Vanderbilt Institute for Obesity & Metabolism

Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology


  William Blot  David  Samuels
  Jeffrey Canter  Martha Shrubsole
  Dana Crawford  Xiao-Ou Shu
  Qi Dai  Flora Ukoli
  Jay Fowke  Raquel Villegas
  Margaret Hargreaves  Xiangian Zhang
  Deborah Murdock  Wei Zheng


 A powerful theme of the VIOM is research designed to prevent obesity and nutrition-related disease. Epidemiologists are focused on dietary factors in disease, such as Vitamin D (Blot, Fowke), isoflavones and other polyphenols (Zheng, Shu, Shrubsole) , calcium, magnesium (Dai). Additional programs include work on the role of obesity and diet in prostate cancer (Fowke, Ukoli, and Blot), and gene-environment interaction leading to hypertension and diabetes (Villegas). Dr. Dai studies potential interactions of dietary intake calcium, magnesium and calcium/magnesium with gene polymorphisms involved in calcium and magnesium (re)absorption in relation to colorectal adenoma, and Dr. Shrubsole examines the role of one-carbon metabolism, gene-diet interactions, as well as biomarkers of systemic folate status in colorectal adenoma risk. The recent recruitment of Dr. David Samuels, a leading expert in mitochondrial genetics, to the Center for Human Genetics and Department of Physiology and Molecular Biophysics at Vanderbilt creates an exciting new group mitochondrial and disease research group (Samuels, Canter, Murdoch).