NUTRITIONAL CYBERNETICS – TEACHING AND RESEARCH IN METABOLIC SYSTEMS
Speaker: Kim Bell-Anderson, USYD
Seminar Date: Tuesday November 8 2016, 12.00pm
Abstract: Obesity and related diseases are recognised as wicked problems with many contributing factors. Metabolic disease emerges from the interaction between our genes and the environment. Arguably, the main environmental factor is diet, and nutritional genomics is starting to characterize the effect of food on our genes and the effect of our genes on nutrient metabolism. Evolutionary adaptations to diet may have been advantageous in the past, but changes in our environment are in discordance with the evolution of our genes leading to metabolic dysfunction. Solutions to these global challenges will require trans-disciplinary approaches. At the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, we are preparing students for future research in this space and offer an interdisciplinary subject to provide knowledge breadth around the problem of obesity. The course also introduces how big data and data analytics will likely be key to unravelling the pinch points of genetic and environmental interactions. Students also contribute to a group project research experience equally shared with statistics students to encourage and embed a common language among researchers.