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  Introduction and Rationale | Vision and Objectives | Organization, Programs, and Leadership | Physical Facilities, Future Plans, and Funding Opportunites

Organization, Programs and Leadership

The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition is organized around five program areas:

  • Nutrition Research, such as the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, which is investigating the relationship of diet, exercise, and obesity to common forms of cancer including breast, prostate, and colon. Extensive clinical and basic research programs on the etiology, treatment, and prevention of obesity throughout the life cycle are underway with the support of the NIH Nutrition and Obesity Training Program and the clinical research programs of the University Obesity Center supported from non-governmental sources. New initiatives in phytochemical research hold great promise for the prevention and treatment of common diseases, including those associated with aging.
  • Clinical Programs, such as the University Obesity Center which treats 200 patients per week; the Nutritional Medicine Center which consults on many different types of patients referred from throughout UCLA Medical Center; the KidShape adolescent obesity program; and the Gastric Surgery for Obesity Program which saves the lives of morbidly obese patients.
  • Public Information and Outreach Programs, including evening seminars, cooking and exercise classes, and behavioral programs for healthier nutrition and lifestyle;
  • Education Programs, such as the medical school curriculum program, the postdoctoral nutrition training program, residency training programs, public health nutrition training for dietitians, and continuing medical education programs for community primary care physicians.
  • International Nutrition Programs, including academic and research relationships with outstanding institutions in Egypt, Israel, China, East Africa, and other global locations (see attached chart).

Future directions for the Center for Human Nutrition include gene-nutrient interaction, a nutrition information system, dietary intervention, bioengineered foods for the 21st century, and the impact on health of non-nutrient components of foods. The programmatic focus continues to be on obesity, menís health with emphasis on prostate cancer, womenís health with emphasis on breast cancer, pushing the frontiers of interdisciplinary research in nutritional sciences, and education for the public and for health professionals.

The Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA also will collaborate with international and community nutrition projects and programs administered through the School of Public Health. Among them are the Executive Secretariat Office of the International Union of Nutritional sciences, USAID National Food Consumption Monitoring System, NCI African American Women Fight Cancer with Fitness, NCI diet Intervention in Low-Income Women, UC Pacific Rim ProgramóDietary Changes Accompanying Immigration in Koreans and Korean Americans, and NIH International Fogarty Training Program.


The leadership of the Center for Human Nutrition includes:

David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., Director and Professor of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Heber is one of only 300 physicians board-certified in Clinical Nutrition. He is also a board-certified Internist and Endocrinologist who directs the Division of Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Medicine and serves as a Director of the American Board of Nutrition. He is internationally recognized in the areas of nutrition and cancer prevention and treatment and in the treatment of obesity.

Vay Liang W. Go, M.D., Associate Director, Center for Nutrition Research and Education and Professor of Medicine. Dr. Go is the former Director of Nutrition at the NIHís National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the former Executive Chair of Medicine at UCLA, and a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Nutrition. Dr. Go is a Gastroenterologist, Editor of the journal Pancreas, and an international authority on the brain-gut connection in nutrition, especially with regard to gut hormones.

Gail Harrison, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Director for International and Public Health Nutrition and Professor of Public Health. Dr. Harrison is a former member of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, the current Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health, and President of the Society for International Nutrition Research of the American Institute of Nutrition.

Introduction and Rationale
Vision and Objectives
Organization, Programs and Leadership

Physical Facilities, Future Plans, and Funding Opportunites







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