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UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

Including Two National Institutes for Health Funded Centers: Center for Dietary
Supplements Research: Botanicals UCLA/NCI Clinical Nutrition Research Unit

Vision: Food, Nutrition, and Health in the 21st Century

The Center for Human Nutrition provides leadership in nutritional sciences at UCLA by
facilitating interdisciplinary research, improving patient care, and creating educational
initiatives for health professionals and the public. As we move into the 21st Century,
nutrition will be the central focus of our efforts to prevent and treat common chronic
diseases and extend human lifespan through integrating scientific, medical, and public
health approaches.

Specific Objectives
 Provide academic leadership in nutritional sciences within the Center for the
Health Sciences and the University of California, Los Angeles, the Southern
California region and the nation.
 Provide the administrative support structure to enhance research, education,
patient care, and community outreach in nutrition and dietary supplementation for
 Provide the resources and environment uniquely attractive and suited to
unprecedented interdisciplinary integration of nutrition research including
research on botanical dietary supplements.
 Continue to foster the pioneering tradition of Medical Center physicians and
University scientists to study methods of using naturally occurring nutrients and
chemicals in foods and dietary supplements to treat and prevent diseases.
 Increase the biodiversity and health benefits of the American diet.

Organization of the Center (also see attached Organizational Chart)

 Nutrition Research (Federal Funds, Industrial Contracts, Foundation Support)
 Nutrition Education (Medical School, College of Letters and Science)
 Public Outreach (Symposia, Newsletters, Evening Programs, Media Outreach)
 Clinical Programs (Primary Care Physician Network, Subspecialty and Surgery
 International and Public Health Nutrition (Allied Health, Dietetics, International)

Resources and Facilities

In 1983, the Chief of Medicine of the Department of Medicine decided to form a separate
Division of Clinical Nutrition to promote nutrition research, education, and patient care
with Dr. David Heber as Chief. In 1985, the NCI-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Unit
was established at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and moved to the Division of Clinical
Nutrition at the Center for the Health Sciences in 1990 under the direction of Dr. Heber.
In 1992, the Nutrition and Obesity Training Grant was first funded, also under Dr.
Heber's direction. The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition now houses the various
programs of the first NIH-funded Center for Dietary Supplement Research in Botanicals,
funded in 1999, one of two NCI-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Units, recently
renewed until 2007, and one of four NIH Training Programs in Nutrition and Obesity.
The Center conducts a significant amount of both government and industry-funded
clinical and basic research programs in 10,000 square feet of dedicated research space.
The research space includes: The S. Daniel Abraham Nutritional Sciences Pavilion, The
A. Scott Connelly Nutritional Sciences Laboratory, The S. Daniel Abraham/Slim Fast
Foods Nutrition Research Kitchen, The Dennis A.Tito Gene-Nutrient Interaction
Laboratory, The Pharmanex Phytochemical Laboratory, The Mark Hughes Cellular and
Molecular Nutrition Laboratory, an Exercise Physiology and Training Center, and a
Dietary Assessment and Intervention Unit.

The five major program areas of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition consist of the

Nutrition Research including: the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (CNRU) Scientific
and Administrative Cores; The Nutrition and Obesity Training Program; The Women's
Health Initiative Clinical Center nutrition component; and R01 and industry-supported
research grants on pharmacotherapeutic and meal replacement strategies for weight
Nutrition Education including the NCI-funded Medical School Nutrition Curriculum
Development Program developing a four-year integrated medical school curriculum; the
Undergraduate upper-division Physiological Sciences course, Physiology of Nutrition;
and the Centers for Obesity Research and Education (C.O.R.E.) program which provides
training workshops in obesity management to health care providers.
Clinical Programs including: the Risk Factor Obesity program which treats
approximately 200 patients in a weekly multidisciplinary program; the Nutritional
Medicine Center serving as a training site for the application of nutrition to primary care
internal medicine; the KidShape adolescent obesity program; the Gastric Surgery for
Obesity Program; the UCLA Primary Care Network Obesity Management Program, and
Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Support programs
International and Public Health Nutrition including: developmental work on dietary
assessment in different ethnic groups; public health training of registered dietitians in the
School of Public Health; and emerging work on food science and technology.
Public Outreach including talks for the public; media outreach; provision of nutrition
information through utilization of approved sources of information on obesity-related
issues such as the WIN program of the NIDDK.

