infographic that defines Precision Nutrition as how food affects the human body's health

The cost of diet-related chronic disease may soon exceed $1 trillion per year in the United States alone. This is driving the critical need for researchers, physicians and nutrition experts to better understand the dose-response relationships among nutrients and chronic disease and to establish scientifically-grounded guidance for optimal dietary intakes.

To help address these needs, Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medical, and the Cornell Tech Campus hosted The First Annual Precision Nutrition Symposium, October 14-15, 2019 in Ithaca, NY.

While we currently provide dietary advice to populations through mechanisms such as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, there is a growing understanding that subgroups of people differ in their responses to food intake. The goal of the symposium is to highlight ongoing research and to catalyze future research efforts to generate the evidence needed to define optimal dietary intakes for health.

Anna Thalacker-Mercer, PhD
assistant professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and symposium lead organizer

The overarching goal for the Precision Nutrition Symposium and working group forum was to build research synergies across the Cornell Campuses for the development of multi-investigator research proposals in precision nutrition. This event was free to Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medical and Cornell Tech faculty, staff and trainees (students, post-docs, etc.) and was intended to be an opportunity to develop collaborations as opposed to a learning or training opportunity.

The unique strengths of our faculty across the three Cornell campuses will allow us to develop new multidisciplinary approaches to address key questions in our understanding of how diet, nutrition and the microbiota influence health and disease.

David Artis, MD
director of the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation and the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine

The symposium is a product of the Academic Integration Initiative, launched in 2017, which is the concept of integrating Cornell University's three New York State campuses - Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Cornell tech into a cohesive whole. As part of academic integration, our goal for precision nutrition research is to optimize nutrient exposures to achieve healthy human physiological systems.

To date, the Office for Academic Integration has supported seven intercampus symposia, and already the payoff has been huge, with faculty doing collaborative work that has emanated directly from their experiences at each of these gatherings. We expect this to occur with the Precision Nutrition symposium.

Gary Koretzky ’78, MD, PhD
Vice Provost for Academic Integration, a Cornell initiative focused on generating vigorous research collaborations between the Ithaca, Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine campuses

The First Annual Precision Nutrition Symposium is sponsored by The Office of Academic Integration, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, and the Jill Roberts Institute.

Academic Integration Program Inquiries:
Kristin C. Hopkins
Project Associate, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Integration, Cornell University
Email: kcm23@cornell.edu

Symposium Inquiries: PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu

Symposium Details

Organizers of this event: Drs. Joeva Barrow, Martha Field, Zhenglong Gu, Saurabh Mehta and Anna Thalacker-Mercer.

The symposium was free to Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medical and Cornell Tech faculty, staff and trainees (students, post-docs, etc.) and intended to be an opportunity to develop collaborations as opposed to a learning or training opportunity.

October 14: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G71 beginning at 11:30AM

October 15: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G71 beginning at 7:30AM

Campus map

Travel via chartered bus and hotel accommodations: free to members of Weill Cornell Medical. Contact us at PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu

nathan price

Keynote Speaker: Nathan Price, PhD, Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Systems Biology.

Dr. Price is Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, WA.  He is also Affiliate Faculty in the Departments of Bioengineering, Computer Science & Engineering, and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Washington. He is Co-Founder and on the Board of Directors of Arivale (“Your Scientific Path to Wellness”), which was named as Geekwire‘s 2016 “Startup of the Year.” 

Guest speaker: Cindy Davis, PhD of the NIH

  • Joeva Barrow, R.D., Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell (organizer)
  • Daniel Berry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell
  • Sunghee Cho, PhD, Professor, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Andrew Clark, PhD, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University
  • Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Institute for Computation Biomedicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • David Erickson, Ph.D., S.C. Thomas Sze Director and Sibley College Professor - Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell
  • Martha Field, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell (organizer)
  • Marcus D. Goncalves, M.D., MSE, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Zhenglong Gu, PhD; Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell (organizer)
  • Neera Gupta, M.D., M.A.S., Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • James Lo, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Division of Cardiology, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Randy Longman, M.D, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Saurabh Mehta, MBBS, ScD, Associate Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell (organizer)
  • Angela Poole, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences
  • Frank Schroeder, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell
  • Anna Thalacker-Mercer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell (organizer)
  • Nathaniel Vacanti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell

Contact us at PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu

day 1

11:30am - Lunch on the HEB Commons Commons

12:15pm - WELCOME and Introductions by Gary Koretzky, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Provost for Academic Integration in G71 MVR

12:25pm - SESSION 1: Systems-level understanding of human physiological networks and their plasticity. Chair: David Artis, Ph.D.

12:30-12:55pm - Frank Schroeder, Ph.D., Professor,Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

12:55-1:20pm - Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Institute for Computation Biomedicine, Weill Cornell Medicine. “Towards AI-driven precision medicine”

1:20-1:45pm - Zhenglong Gu, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. Mitochondrial DNA Mutation and Disease”

1:45-2:10pm - Nathaniel Vacanti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. “Tracing global responses to nutrient stimuli with stable isotopes and quantitative proteomics”

2:10-2:20pm - Coffee break in the HEB Commons

2:25-2:50pm - Sunghee Cho, Ph.D., Professor, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine, Department Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medicine. "Body weight loss in stroke: Immune based nutrition for macrophage function"

2:50-3:15pm - Daniel Berry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. “A Cxcl12:Cxcr4 signaling axis controls white adipogenesis by estrogen receptor transcriptional activation”

