CHNR 2010 Progress Report

Executive Summary
The primary mission of the Center for Health and Nutrition Research (CHNR) is to enhance the ability of California researchers to investigate relationships between food components and human health and wellness. The overall goals have largely been accomplished. The Center now has resources and personnel in place that will assure sustainability. Thirty-three research studies, involving over 36 faculty investigators and well over 200 students and technical assistants have benefited from the Vitamin Cases Consumer Settlement Fund (VCCSF) at five major research Universities in California (UC Davis, Loma Linda University, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, UC Irvine). An exceptional record of publications has already been achieved, with 53 manuscripts published or in press, and an additional 17 manuscripts submitted or in the final stages of preparation. Numerous additional manuscripts will be submitted in 2011 and 2012. Over four million dollars in extramural support has been awarded to thirteen projects as a result of CHNR-supported research, and an additional 15 grant proposals are being prepared. Dissemination has been outstanding, with consistent statewide outreach activities and clear presence of CHNR-supported studies at national and international scientific meetings. In summary, support from VCCSF has been a very successful investment with the potential for a long and rewarding future that will facilitate and enhance the health and well-being of California citizens through nutrition research.

CHNR Research

A majority of funds has been used to invest in critical pilot research studies on multiple topics related to nutrition in human health and well-being. The two major goals of this activity have been to generate peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, and to generate data for subsequent extramural funding following the expiration of Center support. Both goals have been largely achieved, although many more journal articles and extramural funding will be forthcoming in 2011 and 2012.

In 2005, three research grants were awarded (two at Loma Linda University and one at UC Davis). In 2006, 11 pilot research proposals were funded (23 applications received), and in 2007, 19 grants were awarded (25 proposals received).

In October 2010, supplemental funds were awarded to selected active pilot grants for completion of an additional body of defined work that would help complete preparation of one or more manuscripts and provide additional data to be used for future grant applications. Of the 30 principal investigators receiving pilot research grants, 14 were identified to receive supplemental awards using criteria of past productivity and relevance to the core mission of the CHNR.

Dissemination and Outreach

Extensive dissemination of research efforts from CHNR-funded research studies has been accomplished. Numerous fact sheets for health professionals and consumers have been developed and widely distributed. California Agriculture, a peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news from the University of California and its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will highlight a number of CHNR-funded research studies on the July 2011 issue, which will provide major exposure to an estimated 15,000 domestic and 1,700 foreign subscribers. In addition, Nutrition Perspectives, a newsletter published by UC Davis that provides research-based information to California Cooperative Extension county advisors and over 150 other subscribers, has and will continue to highlight many CHNR-funded studies. The CHNR also maintains and continually updates the center website. Approximately 10,700 visits were made to the website in 2010.