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Biomarkers in Nutrition: New Frontiers in Research and Application


for Members

Biomarkers in Nutrition: New Frontiers in Research and Application

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Scientific breakthroughs in biomarkers are changing the field of personalized medicine and diagnosis. In the field of nutrition, biomarkers have applications both for assessment and screening of nutritional status as well as for diagnosis of deficiencies and risk factors.

This conference is aimed at exploring frontiers of research and development in this field, with topics such as innovative use of plasma amino acid profiles for screening for moderate malnutrition, as well as biomarkers of prediabetes, and the emerging field of sarcopenia. An afternoon panel session will examine how these results may translate into interpretable indicators and applicable recommendations. The targeted audience is scientists working on biomarkers and nutrition research and their application in both preventive and curative medicine, as well as health and nutrition practitioners dealing with nutritional deficiencies and risk factors in their patient populations.

Registration Pricing

Student / Postdoc / Fellow Nonmember$20


Presented by

  • Sackler"


* Presentation times are subject to change.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

8:30 AM


9:00 AM

Introduction and Welcome

Session I. Challenges of Biomarkers Research and Application

9:15 AM

Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) Program
Daniel J. Raiten, PhD, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH

9:45 AM

The Use of Biomarkers to Substantiate Health Claims
Paula R. Trumbo, PhD, US Food and Drug Administration (via video link)

10:45 AM


Session II. New Science in Biomarkers

11:00 AM

Biomarkers of Selenium Status
Gerald F. Combs, Jr., PhD, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS

11:30 AM

Rationale and Process for Developing Biomarkers for Sarcopenia
Stephanie Studenski, MD, University of Pittsburgh

12:00 PM

Networking Lunch

1:00 PM

Markers of Dietary Intake and Risk of Cancer
John Milner, PhD, National Cancer Institute, NIH

1:30 PM

Blood-Based Markers of Nutrient Status and their Association with Metabolic Risk
Steven M. Watkins, PhD, Tethys Bioscience

2:00 PM

Amino Acid based Biomarkers for Indicating Nutritional and Disease States
Takeshi Kimura, PhD, Ajinomoto, Co., Inc.

2:30 PM

Biomarkers of Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Michelle McKinley, PhD., University of Belfast

3:00 PM

Networking Break

Session III. Panel Discussion

3:15 PM

Invited panelists will moderate an open discussion with the audience.

4:30 PM

Networking Reception

5:00 PM




Mandana Arabi, MD, PhD

The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

Beate Lloyd, PhD, RD, LD


Beate Lloyd, PhD RD LD is currently part of the PepsiCo’s Global Nutrition Organization as Director R&D Nutrition. Beate leads the PepsiCo’s Global Nutrition Innovation Research platforms. She enables the science-based differentiation of core brands and new products to transform the beverage and food portfolio. She started her career with PepsiCo as Senior Manager in July of 2009 responsible for identifying and translating nutrition and health science to PepsiCo’s global beverage portfolio to drive product innovation, compelling brand communications. She has identified and built the strategy to support the innovation and growth agenda for PepsiCo’s nourishment brands including Tropicana, Dole and Naked Juice. Previously, Beate was the President and CEO of a nutrition/clinical research consulting firm, Global Research Solutions, Inc., with clients from a broad range of industry segments and government agencies. She developed cohort and ingredient specific product & platform innovation strategies, science writing and research in the field of dairy nutrition, pediatric and adult nutrition as well as influenced dairy industry standards in Asia. Prior to this, she was responsible for creating innovation platforms/new business opportunities and led multiple clinical research programs at Abbott Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories. She was responsible for guiding the company’s long term research strategy in Women’s Health and Wellness and Pediatric Nutrition. Beate earned her Masters in Nutrition and PhD in Nutritional Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Connecticut.

Rosemary E. Riley, PhD, LD

Abbott Nutrition Health Institute

Rosemary E. Riley is senior manager, Science Programs for the Abbott Nutrition Health Institute. She is responsible for developing and directing scientific conferences, symposia and website content on emerging nutrition science topics that educate healthcare professionals throughout the world on the importance of nutrition as therapy to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Riley’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in analytical chemistry from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science in human nutrition and a Master of Arts in exercise physiology from the Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. in human nutrition at the Ohio State University. She has been a licensed dietitian for 24 years. Before coming to Abbott Nutrition, she worked in cardiac and worker’s compensation rehabilitation.

Yasuhiko Toride, PhD

Ajinomoto Co., Inc.


