Two scientists from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast have been chosen to take part in pioneering, worldwide analysis within the space of diet, preventive medication and public well being.
Professor Jayne Woodside, from the Centre for Public Well being within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr Brian Inexperienced, from the School of Biological Sciences, will every be a regional lead for multi-million pound initiatives that span the Atlantic, and embody Harvard College as a associate.
They’ve been backed by the US-Ireland Research & Development Partnership Programme for the analysis initiatives which whole greater than £5.5 million, virtually £1 million of which can be invested immediately in IGFS, by way of the Well being and Social Care Analysis and Improvement Division inside the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland (HSC R&D) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
Dr Inexperienced’s four-year undertaking will research a comparatively unknown micronutrient generally known as ‘queuosine’ or just ‘Q’. Doubtlessly crucial for human well being, Q helps our cells to encode genetic data into proteins, however little is understood about how it’s included into the physique or what the optimum dietary consumption must be.
By developing with new methods of measuring and quantifying the consequences of Q, Dr Inexperienced and his staff at IGFS, together with researchers on the University of Florida and Trinity College Dublin, will acquire a a lot clearer image of its significance in diet and the way it can finest be harnessed.
Dr Inexperienced stated: “The undertaking will make wonderful use of our School’s Core Expertise Unit for Mass Spectrometry, which is housed inside the new Organic Sciences constructing, and gives entry to stylish mass spectrometers to develop revolutionary functions for life-scientists.”
In the meantime, Prof Woodside and her staff, together with colleagues at Harvard University and University College Dublin, will conduct a five-year intensive investigation into using ‘biomarkers’ in dietary analysis, particularly whether or not they can seize general dietary consumption and the standard of our diets, permitting researchers to raised discover what the hyperlinks are between eating regimen and illness danger, particularly coronary heart illness.
Biomarkers are measurable indicators of any organic state or course of – and it has been proposed that biomarkers measured in, for instance, urine, could also be a greater method of measuring dietary consumption and high quality than counting on conventional dietary evaluation strategies by way of questionnaires. The proposed analysis will discover this, and likewise discover whether or not realizing extra about their eating regimen high quality measured utilizing biomarkers makes folks extra prone to make modifications to their eating regimen.
IGFS Director, Professor Nigel Scollan stated the awards have been proof of the significance of inter-disciplinary analysis. He stated: “The truth that not one, however two of those prestigious funding awards have been gained by the Vitamin group in IGFS is an indicator of the ground-breaking analysis that’s taking place right here in Belfast. Not solely that, however these two researchers symbolize completely different Colleges in our college, demonstrating that the energy of IGFS lies in its variety. The truth that they are going to be partnering with researchers within the USA and the Republic of Eire provides a vital, worldwide dimension – these are world points and require a worldwide response.”
Professor Ian Younger, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Health NI and Director of HSC R&D, stated: “Dietary intervention has the potential to cut back the incidence of many widespread ailments. Collaborations like these assist to make sure that the most effective proof is accessible to information the recommendation which we offer for our inhabitants, and confirms that NI researchers are on the forefront of worldwide work in diet analysis.”
Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Head of Inhabitants and Programs Drugs for UKRI’s Medical Research Council stated: “This trans-Atlantic, interdisciplinary analysis has nice potential for understanding how the mechanisms linking diet, well being and illness act together – a significant problem on this area.
“Unhealthy diets are among the many main dangers that may be modified for a lot of ailments, particularly non-communicable ailments and continual circumstances which might be turning into rising widespread everywhere in the world. Consequently, there’s an pressing want for analysis that permits measuring, assessing, and doubtlessly modifying folks’s diets for higher public-health affect.”