Artist's rendering of new ARS Western Human
Nutrition Research Center in Davis, Calif., northeast of San Francisco.
Public Dedication Today for ARS Western Human
Nutrition Research Center By
Marcia Wood August 15, 2006
DAVIS, Calif., Aug. 15The U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) today dedicated a new $25-million
laboratory and office building for the agency's Western Human Nutrition
Research Center (WHNRC)
here. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of
The 49,000-square-foot structure is situated on two acres of the
University of California-Davis,
which enhances collaboration with UC-Davis faculty.
The research center's team of 85 scientists, technicians and other
specialists includes experts in nutrition, exercise physiology, chemistry,
immunology and related disciplines. According to center director
H. Allen, the researchers specialize in exploring new and healthful ways to
fight obesity, America's No. 1 nutrition problem.
"The scientists of WHNRC
also conduct pioneering studies to discover how nutrients and nutrient-like
compounds in foods and beverages can help prevent chronic diseases that are
among the leading causes of death in America," said Gale A. Buchanan, USDA
Under Secretary for Research,
Education and Economics
. "That list includes heart disease, stroke and
certain kinds of cancer."
Increasingly, the research of these scientists has encompassed
nutrigenomics, an emerging field which benefits from still-unfolding
discoveries in human genome research. Nutrigenomics studies, for example, will
speed discovery of how genes influence the body's ability to absorb and use
The Davis scientists have won major national and international awards
for their research, and have published their findings in many of the world's
leading English-language scientific journals that document research in
nutrition, immunology, food chemistry and other fields.
The ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center was established at the
Presidio of San Francisco in 1980. The staff relocated to Davis in 1999,
working in temporary quarters in nearly a dozen different buildings throughout
the campus. The center is part of a nationwide network of human nutrition
research centers operated by ARS.
Invited speakers at today's event included Congressman Sam Farr; Under
A. Betschart, ARS associate administrator;
R. Buxton, ARS Pacific West Area director; WHNRC director Allen; Charles E.
Hess, professor and dean emeritus, UC-Davis College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences; and Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.