Gerald F. Combs, Jr., PhD

Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS

Dr. Combs is the Director of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, ND, having served in that capacity since 2002 when he moved from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where he was a Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Combs graduated from the University of Maryland in 1969 and obtained MS (1971) and PhD (1974) degrees from Cornell. He held a faculty position at Auburn University, Auburn, AL, in 1974-1975 and joined the Cornell faculty in 1975. He is a Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, and holds appointments as Adjunct Professor at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND; and the School of Food Systems, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.He has some 135 peer-review papers; conducted research ranging from basic biochemical studies to human metabolic and clinical investigations in the US, China and South Asia; and lectured in 30 countries. A leader in selenium nutrition/metabolism, his “firsts” include: • 1st US scientist to work in modern China (five 3-mo. tours, 1980-88 supported by the Chin. Ministry of Agr.) • chaired 1st international scientific meeting held in China: 3rd Internat. Symp. on Selenium in Biology & Medicine, Bejing, China, 1984 • 1st demonstration of cancer-protective efficacy of selenium in humans • 1st description of endemic rickets in Bangladesh • 1st comprehensive study of a community food system in a developing country (Bangladesh) • 1st studies of genetic determinants of selenium metabolism • 1st appointee to the USDA Senior Scientific Research Service His current research addresses the proteomics/metabolomics of selenium in humans, including effects of adiposity.

Takeshi Kimura, PhD

Ajinomoto, Co., Inc.

Takeshi Kimura studied Cell and Molecular Biology at University of London, King’s College and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from University of London in 1984. He was Visiting Fellow and Visiting Associate at the National Institutes of Health in the USA from 1984 to 1989. In 1989 he joined Ajinomoto and worked at the Central Research Laboratories and External Scientific Affairs department at head office. He then served as head of the Washington DC Office from 1992 to 1997. In 1998 he started the Basic Safety Research Group at the Institute of Life Sciences. During his work in the laboratory, he founded the concept of using plasma amino acids for diagnostic purposes that led to the development of the AminoIndex TM. From 2005 to 2010 he served as General Manager of Quality Assurance and External Scientific Affairs Department. He became Corporate Executive Officer in 2009. Currently, he is General Manager of R&D Planning Department. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for International Life Sciences Institute and its Research Foundation, Chief Executive Officer for the International Glutamate Technical Committee and a Director for International Council on Amino Acid Science.

Michelle McKinley, PhD

Queen's University of Belfast

Michelle McKinley obtained her BSc and PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. She then worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Ulster, followed by a 3-year spell working as Nutrition Manager for The Dairy Council in London. She returned to Northern Ireland to take up her academic position at Queen’s University Belfast in 2005. Dr McKinley is currently a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition working within the Centre for Public Health in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. Her main research interests are in relation to investigating the ability of dietary interventions to modify risk of chronic disease, particularly diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as exploring novel approaches to encouraging and supporting diet and lifestyle behaviour change.

John Milner, PhD

National Cancer Institute, NIH

Daniel J. Raiten, PhD

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH

Daniel J. Raiten, PhD, is the program official for the nutrition portfolio within the ENGB. He received his doctorate in human nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center of Yale University Medical School. In addition to his role as program officer, he is the project leader for the NICHD Iron and Malaria Project, which is co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Raiten's other responsibilities include serving as the secretariat for two bilateral programs between the United States and India: one on Contraception and Reproductive Health Research, and the other on Maternal and Child Health and Human Development Research. Dr. Raiten also serves on numerous domestic and international committees, including service as a member of the World Health Organization Technical Advisory Group on Nutrition and HIV/AIDS.

Stephanie Studenski, MD

University of Pittsburgh

Stephanie Studenski MD MPH is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Geriatrics. She is Professor of Medicine, Nursing, Epidemiology and Allied Health and PI of the Pittsburgh Claude Pepper Center. For the past 25 years, she has been continuously funded for work related to aging, mobility and disability. She is currently PI of a grant to the Foundation of the NIH focusing on developing an evidence-based operational definition of sarcopenia with clinically important weakness.

Paula R. Trumbo, PhD

US Food and Drug Administration

Paula R. Trumbo, PhD is Acting Director of Nutrition Programs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is a member of the Health and Human Services Senior Biomedical Research Service. From 1998 to 2003, she served as Senior Program Officer at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) where she directed expert study panels, including those that revised the Dietary Reference Intakes for micronutrients (IOM, 2001), macronutrients (IOM, 2002), and electrolytes and water (IOM, 2005). She was Associate Director of the Human Nutrition Institute at the International Life Sciences Institute from 1994 to 1998. Prior to this, she was Associate Professor of nutritional biochemistry at Purdue University. She received her PhD in biochemistry, with a minor in nutrition, at North Carolina State University.

