Improving diet and lifestyle is a key strategy to maintaining metabolic health and preventing risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes that are major contributors to reduced healthspan.
At the Rowett I am involved in nutrition studies, using human volunteers, to assess health status and inter-individual variation in responses to diet and lifestyle changes to maintain health.
The research we are doing can help the food industry to make their products healthier and provide appropriated and effective advice to the public on how best to ensure they maintain good health throughout their lifespan.
Diet and lifestyle are critical factors in maintaining health. However, research has established that responses to diet and lifestyle interventions to restore, maintain or improve health differ between individuals. This is thought in part to be a consequence of our genes and the different ways in which our genes determine interactions with diet and lifestyle factors and how the confer risk or protection from diet and lifestyle related diseases.
My current research is focused on identifying the molecular and cellular effects of diet and exercise on our bodies and how these effects impact on metabolic health, biological aging, healthspan. Comprehensive strategies have been developed to interrogate inter-individual variation in biological samples. Strategies incorporate transcriptomics, including the novel gene expression technology, the GenomeLab System, proteomics, together with biochemical analyses of plasma and tissue samples to assess correlated changes in the cell defence systems, immunity, inflammation, redox regulation, metabolism and DNA repair that maintain health.
Biological samples range from cultured human tissue explants, whole blood gene expression profiling (bloodomics), liver, muscle and adipose to assess correlated changes in the cell defence systems that maintain health. This approach is revealing predictive molecular signatures of health status and modulation by diet and lifestyle interventions making it feasible for nutrition scientist to contemplate monitoring and surveying the impact of diet and lifestyle factors to generate evidence for effective translation of research on food, drink and health in individuals.
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.