My passion within Nutrition and Dietetics is in three areas …world food culture, clinical dietetics, and nutritional genomics. I take experiential learning seriously in my course Food, Nutrition, and Culture. Every year my students experience a new culture. We have travelled to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong studying the northern, eastern, western, and southern cuisines of China. I also strive to have my students bond with other students and so we have travelled to Barcelona and Madrid while still emphasizing the food and culture of Spain. Next year we will be traveling to Berlin and Prague.
I am very enthusiastic about the pathophysiology of lifestyle diseases and how dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirements can prevent, mitigate, or cure chronic diseases. But then I ask myself, why is it that some diets can work for others while having absolutely no effect on others despite compliance of patients, clients, and participants. The answer may lie in the individual’s genetic makeup. That brings me to my third passion, nutritional genomics. To meet the challenge of discovering the path to nutrigenomics my students and I have had intermittent excursions into such diverse disciplines as genetics, molecular biology, epidemiology, biochemistry, medicine, and ethical implications. The wave of the future is to study how foods affect genetic expression and how the individual’s genetic makeup responds to the nutrients in food and my students are studying these now.