UCLA Center for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals (CDSRB) - Goals and

The goal of the Center is to foster interdisciplinary research to develop systematic

evaluation of the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements and to fulfill the
critical need for additional basic and clinical research on the bioavailability and
bioactivity of botanical ingredients and their mechanisms of action. We have assembled
an expert multidisciplinary scientific team of 35 participating investigators from the
UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health, the UCLA College of Letters and Science
and California State Polytechnical University in Pomona (CalPoly) to accomplish the
following specific aims:
1. Identify, characterize and authenticate botanicals being sold as dietary
supplements and/or intended for use as dietary supplements.
2. Assess the bioavailability and bioactivity of botanical ingredients, including
phytochemical marker compounds and/or suspected or known active ingredients.
3. Identify active constituents in botanicals and explore their mechanisms of action
in well-defined biological systems.
4. Conduct pre-clinical studies in cell culture and in animals.
5. Conduct phase I and/or phase II clinical evaluations of botanicals.

The Center's research program is carried out in three scientific cores:

Analytical Phytochemistry Core - The Phytochemistry Core provides established and new
methodologies for the study of the phytochemical content of botanical dietary
supplements, including bioactive and marker compounds, and assists investigators in the
preparation and analysis of botanical dietary supplements for studies in vitro and in vivo.
This core is housed in the Pharmanex Phytochemistry Laboratory and the Mark Hughes
Cellular and Molecular Nutrition Laboratory, with access to core facilities at the UCLA
Department of Chemistry Center for Chemical & Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, and the
Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrophotometry facilities at Harbor-UCLA Medical

Agriculture and Botany Core - The Agriculture and Botany Core is based in the UCLA
College of Letters and Science, Plant Molecular Biology Group, and at the College of
Agriculture, California State Polytechnical University, Pomona (CalPoly). This core
spans a number of disciplines, including plant taxonomy, botany, plant genetics, plant
breeding, and cultivation. This core works closely in identifying the differences among
subspecies and species of plants used for botanical dietary supplements using both
chemical techniques (in the analytical Phytochemistry Core) and new approaches for
plant identification using a novel DNA-based taxonomy system. The recently dedicated
UCLA Plant Growth Center, funded through a combination of institutional and NIH
funds at a total cost of $6.8 million, provides controlled growth conditions for production
of botanicals used as herbal medicines, or nutraceuticals the CDSRB. The CalPoly
facilities consist of 700 acres of crop land and over 16,000 sq. ft. of plants under
greenhouse cultivation. The College views food technology, enhanced agricultural
practice, biotechnology and efficient resource management as key areas of our
educational focus. Biostatistics and Clinical Pharmacology Core - The Biostatistics and
Clinical Pharmacology Core enlists the experience and resources of the Department of
Biomathematics, and includes expertise in quantitative analysis in clinical pharmacology.
The core develops a clinical pharmacology and kinetic modeling component as botanical
dietary supplements data develops, in order to address the complex issues of the
bioavailability and metabolism of botanical dietary supplements.

NCI-Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (CNRU)

The Center for Human Nutrition is also the home base for the NCI-funded Clinical
Nutrition Research Unit. The CNRU has as a primary mission to promote
interdisciplinary research integrating molecular biology, genetics, and metabolism in
studies of nutrition, clinical dietary intervention, and cancer prevention. Since its last
renewal in 2002, under the Directorship of David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., the CNRU has
been the predominant "hub" for nutrition research and education at UCLA, with 80 other
key investigators who are scientists and/or clinicians within our faculty. The CNRU has
the additional tasks of promoting education and training in nutrition and cancer; its
administrative cores enhancing the interactions of the participating faculty at the UCLA
Center for Health Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center,
and the participating scientists at the University of Southern California. The UCLA
Clinical Nutrition Research Unit develops new research in nutrition and cancer
prevention through the integration of interdisciplinary initiatives in molecular biology,
cellular biology and genetics, with clinical investigations using nutritional intervention
and assessment.