Steven M. Watkins, PhD

Tethys Bioscience

Steven Watkins is presently the Senior VP of Research at the diagnostic company Tethys Bioscience and a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in Food Science from UC Davis studying the effects of dietary lipids on mitochondrial energetics and lipid metabolism. After completing his Ph.D. he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis and the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne Switzerland. In May of 2000 Steve co-founded Lipomics and co-developed the technology underpinning the Company's research and service capabilities. He has published many articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals, is frequently sought as an invited speaker at conferences worldwide, and is a founding board member of the Metabolomics Society.

Additional biographies coming soon.


Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) Program
Daniel J. Raiten, PhD, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PepsiCo, and other NIH institutes and centers,and in partnership with a consortium of public (e.g., NIH, CDC, USDA, USAID, WHO, UNICEF, WFP) and private (e.g., ILSI, GAIN, MI) agencies and organizationsrepresenting the global food and nutrition enterprise, has created the Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) Program ( The BOND is intended to achieve three primary goals: 1) to address the need for discovery, development, and implementation of reliable and valid biomarkers to assess nutrient exposure, status, function, and effect, 2) develop a process to harmonize the decision making process about what biomarkers are best for use in the full range of activities represented by the global food and nutrition enterprise, and 3) use information developed through 1 and 2 to provide evidence based advice to those involved in food and nutrition related activities. The scope of that advice would include those involved in basic/clinical research, clinical care, program/product development/monitoring/evaluation, and generation of evidence-based policy. To achieve these goals and establish a proof of concept for the BOND approach, the initial efforts of the BOND program arefocused on six“case study” nutrients: Iodine, Vitamin A, Iron, Folate, Vitamin B12 and Zinc, chosen by the BOND steering committee for their public health importance and because they represent the range of challenges confronting the user communities.

The Use of Biomarkers to Substantiate Health Claims
Paula R. Trumbo, PhD, US Food and Drug Administration

FDA conducts premarket reviews of health claims for the labeling of conventional foods and dietary supplements. Health claims describe the relationship between a substance (food or food component) and risk of a disease or a health-related condition. A health-related condition can be a qualified biomarker for disease risk (i.e., surrogate endpoint). Surrogate endpoints are an important part of FDA’s scientific review of health claims. Therefore, there is continued interest in the state of the scientific evidence for the qualification of potential surrogate endpoints.

Biomarkers of Selenium Status
Gerald Combs, Jr., PhD, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS

Status with respect to the essential element selenium (Se) is considered for four purposes relevant to human nutrition and health: assessment of Se intake/exposure; assessment of risk of nutritional Se deficiency; assessment of Se adequacy for cancer risk reduction; assessment of risk of Se toxicity. Each purpose relies on a different set of endpoints with different evidence bases. Selenium intake/exposure is generally assessed on the basis of the Se contents of accessible specimens, e.g., plasma/serum, urine, hair/nails, buccal cells. Nutritional Se status is assessed on the basis of biomarkers related to the metabolic function of the element, i.e., specific selenoproteins the optimal expression of which defines nutritional Se adequacy. The potential for Se to affect cancer risk is a question being actively researched. Current evidence suggests that risk reduction occurs among those with nutritionally adequate, but not high, Se status. Accordingly, it appears that candidates for Se-protection against cancer can be identified using Se-biomarkers similar to those used to assess Se exposure, but with the application of a target range. The potential for very high Se status to produce adverse physiological effects has been established from animal studies and accidental exposures of humans, which have produced an array of clinical indicators but few biomarkers with predictive potential. For this reason, the default choice has been to use as risk indicators the highest Se tissue levels observed with no adverse effects. The dose-response relationships of these various Se biomarkers depend on the chemical form of Se consumed, with sources of selenomethionine (e.g., plant foods) supporting higher tissue levels than sources of inorganic Se (selenite, selenate) or selenocysteine (e.g., animal products). The use and interpretation of Se-biomarkers for the above purpose will be discussed in light of current understanding of Se metabolism.