3:15-3:40pm - James Lo, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Division of Cardiology, Weill Cornell Medicine. “Adipose determinants of metabolic diseases: New therapeutic targets”

3:45pm - SESSION 2: Diagnostics, biomarkers, and individual variations in response to nutrient exposures. Chair: David Erickson, Ph.D., S.C. Thomas Sze Director and Sibley College Professor - Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Cornell University

3:50-4:15pm - David Erickson, Ph.D., S.C. Thomas Sze Director and Sibley College Professor - Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Cornell University. “Point-of-Care technologies”

4:15-4:40pm - Joeva Barrow, Ph.D., R.D., Assistant Professor,Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. “Leveraging Unbiased Approaches to Combat Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease”

4:40-5:05pm - Neera Gupta, M.D., M.A.S., Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine. “Sex Differences in Statural Growth Impairment in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease”

5:05-5:30pm - Martha Field, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. “Novel activities of two human dehydrogenase enzymes affect glucose metabolism in a variant-specific manner”

5:30pm - Poster Session with Refreshments on the HEB Commons

7:00p.m. - Dinner Served on the HEB Commons

7:15-8:00pm - Keynote speaker: Nathan Price, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Director, Institute for Systems Biology  (in the HEB Commons during dinner)

day 2

7:30-8:20am - Breakfast  in the HEB Commons

8:30am - SESSION 3: Classification of population subgroups with respect to their nutritional needs and delivery of optimal nutrition. Chair: Anna Thalacker-Mercer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University in G71 MVR

8:35-9:00am - Anna Thalacker-Mercer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. "The Essentiality of Serine and Glycine for Skeletal Muscle Regeneration in the Older Population"

9:00-9:25am - Randy Longman, M.D, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medicine. “The Gut Microbiome Regulates Mucosal and Systemic Inflammation”

9:25-9:50am - Andrew Clark, Ph.D., Professor,Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University. “Modeling and models of population stratification of nutritional needs”

9:50-10:05 - Coffee/Tea break in the HEB Commons

10:05-10:30am - Marcus D. Goncalves, M.D., MSE, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Weill Cornell Medicine. “Will eating less sugar cure my cancer?”

10:30-10:55am - Angela Poole, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. "A new era for precision nutrition: gene-diet microbe interactions"

10:55-11:20am - Saurabh Mehta, M.B.B.S., Sc.D., Associate Professor,Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University. “Inflammation as a central challenge for Precision Nutrition”

11:25-12:00am - Cindy Davis, NIH, Office of Dietary Supplements: NIH Nutrition Research Task Force Strategic Plan

12:15-1:15pm - Lunch in the HEB Commons  

1:30-3:00pm - Concurrent Breakout Sessions for Working Groups
Closed Session: for participants of the Symposium only
Locations to be determined and announced by organizers

  1. Challenges in Precision Nutrition and effective ways to overcome these barriers. Panelists: Martha Field, PhD; Anna Thalacker-Mercer, PhD; Randy Longman, MD, PhD
  2. Enabling precision nutrition—identifying biomarkers and developing new tools to detect them. Panelists: Joeva Barrow, Phd, RD; David Erikson, PhD; Zhenglong Gu, PhD; James Lo, MD, PhD; Olivier Elemento, PhD
  3. Solidifying the crosstalk between the different facets of Nutrition (basic science, clinical and translational, global/population). Panelists: Praveen Sethupathy, PhD, Andrew Dannenberg, MD, Sunghee Cho, PhD, Katie Hootman, PhD, RD, CDN
  4. Forging partnerships and effective lines of communication between Weill and Ithaca Cornell and leveraging this partnership towards the development of NIH multi-centered or project grants. Panelists: Marshall Glesby, MD, PhD; Gary Koretzky, MD; Paula Cohen, PhD; Saurabh Mehta, MBBS, ScD; Susi Varvayanis, MS, Kim Holloway, PhD
  5. Leveraging your Ph.D./M.D./R.D./ towards a successful future career. Panelists: Cindy Davis, PhD; Laura Barre, MD, RD; Neera Gupta, MD, MAS

3:00-3:20pm - Break and return to group in G71 MVR

3:20-4:00pm - Presentations/recommendations from individual WGs

Closed Session: for participants of the Symposium only

  • 3:20-3:30pm - WG1 report/recommendations (~8’) and ensuing discussion (~17’)
  • 3:30-3:40pm - WG2 report/recommendations and ensuing discussion
  • 3:40-3:50pm - WG3 report/recommendations and ensuing discussion
  • 3:50-4:00pm  - WG4 report/recommendations and ensuing discussion

4:00-4:30pm - Summary and Next Steps: Anna Thalacker-Mercer, PhD followed by Concluding Remarks by Gary Koretzky, MD, PhD in G71 MVR

4:30pm - Meeting adjourned

5:00pm - Bus departure for those who have a reserved seat (contact us at PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu if you have questions or concerns)

Oral presentations: Early career Cornell faculty were considered for an oral presentation. Short oral presentations were scheduled within the program.

The poster session took place October 14 at 5:30pm in the HEB Commons.

Contact us at PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu

Lodging:

We reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott Downtown: 120 S. Aurora St, Ithaca, NY. for our speakers from NYC and members of Weill Cornell Medicine who plan to attend and/or participate.

Bus Transportation:

We arranged for bus transportation from NYC to Ithaca by reservation only.

Contact us at PrecisionNutri@cornell.edu