The CNRU has the following core facilities: (1) Diet Intervention, Assessment and Body
Composition Core, (2) Nutritional Biomarker Core within the A Scott Connelly Nutrition
Biomarker Laboratory to provide measurements of lipids, hormones, micronutrients, and
phytochemicals with the dual aims of enhancing epidemiological investigations of the
nutritional causes of cancer and nutritional intervention studies in cancer prevention, (3)
Statistical Coordinating Unit Core, under the leadership of Dr. Robert Elashoff, which
continues to contribute significantly to new research initiatives, including national
multicenter nutrition intervention trials, (4) Stable Isotope Core which has enhanced
nutrition and cancer research collaborations using its special equipment and expertise, (5)
Molecular Oncology Core focusing on new research in breast and prostate cancer, and (6)
Gene-Nutrient Interaction Core which has generated unique mouse models for nutrition
and cancer research through gene manipulation and breeding.

Nutrition Education & Collaborative Research

The Center also houses the administration for the NIH Nutrition and Obesity Training
Program, which provides postdoctoral training support for MDS and/or Ph.D.s. Ongoing
nutrition courses are conducted in the Department of Physiological Sciences in the
College of Letters and Sciences, in the School of Public Health, and in the School of
Medicine including: "Obesity and Nutrition: Multidisciplinary Perspectives", "Human
Biochemistry and Nutrition" "Physiology of Nutrition". In addition, there has been an
ongoing fourth year elective in nutrition (Advanced Clinical Nutrition Clerkship) for the
past twenty years which is now serving about thirty fourth year medical students per year.
The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition has also been a national resource participating in
several funded multi-center trials of nutrition including: (a) NIH Women's Health
Initiative-Nutrition component in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics &
Gynecology; (b) the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation Nutrition and Prostate Cancer
Project; and (c) several NIH-funded RO1 and industry-supported research efforts.
International and Community Nutrition Projects and Programs (administered
through Public Health)

The international and public health programs of the Center for Human Nutrition are
under the direction of Dr. Gail Harrison, Professor and Chair of the Department of
Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and the current President of
the Society for International Nutrition Research. Through a private endowment of 1
million dollars, two predoctoral trainees in public health are supported with the joint
direction of Drs. Heber and Harrison.

Future Directions:
1. Gene-Nutrient Interaction in Disease Prevention and Treatment
2. Healthier Foods for the 21st Century
3. Impact on Health of Botanical Dietary Supplements and Phytochemicals
4. Nutrition Information, Assessment, and Behavior Change

Programmatic Focus:

Prostate Cancer and Men's Health
Breast Cancer and Women's Health
Pushing the Frontiers of Interdisciplinary Research in Nutrition Sciences
Education for the Public and Health Professionals
Dr. David Heber, Founding Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition,
Director, CDSRB
Director, CNRU
Director, Nutrition and Obesity Training Program
Dr. Mary Hardy, Associate Director, CDSRB
Dr. Vay Liang W. Go, Associate Director, CNRU
Dr. Gail G. Harrison, Associate Director for International and Public Health
Dr. A. J. Lusis, Co-Director, Gene Nutrient Core Laboratory
Dr. R. M. Elashoff, Director, Statistical Coordinating Unit
Dr. H. Phillip Koeffler, Director, Molecular Oncology Core Laboratory
Dr. Susanne Henning, Director, Nutritional Biomarker Core Laboratory
Dr. W. N. Paul Lee, Director, Stable Isotope Core Laboratory
Dr. Ann Hirsch, Core Director, Agriculture & Botany Core
Dr. Diane Harris, Co-Director, Gene Nutrient Core Laboratory
Dr. Navindra Seeram, Director, Analytical Phytochemistry Core Laboratory
Dr. Qing-Yi Lu, Co-Director, Analytical Phytochemistry Core Laboratory
Dr. Lynn Adams, New Investigator, CDSRB
Dr. Catherine Carpenter, New Investigator, CNRU
Dr. Jean deKernion & Dr. William Aronson, UCLA Department of Urology
Dr. Howard Judd, UCLA Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Harry Ward, Martin Luther King Medical Center
Dr. Jo Anne Brasel, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Christina Wang, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Ron Swerdloff, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Neil Parker, Dean's Office, UCLA School of Medicine
Dr. Leonard Rome, Dean's Office, UCLA School of Medicine
Dr. Charles Lewis, UCLA Center for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
Dr. Susan Stangl, Department of Family Medicine, UCLA
Dr. Ma-Li Wong, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA
Dr. George Blackburn, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Mai Nguyen Brooks Department of Surgery, UCLA
Dr. Ben Bonavida, Department of Immunology, UCLA