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Nutrigenomics: The research team

The nutrigenomics research is being carried out by researchers from the University of Auckland and government-funded research institutes (Crown Research Institutes, or CRIs): Plant & Food Research (formed by the merger of Crop & Food and HortResearch at the end of 2008) and AgResearch.

This is because the success of the nutrigenomics project depends on the input of people with a range of different skills and expertise, including nutrition, disease, genetics, food chemistry, biochemistry, statistics and ethics.

Transcript

Dr Warren McNabb (AgResearch): I cannot do nutrigenomics with myself in isolation, or with my team in isolation. We don’t have all the capabilities needed to do it, and so what I like about this particular grouping, Nutrigenomics NZ, is I get to work with a whole range of different people with different capabilities.

Professor Lynn Ferguson (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland): So it’s the University of Auckland in association with three Crown Research Institutes, and the Crown Research Institutes are all ones that have got major components in food - lots of expertise in food technology, food science. So it’s HortResearch, Crop & Food, and AgResearch. Each have their own particular specialisations. We’ve got expertise in diseases. We are a biomedical-focused university.

Dr Julian Heyes (Plant & Food Research): Our common goal is to develop expertise in this area called nutrigenomics - matching sophisticated knowledge about the food we eat, with sophisticated knowledge about the differences between different individual human beings.

Professor Lynn Ferguson (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland): The pooling of expertise, the ideas, the range of ideas that are coming in certainly excite me and I hope they excite some of the other people in the programme.

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