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Research to analyze how personal nutrition profiles are influenced by genetics

Posted: January 8th, 2021
Tags: General, WWW Front Page

Dr. Nathan Tintle, professor of mathematics and statistics at Dordt University, was awarded a $31,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to participate in a multi-site project to explore how circulating fatty acids, a marker of nutritional intake, interact with genetics to impact cognitive outcomes like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

This project is in conjunction with Tufts University and other institutions. Dr. Tintle’s team, including NIH funded research fellow Jason Westra, will lead the analysis of data from the Framingham Heart Study. The analysis will help researchers begin to understand the potential for personalized nutrition strategies—how an individual’s ideal nutritional profile may be influenced by their genetics.

“This project will provide critical information about the potential for deeper and more wide-ranging projects exploring how what we eat, and our genetics, combine to synergistically impact our risk for common and debilitating diseases,” says Tintle.

Recent work has shown that fatty acids and nutrition are strongly associated with cognitive outcomes like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“We will use new computational cluster resources and our expert genetic analysis team to explore this project with leading nutritional genetic researchers from around the United States,” adds Tintle.

“Dr. Tintle’s research is on point with our mission: seeking Christ-centered renewal in all areas of contemporary life,” says Dr. Leah Zuidema, vice president for academic affairs. “At Dordt University, we value teaching and scholarship that provides insight into crucial challenges facing contemporary culture, and it is encouraging to receive NIH funding that enables this type of project.”

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.