Tuesday, March 4 | 9:25 - 10:40 AM
The intrauterine environment is a major contributor to normal physiological growth and development of an individual; however, disturbances at this critical time can affect the long-term health of the offspring.
Traditionally it has been widely accepted that our genes together with adult lifestyle factors determine our risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and obesity in later life. However, there is now substantial evidence that the pre- and early post-natal environment plays a key role in determining our susceptibility to such diseases in later life. Moreover the mechanism by which the environment can alter long-term disease risk may involve epigenetic processes.
Epigenetic processes play a central role in regulating tissue-specific gene expression and hence alterations in these processes can induce long-term changes in gene expression and metabolism which persist throughout the life course. This symposium will focus on how nutritional cues in early life can alter the epigenome, producing different phenotypes and altered disease susceptibilities.
Nico Rizzo, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
"The importance of Transgenerational Epigenetics and Health Outcomes" | ABSTRACT
Dr. Rizzo is an Assistant Professor at the Center of Community Resilience at the School of Public Health in Loma Linda where he is the course leader for Public Health Biology and Nutrition, Nutritional Epidemiology and Research Methods in Epidemiology.
He obtained a Masters of Science degree from the Justus Liebig Universität in Gießen, Germany and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He was a recipient of the European Union Socrates/Erasmus Scholarship for studies conducted at Karolinska Institutet previous to his PhD studies. His doctoral research focused on the associations between physical activity, cardio respiratory fitness and metabolic risk factors in children and adolescents. Dr. Rizzo lectured at the Department of Bioscience and Nutrition and the Department of Medical Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet and is an Associate Researcher at the Department of Nutrition and Biosciences at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Dr. Rizzo is the Special Interest Group Leader for Molecular Nutrition for the American Public Health Association (APHA) and responsible for the programming of the scientific sessions for the Epidemiology Section of the APHA.
He is also serving as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Food Science.
He has authored numerous peer reviewed articles on physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and nutrition and their association with metabolic syndrome and obesity in children and adults. He is a co-investigator of the AHS 2 study at Loma Linda University and of the Skelleftea Epigenetics Project in Sweden that is investigating trans-generational effects of environmental factors on health outcomes and is funded by the Swedish Research Council.
Currently he is integrating traditional and newer methodologies in Epigenetic research allowing him to explore interactive ways of examining associations between physical activity, nutrition and chronic disease risk factors. Beside his research projects and teaching appointments Dr. Rizzo has conducted prevention focused health programs in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Micronesia.
Bryan Oshiro, MD
School of Medicine, Loma Linda University
"Epigenetics: It’s Never Too Early to Plan for the Future" | ABSTRACT
Dr. Bryan Oshiro is an Associate professor and Chief of the Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine(MFM). He initially joined the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2005 and is currently the Medical Director of the Obstetrical Services and the MFM Diagnosis, Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Prior to this, he was on the faculty of the University of Utah, School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah and served as the Medical Director for Women and Newborn Clinical Integration Services for Intermountain Healthcare in the state of Utah. Dr. Oshiro obtained his M.D. degree from Loma Linda University and did a year of internal medicine, then went on to complete his residency in obstetrics and gynecology from Loma Linda University. He subsequently completed his fellowship at the University of Texas in Houston. Dr. Oshiro is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He has participated in numerous multi-center trials in addiction to publishing numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of perinatal infectious diseases and high-risk pregnancy conditions. Main areas of interest for Dr. Oshiro are in invasive in utero procedures, obstetrical ultrasound, preterm labor and prevention, patient safety, perinatal infections, and medical complication of pregnancy.
Lambert Lumey, PhD, MD
"Prenatal Nutrition and Epigenetic Changes" | ABSTRACT
Dr. Lambert Hugh Lumey studies population cohorts to look at long-term effects of changes in the prenatal environment, including men and women born during the Dutch Famine of 1944-1945. In 2008, he published the first study in humans linking prenatal famine exposure to DNA methylation of the IGF2 gene in men and women followed to age 60.
Dr. Lumey studied medicine in Leiden and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and philosophy of science in Cambridge, England. In 1982, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study epidemiology at Columbia University, New York. After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1988, he worked in the National Public Health Institute in the Netherlands and in the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam before returning to Columbia in 1999. As a Lorentz Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), he organized in 2008 the first international workshop on the long term consequences of exposure to famine.
Dr Lumey is currently associate professor at the Department of Epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York.