WSP 375 — Diet and Gene Expression: You Are What You Eat
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Jan 25—Feb 1
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 18
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Lucia Aronica
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Jan 25—Feb 1
No letter grade
We tend to think that good genes make us thin and healthy, while bad genes make us fat and sick. But what if we could turn our “good” genes on and our “bad” genes off, and improve our overall health by making the right dietary and lifestyle choices? The science of epigenetics suggests we can do just that. In this course, we will provide an introduction to epigenetics, the study of how lifestyle factors can change gene activity without actually modifying the underlying DNA. With that basic foundation in place, students will discover how food is a powerful signal to our genes that can have a positive impact on our metabolism, longevity, and mental well-being. We will explore basic concepts in nutrigenomics, the study of how gene expression can be modified by certain nutrients and bioactive food compounds. We will have live Q&A sessions with some of the world’s leading scientists in this field such as professors Randy Jirtle (University of Wisconsin), Steve Horvath (UCLA), and Michael Skinner (Washington State). Using the information covered in this course, students will be able to design a personalized nutrition action plan to positively impact their gene expression.
Lucia Aronica, Lecturer, Stanford Prevention Research CenterLucia Aronica’s research investigates how diet affects gene activity through epigenetic modifications, and how we can use these modifications to design personalized weight-loss strategies. She has presented workshops on ketogenic diets for athletes for the Poliquin Strength Institute and Stanford Athletics. She has published research papers in Cell, Genes & Development, and the EMBO Journal. Aronica received a PhD from the Universität Wien.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.