Nutraceutics, functional food, genomic variability and their role for human health and disease prevention

This reseach focuses on:

-the comprehension of extant relations among biochemical features of food, nutrition and cellular functions for the assessment of their effects on human and animal health, and their possible role in the disease prevention;
-the identification of interactions of genetic, epigenetic, nutritional and environmental factors with human health, and their impacts on growth regulation, homeostasis and cellular differentiation both along development and in physiological and pathological processes.

The study of stem cells from model animal species (including rodents), the analysis of large cohorts of individuals, the investigations related to ethnobotany, and the use of "omic" methodologies will provide a significant and distinguishing support for the realization of the activities dealing with this line. Deliverables from this research will include:

-the increase of nutraceutics availability;
-the preparation of new functional food;
-the development of systems for disease diagnosis and prognosis;
-the development of biocompatible polymers useful for conveying and preserve bioactive molecules
-the identification of bioactive molecules as food quality / typicality markers.

The study of potential allergens, the use of new technologies (including nanotechnologies), and the development of methodologies and systems for the quality assessment and management in labs are a fundamental part of the proposed activities.