"NUTRIGENOMICS RESEARCH" represents a synthesis of research in the fields of genomics, nutrition science, and plant biotechnology. Such research is primarily concerned with nutrition-related diseases.
Research into the causes of chronic-degenerative diseases has shown that they are partly or entirely related to diet, which means they are preventable in most cases. The immense cost related to the treatment of chronic-degenerative diseases each year, such as cancer and diabetes, is a major strain on the economy. Statistics have shown that approximately one fourth of costs in the health care system are attributable to such nutrition-related diseases.
Plant research is an essential component of this new research field. Plant genome research and high throughput analysis of metabolites will soon lead to more rapid detection and analysis of new metabolic pathways and connections. Plant research ranges from genomic analysis and expression profiling to the analysis of proteins, metabolites and other compounds, using a wide variety of methods, including bioinformatics.
In May 2001, the Berlin-Brandenburg region received an award as part of the BioProfile development program, sponsored by the German federal ministry for education and research (BMBF). This award provides funding of 18 million euros over a period of five years, for work in the field of nutrition-related diseases. It will be used to promote application-related projects.
Within the BioProfiles development program research in the Berlin/Potsdam region is to focus on the following diseases:
The BMBF BioProfiles development program is dedicated to the intensive implementation of application-oriented projects through the joint efforts of the research community and industry. The interdisciplinary nature of the overall concept provides ideal conditions to further new ideas and for the development of new products.
In 2002, the first projects selected for funding included:
The need to facilitate networking among participating research groups and to identify common R&D projects led to the foundation of the "Verein zur Förderung der Nutrigenomforschung", a non-profit scientific society. This broadly based research initiative aims to utilize information derived from the decoding of the human genome and the genomes of nutritional plants for the purpose of developing third-generation genetically modified foodstuffs. These are to contribute to the targeted prevention of specific diseases.
Further information: http://www.nutrigenomik.de/