several generations. The financial impact and the life burden of these diseases is enormous. Knowledge of the influences of nutrition on the epigenome is well understood in scientific community, but is poorly disseminated among healthcare providers who make critical clinical decisions for patients and also influence nutrition policy. The workshop is leveraged to address the existing gap between the bench and the bedside. The workshop will provide a venue for inter-disciplinary collaboration among early career and established researchers from basic, applied and clinical outcomes science that are seeking opportunities to improve health and reduce disease burden through scientifically valid nutritional strategies. This workshop brings together nutrition researchers from ASPEN with experts from the fields of developmental biology, epigenetics, population biology, and pediatric nutrition support. This milieu will facilitate research collaborations, where they might not otherwise occur. This topic is of key relevance to ASPEN researchers, and indeed for health care delivery policy.

Learning Objectives:

1. Summarize clinically relevant, and cutting-edge research on the mechanisms by which nutrition modulates the epigenetic risk for disease in adulthood, thus bridging basic research and clinical care.
2. Translate science by fostering communication and collaboration among interdisciplinary researchers and clinicians thus bringing research from bench to bed-side. 

Faculty and Topics:

8:00 AM-8:05 AM
Welcome and Introductions

Peter Nichol, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, 
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

8:05 AM-8:45 AM
The Ukraine Holomodor, Dutch Hunger Winter and China's Great Leap Forward: What Famines Can Teach us About Disease Acquired During Gestation
L.H. Lumey, PhD, MD, Professor, Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY

8:45 AM-9:25 AM
Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance for Disease and Lifestyle Choices
Michael Skinner, PhD, Professor, Center for Reproductive Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

9:25 AM-9:40 AM Questions and Discussion

9:40 AM-9:55 AM BREAK

9:55 AM-10:35 AM
Environment Around Conception and its Legacy for Lifetime Disease Risk Through Epigenetic and Physiological Mechanisms
Tom Fleming, BSc, PhD, Professor of Developmental Biology, Head of Developmental Biology Group, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton

10:35 AM-11:15 AM
Periconceptual and Pre-natal Exposures of the Epigenome: the Molecular Fossil Record
Carmen Sapienza, PhD, Professor, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

11:15 AM-11:30 AM Questions and Discussion

11:30 AM-12:30 PM LUNCH

12:30 PM-1:10PM
Epigenetics, Imprinting, and Disease Susceptibility

Randy Jirtle, PhD, Professor of Epigenetics, Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC,
and Senior Scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

1:10 PM-1:50 PM
Cadmium and Lead Exposure, Epigenetics and Cardiometabolic Dysfunction Indicators
Cathrine Hoyo, PhD, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC  

1:50 PM-2:05 PM Questions and Discussion

2:05 PM-2:20 PM BREAK

2:20 PM-3:00 PM

Epigenetics and Personalized Medicine
Lucia Aronica, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Senior Lecturer, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

3:00 PM-3:40 PM
Operationalizing Epigenetics within Healthcare a 30,000 Feet View 
Jeff Thompson, MD, Executive Advisor and CEO Emeritus, Gunderson Health System, La Crosse, WI

3:40 PM-4:00 PM Wrap-Up and Discussion
Faculty Panel

Peter Nichol, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

Excited about the 2018 Research Workshop? Looking for more on epigenetics? Please visit Dr. Nichol's blog on the topic! You will not be disappointed!

Learning Level: Advanced
UAN: 0216-0000-17-003-L04-P
CE Credit: 7 hours

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1 R13 DK109671-01 from NIDDK. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.