Improving diet and lifestyle is a key strategy to maintain metabolic health and prevent risk of developing diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
At the Rowett I am involved in nutrition studies, using human volunteers, to assess health status and responses to different foods consumed and lifestyle changes.
The research we are doing can help the food industry to make their products healthier and provide advice to the public on how best to ensure they maintain good health.
Diet is a critical factor in maintenance of human cellular defence systems, immunity, inflammation, redox regulation, metabolism and DNA repair. Failure to maintain and regulate a co-ordinated cellular defence system leads to a number of chronic diseases and promotes unhealthy aging. Dysregulation of cellular defence systems are a consequence of obesity, now a global epidemic. Obesity is now associated with a significant increased risk of a number of organ specific cancers, colon, breast and oesophageal among others. Cellular defence systems play a significant role in prevention of cancer and metastasis.
My current research is focused on identifying the molecular and cellular effects of diets associated with development of obesity and the impact on cellular defence systems and links to increased cancer risk. Comprehensive strategies have been developed incorporating transcriptomics, including the novel gene expression technology, the GenomeLab System, application to interrogation of cultured human tissue explants, whole blood gene expression profiling (bloodomics) and proteomics, together with biochemical analyses of plasma and tissue samples to assess correlated changes in immunity, inflammation, redox regulation, metabolism and DNA repair and associated pathology. This approach is revealing predictive molecular signatures of health status, pathology and dietary modulation making it feasible for nutrition scientist to contemplate monitoring and survey of the impact of diet and lifestyle factors to generate evidence for effective translation of research on food, drink and health.
Dr Drew coordinates the Molecular Nutrition course within MSc Molecular/Human Nutrition programme at the University of Aberdeen. If you are require further information: MSc Human Nutrition
Parliament, government and science: Dr Janice Drew spends a week in Westminster 9 December 2013 by Dr Janice Drew blog
Autobiography of Editorial Board Members Janice Drew’s work on diet and cancer World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology 2011 2:61-64.
Editorial: Obesity cancer links. The Open Obesity Journal Special Issue Obesity 2:10-11, 2010
Drew JE (2012) Cellular defence system gene expression signatures in blood: predicting health benefits in response to diet Advances in Nutrition 3:1-7.
Drew JE Molecular mechanisms linking adipokines to obesity related colon cancer: focus on leptin. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2011) Published online doi:10.1017/S0029665111003259
Drew JE, Duthie GG, Farquharson AJ, Padidar S (2007) Combined approaches to investigate pre-pathological colon dysfunction in the pro-oxidant environment.” In: Precancerous Conditions Research Trends, Chapter 9 p203-227 Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York.