Professor Peter J. Morgan FRSE
Vice Principal, University of Aberdeen
Director of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health
As the Rowett Institute celebrates its centenary, work is underway on a new building which will see Aberdeen become home to the best facilities in Scotland and arguably the UK when it comes to human nutrition and health.
The building, which will be situated next to the University of Aberdeen’s Institute for Medical Sciences, will allow researchers and scientists at the Rowett Institute to team up with clinicians at Foresterhill to further progress their world-leading work.
The Rowett is already at the forefront of the UK’s research capability in nutrition and its research outputs provide evidence for policy development and support the food and drink industry to produce healthier foods.
However, with rapidly growing rates of obesity much more work is needed, particularly when it comes to understanding how and why people eat in the way that they do and to understand what can be done to change eating behaviour.
The new building will allow us to further expand research underway in this area, and many others which contribute to improved human health and nutrition, by bringing Rowett staff together with researchers, scientists, clinicians, volunteers and patients at Foresterhill.
Rowett research benefitted from the merger with the University of Aberdeen in 2008 and moving to Foresterhill signifies another important step forward.
The major achievement of nutrition research over the century the Rowett has been in existence is in preventing illness as a result of poor diet and nutrition.
Our research in the future will continue to address how to prevent ill health through nutrition, but increasingly we are recognising that to be most effective dietary advice needs to be stratified or increasingly tailored to the individual, as ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches to diet and nutrition are not optimal for all members of the population.
In addition we are increasingly embracing psychological, social and economic research to address some of the barriers that stop people adopting a more healthy diet and lifestyle.
Another area in which the Rowett expects to make a major contribution is in meeting the ever-growing demand for healthy and sustainable diets.
These challenges require a multi-disciplinary approach and our new facilities at the heart of a health campus will allow the Rowett to continue to lead the research agenda, as it has done throughout its history.