Center for Human Nutrition

Medical Nutrition Syllabus

Guide to Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

Exercise Guidelines

Managing Obesity

Exercise Prescription

Medicine and Surgery Nutrition Assessment Checklist

Pediatric Nutrition Assessment Checklist

Adolescent Nutrition Assessment Checklist
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 health.
  • 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 Programs)
  • 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 following:

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 management.
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 Objectives

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 Center.

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