The Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group (Nutrigenomics Group) started on 1-12-2000 at the Division of Human Nutrition with a new approach in nutritional science: Combining Molecular Nutrition research with applications of high-through-put Genomics technologies (in particular Transcriptomics). Research is focused on the nutritional regulation of metabolic pathways on a genome-wide scale by nutrient-sensing nuclear receptors such as PPARs at the level of cells & organs.
Currently, the nutrigenomics group is working on the regulatory effects of fatty acids & other nutrients on gene expression, metabolic & regulatory pathways & the functional implications of such regulation for homeostatic control and metabolic plasticity (Nutrigenomics of FAT). We study how disturbances of these regulatory mechanisms (e.g. because of unbalanced interaction with organ macrophages) contribute to local & systemic chronic inflammation & ultimately to the development of the metabolic syndrome & related diseases (Nutrigenomics of Inflammation). Particular attention is given to role of the intestine as important metabolic & immunological gatekeeper. Other topics are the specific metabolic and signaling role of ANGPTL4 and the emerging role of epigenetics for healthy aging ("chromatin exercise").
Education is offered at BSc, MSc and PhD level on metabolic and physiological mechanisms underlying the effects of nutrition on metabolism, integration & coordination of nutrient metabolism, & nutrigenomics & nutritional systems biology. The focus of the training programs is on the use of molecular biology tools in nutrition research.
Expertise & facilities include high-density microarray analysis (Affymetrix core lab with the newest Genetitan equipment) for whole genome gene expression analysis, large scale microarray database MADMAX (with > 8.000 arrays) & state-of-the-art bioinformatics & data mining tools (Ingenuity PA & Genomatix), a broad range of molecular biology tools & animal models including various transgenic mice.