In developing a world leading Nutrigenomics Centre in New Zealand, it has been vital to develop and maintain global linkages with other leading international research groups.
Dr Jim Kaput, then Director, Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine, FDA/National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, Arizona has provided an independent evaluation of our work in each of the first two years of the programme. These reports are available to the Governance Board and could be made available to others on request.
Dr Ben van Ommen, TNO Nutrition and Food research, Zeist, Netherlands, is the overall coordinator of the European Union Strategic Initiative in Nutrigenomics, (NuGO), which Professor Ferguson reviewed in 2005. Our relationship with Dr van Ommen gives us access to the very wide network of science in the nutrigenomics area in Europe.
Dr Ahmed El Sohemy is Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada, where he established a research programme in gene-diet interactions and holds the Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics. We contributed to his travel costs to New Zealand and arranged for him to address our industry workshop in Aug 2007.
Profs John Hesketh and John Mathers (Professor of Human Nutrition and Director of the Human Nutrition Research Centre at the University of Newcastle; Co-ordinator of the EU Framework 6 Integrated Network, NuGO) have visited our labs, and Dr Emma Bermingham (AgR), a Postdoctoral Scientist in nutritional epigenetics, recently worked in their labs with resultant scientific manuscripts in relation to foods.
Prof Mike Gibney leads the Food and Health Centre at the University College of Dublin and is also lead Scientist for the Large European-coordinated Food4Me programme. Mike was lead speaker at the University of Auckland’s 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s lecture series – “Good food, good health”, and also attended and gave critical feedback at the 2011 Nutrigenomics New Zealand workshop.
The above networks have been explored, particularly during the capability-building phase of this programme, to seek new techniques and thinking and to benchmark growing capability in New Zealand. As capability in NuNZ has grown, we have attained equivalent status globally, enabling us to deliver benefit to New Zealand industry at a level unsurpassed anywhere.
Within New Zealand, Nutrigenomics New Zealand has links with a number of research, patient and healthcare organisations, including:
Canterbury IBD Research Group, Canterbury District Health Board, a contract which provides access to clinical information and DNA of people with IBD and controls.
Krissansen Lab, University of Auckland, a contract providing confidential access to clinical information and DNA for people with Crohn's disease, as well as allowing NuNZ to conduct a food preference survey.
Auckland IBD Research Group, Auckland District Health Board, a relationship which provides access to clinical info, DNA, and food preference data for additional people with Crohn's Disease.
Auckland Paediatric Gastroenterologists, Auckland District Health Board, a collaboration that provides access to clinical information, DNA and food preferences of paediatric cases of people with Crohn's Disease.