Tags: institute for human individuality
This has been a busy time of things lecture-wise. Last month I lectured on 'Cancer Survivorship' at Backus Hospital in Norwich Connecticut, as part of their Fall Oncology Support Series. I really appreciate that Amy, the program coordinator (Center for Healthcare Integration) took the time to write a very nice thank you note:
Thank you so very much for the wonderful program you offered at Backus last week. Your use of metaphors to translate the scientific research is so effective and at the same time so much fun to listen to. I had many a-ha moments and between that lots of laughter. You are truly a gifted teacher.
It is a great support program from an imaginative hospital.
Immediately after this I lectured to a large group of doctors and nurses over at Soundview Medical Associates in Norwalk, Connecticut. This lecture was pretty much straight blood group science and physiology and despite some early technical glitches I was made most welcome, treated to an attentive and lively audience, and had a great time.
Early October featured a lecture at the Annual Conference of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians in Manhattan. This lecture was entitle 'Verisimilitude and Malignancy' and discussed how cancer systems often elude the immune system by posing as quasi blood type markers. Most naturopathic physicians were new to this type of information and as I looked out into the audience all I saw was a sea of heads pointed down as they furtively scribbled note after note.
At the conference I bumped into my old friend Dr. Russell Marz, one of the top naturopathic nutrition educators, whose 'Nutrition from Marz' is a standard nutrition text in the schools. Russell also write the nutrition reviews for NPLEX (the Naturopathic Licensing Exams). We're both expatriate New Yorkers and Russell always brings out the Brooklyn kid in me. Got a nice note afterward:
Good to see you and I just wanted to tell you how much I have appreciated your work. You really have created a whole new dimension in the field of nutrition and I believe especially in the area of cancer.
As I write this I'm preparing to leave for the airport and fly to Nashville, Tennessee for the first IFHI Micro Conference. I'll be lecturing for 3-4 hours throughout the day tomorrow. Hopefully the larynx holds up. Dr. Natalie Colicci is coming along to help with the certification, and tells me that she has already packed the lozenges.
After Tennessee things calm down a bit, which is great since I've discovered a few new veins of research that I want to pursue, and have just purchase a 1971 Volkswagon Bus that I am itching to restore.
Looming on the horizon is IFHI 2009, our biannual master conference. Unlike the prior 2005 and 2007 conferences I'll be doing most of the lecturing (something like nine hours total) by myself, with assistance from Drs. Tom Greenfield and Natalie Colicci. Again and again the feedback from prior conferences has been that, although the attendees have enjoyed the guest speakers, they would prefer that I spend more time on core curriculum and training. So here it is. I'm challenged by the idea of encapsulating an entire lifespan of work into such an information intensive format.
For the first time IFHI 2009 will be held on the east coast of the US (Norwalk Connecticut). It is close to our base of operations and affords a more easy access for the EU attendees, who comprise a rather large share of the audience. Proximity to NYC also allows folks to do some Manhattan site-seeing before or after the conference. Unlike prior conferences which held about 350 attendees, IFHI 2009 is limited to 125 on site and about 25 off site attendees. Also unlike the Buttes in Phoenix, the conference price is a 'soup to nuts package.'
I designed this little flyer for the conference. Almost prophetically it is the exact same model VW Bus that I'll be restoring. However my bus in in something over 1000 parts in over 50 crates.
I thought a recent abstract from one of the premiere nutrition journals did a pretty good job of catching up to, and explaining the theory behind The GenoType Diet:
Epigenetics encompasses changes to marks on the genome that are copied from one cell generation to the next, which may alter gene expression but which do not involve changes in the primary DNA sequence. These marks include DNA methylation and post-translational modifications (acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination) of the histone tails protruding from nucleosome cores. The sum of genome-wide epigenetic patterns is known as the epigenome. It is hypothesised that altered epigenetic marking is a means through which evidence of environmental exposures (including nutritional status and dietary exposure) is received and recorded by the genome. At least some of these epigenetic marks are remembered through multiple cell generations and their effects may be revealed in altered gene expression and cell function. Altered epigenetic marking allows plasticity of phenotype in a fixed genotype. Despite their identical genotypes, monozygotic twins show increasing epigenetic diversity with age and with divergent lifestyles. Differences in epigenetic markings may explain some inter-individual variation in disease risk and in response to nutritional interventions.
Session 2: Personalised nutrition. Epigenomics: a basis for understanding individual differences? Mathers JC. Proc Nutr Soc. 2008 Nov;67(4):390-4.