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Professors receive grant for applied nutrition and dietetic research

OSHAWA, Ont. - A team of researchers led by Dr. Ellen Vogel, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has been awarded $30,000 in funding for research that examines interactions between nutrition and genes.

Vogel is lead researcher of the two-year project, "The Interface Between Nutrition and Genes: Nutritional Genomics and Dietetic Professional Practice," which will be funded by the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research ($15,000) and the Centrum Foundation ($15,000). As the science of nutritional genomics (how genes respond to food) continues to grow, this study will increase awareness of new roles for dietitians.

"As scientists in the emerging field of nutritional genomics discover more about gene-nutrient interactions, consumers will have questions about what types of diet they should eat to achieve optimum health," said Vogel. "For example, should one eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet or a diet that is high in protein and moderate in fat to provide the best protection against heart disease? Or, should one take a folic acid supplement to lower the risk of heart disease? These are both questions that the science of nutritional genomics will be able to answer."

By 2010, it is believed that consumers will be acting on nutritional information from dietitians and other sources when purchasing special food, herbal remedies, and supplements for good health. Dietitians will need to supply nutritional information that is more closely associated with each individual's genetic composition and family history.

"Preparing dietitians, the 'gatekeepers of nutrition education', to use the knowledge gained in this new field is a critical element in developing effective consumer education programs," said Vogel.

Vogel will be joined by two UOIT faculty members, Dr. Julia Green-Johnston (Faculty of Science) who will focus on issues pertaining to food science, functional foods and the impact on the immune system, and Holly Jones-Taggart (faculties of Health Sciences and Science). Four other individuals, including dietitians and researchers from three other Canadian universities and one privately owned company, are also involved.


About the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
As the province's newest university, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology provides a unique combination of academic knowledge, vibrant student life, leading-edge research, and hands-on skills. As Ontario's first laptop-based university, UOIT offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business and information technology, sciences, engineering, nursing, social science, and education. The university is committed to research excellence and has attracted significant research grants and awards, including a Tier 1 Research Chair in Aquatic Toxicology. Sharing facilities and selected services with Durham College, UOIT has attracted over 1,800 students since its inception in 2003. To find out more, visit or call 905.721.8668.

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About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at

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