Rationale and Process for Developing Biomarkers for Sarcopenia
Stephanie Studenski, MD, University of Pittsburgh

Sarcopenia, defined here as reduced muscle mass, is common among older adults. It is a potentially modifiable contributor to dynapenia, or muscle weakness, which is strongly related to serious consequences such as reduced physical performance, disability and increased mortality. Preliminary criteria have been proposed, but have not been compared across data sets or formally evaluated for diagnostic test characteristics. Potential interventions on sarcopenia are emerging rapidly, but trials cannot be implemented until eligibility can be clearly defined. In order to address the need for further evidence about muscle mass, strength and aging, an initiative was developed in 2008 under the aegis of the Foundation of the NIH (FNIH). Investigators representing nine studies and over 23,000 diverse older adults were selected to join the Sarcopenia Project Team, which has performed pooled analyses in support of criteria for clinically important weakness and low muscle mass.

Markers of Dietary Intake and Risk of Cancer
John Milner, PhD, National Cancer Institute, NIH

The world is changing as evident by an alarming increase in projected increase in non-communicable diseases including cancer incidence. Premature loss of life and cost of medical treatments necessitate that strategies for effective prevention be implemented. Undeniably mounting evidence continues to point to the need to alter dietary habits as an effective and cost-efficient approach for reducing cancer risk and for modifying the biological behavior of tumors. However, it is clear that not all individuals benefit equally from dietary change. Thus, there is a crying need for the identification of predictive, validated and sensitive biomarkers, including those that assess: (1) “intake” or exposure” to a specific food or bioactive component, (2) specific biological “effect(s)” that are linked to cancer, and (3) individual “susceptibility” as a function of nutrient–nutrient interactions and genetics. These biomarkers must be readily accessible, easily and reliably assayed, and predictive of one or more key processes involved in cancer. The response to a food is determined not only by the timing and effective concentration of the bioactive food component(s) reaching the target tissue, but also by the amount of the target requiring modification. These biomarkers can also be influenced by insults to the body including excess calories, microbial contaminations, viral infections and environmental exposures. Thus, the response to foods and their bioactive components will vary from individual to individual. Relevant examples about the role of “omics” as modifiers of the response to specific food components will be provided. Overall, the key to a personalized response to diet is a better understanding about how nutrigenomics can be used to predict proteomic and metabolomic changes in normal versus cancer cells and how these can be developed into sensitive and reliable biomarkers.

Blood-Based Markers of Nutrient Status and their Association with Metabolic Risk
Steven M. Watkins, PhD, Tethys Bioscience

Nutrition has a profound impact on the progression of metabolic disorders including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Our knowledge of the relationship between nutrients and metabolic risk comes largely from dietary record data in large outcome trials or from smaller intervention studies where surrogate markers of outcome were measured. We have developed assays to quantify the blood levels of many important dietary nutrients including fatty acids, sterols, amino acids, and other markers of nutrient status including acylcarnitines and bile acids. We have used these assays to identify the relationship of blood measures of nutrients with metabolic outcomes including conversion to diabetes. Here we present the results of these studies and identify blood-based nutrients that are particularly strong predictors of metabolic risk. Using a measurement strategy as opposed to diet recall could enable a personalized approach to nutrition where individual needs can be measured, and nutrient advice can be dispensed in a treat-to-target paradigm instead of as global recommendations.

Amino Acid Based Biomarkers for Indicating Nutritional and Disease States
Takeshi Kimura, PhD, Ajinomoto, Co., Inc.

Information on physiological and nutritional states can be obtained by analyzing the interrelationships between metabolites such as amino acids. We have developed a way to generate markers comprised of plasma amino acid concentrations (AminoIndexTM) that can separate various physiological states. The AminoIndexTM is currently in use in a number of hospitals in Japan to detect the risk for 5 cancers. As this technology allows the generation of markers to any physiological state for which plasma amino acid data is available its application in nutrition is highly feasible.

Biomarkers of Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Michelle McKinley, PhD, Queen's University of Belfast

Observational evidence consistently shows that consumption of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may offer protection against diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Assessment of dietary intake is complex and prone to many sources of error which may impede progress in research on the dietary determinants of disease risk. More objective biomarkers of fruit and vegetable intake, such as blood biomarkers, may offer a more quantitatively objective method of measuring fruit and vegetable intake in both observational and interventional research. Several substances found in fruit and vegetables have been proposed to be potential biomarkers, and these include vitamin C and the carotenoids (particularly lutein, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene). Fruits and vegetables also contain a wide variety of flavonoids and other polyphenolic compounds, and several of these have been examined individually as potential biomarkers. The evidence regarding the usefulness of the main biomarkers of fruit and vegetable intake to act as objective indicators of compliance in dietary intervention studies will be reviewed and on-going work at Queen’s University Belfast, which is continuing to examine the potential of blood biomarkers to act as predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption, will be discussed.

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