The strengths of Penn State’s Center of Excellence in Nutrigenomics is understanding the role of dietary fatty acids in metabolic diseases

The CEN was formed in 2004 and initially received funding from the Huck Institute of the Life Sciences  to foster interdisciplinary research activities. Dr. Jack Vanden Heuvel (Professor of Molecular Toxicology) and Dr. Penny Kris-­‐Etherton (Distinguished Professor of Nutrition) are serving as co-­‐Directors of the CEN. The goal of the CEN is to become an internationally recognized center of excellence in nutrition-­‐related genomics research. The CEN enhances the molecular biology capabilities of researchers interested in human and animal nutrition and thus increase investigator-­‐initiated and multiple-­‐investigator grant opportunities.

The main focus of research being supported by the CEN has been in the area of Dietary Fatty acids and Health. To that end, we have been active in several studies involving Clinical Nutrition, Toxicology and Genomics, as will be outlined in “Research Successes”. Although the CEN is a new addition to the PSU landscape, we have had an impact on extramural funding and collaborative research. The CEN was an important component of successful grant applications to the McCormick Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, DuPont Nutrition and Health, The California Walnut Commission and there are several pending applications to government and trade councils and organizations.

The CEN is a collection of faculty that share the same interest in spanning the gamut of research from the clinic to the genome. These faculty come from several colleges and departments across the University Park and Hershey campuses, with the majority of its active members coming from Nutritional Sciences and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.