The Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) and Centre for Computational and Systems Medicine (CCSM) organized a successful inaugural research symposium entitled Precision Nutrition on the 14th of October 2022 at Murdoch University.
Dr. Ruey Leng Loo, Western Australia (WA) Premier’s Mid-Career Fellow, who chaired the symposium said “we achieved the aims of the symposium, which were to promote networking opportunities between industry and academia communities in WA, and to give Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students and early career researchers (ECR) a platform to present their work to experts within the field.” The symposium was well attended and had representatives from various WA universities and industries.
Professor Gary Frost, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, as a keynote speaker emphasized the importance of addressing the complexity of different people in responses to different foods and gave a detailed presentation of new methods for progressing science in this area. Associate Professor Claus Christophersen, Edith Cowan University, gave an eloquent presentation on methods for assessing the impact of food on microbiome, which was echoed by Professor Elaine Holmes, ARC Laureate Fellow, who talked about the integration of metabolic and microbial data in dietary studies.
Mr. David Doepel, Melville Park Farm, highlighted the importance of flavors irrespective of the nutritional value of food whereby researchers must bear in mind that consumers would not eat something that does not taste good despite the nutritional value of the food. Mr. Doepel also further emphasized the connection between an individual’s memory with their choices of food selections. This underpins an important factor for consideration in precision nutrition.
Other industry speakers included Dr. Carlotta Petti (myDNA) in addition to academic, Dr. Rachelle Pretorius (Telethon Kids Institute).
HDR and ECR presented their work either as a poster or a 5-minute flash talk. These flash talks spanned a diverse range of topics including the use of state-of-the-art analytical instruments to precisely characterize foods and biological specimens. Mr. Yimin Wang's presentation on the analysis of high-value Bravo™ apples using nuclear magnetic resonance was awarded as the winner of the Judges Award whilst Miss Charlotte Rowley presented her work on dietary intake and maternal metabolic profile during pregnancy and was awarded the People’s Choice Award.
Both Yimin and Charlotte’s works are part of the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre (FFS-CRC) project led by Dr. Ruey Leng Loo, in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Bruker Biospin, an international analytical manufacturer. Dr. Loo said “The FFS-CRC project aims to connect nutritional quality and composition with positive healthcare outcomes through nutritional health claims. Both Charlotte and Yimin presented some of the preliminary results at the symposium.”
Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) said “This symposium represents a snapshot of the world leading personalized nutrition research currently going on in WA -and the critical role of molecular Phenomics in unscrambling the complex multi-system interactions that underpin health. Nutritional control is an essential component of global preventive medicine strategies and one element of our lives that we can manipulate to effect health improvements at both the personal and population level. We hope that this will be the first of many ANPC catalysed network events that will enable future precision medicine and population healthcare initiatives.
Dr. Ruey Leng Loo said,” we want to capitalize on the successes of this symposium and are planning for a Precision Medicine Symposium in 2023. So watch this space”.