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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #416233

Research Project: Nutritional Role of Phytochemicals

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The Children's Nutrition Research Center: Leveraging controlled environment agriculture to improve pediatric health

item Dzakovich, Michael

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston is a major supporter of ensuring moms and kids eat healthy. The CNRC does an array of important research on things like what kids and moms should eat to stay healthy. The CNRC has many unique facilities including those which can measure human energy expenditure, plant growth facilities, and various laboratories for fundamental and applied research. The CNRC works together with Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do this important work. One major facility at the CNRC is a large plant-growing area with different sections devoted to different types of research. They have special rooms and chambers where they can control the environment for plants. These facilities helps scientists do experiments that can eventually impact people's health.

Technical Abstract: The USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston, situated in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, is a leading advocate for promoting maternal and pediatric nutrition. The CNRC conducts both fundamental and clinical research covering a wide range of childhood nutrition topics. Research at the center explores the molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic diseases, human nutrition, plant physiology, epidemiology, and community health. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including laboratories, room calorimeters, a greenhouse, a metabolic kitchen, and observation labs, the CNRC also provides accommodations for research volunteers. The CNRC operates under the collaboration of Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Among the facilities at the CNRC is a 2,200 square foot plant growth facility featuring three active greenhouse compartments, four walk-in growth chambers, and numerous reach in growth chambers. These facilities allow both fundamental and applied plant biology experiments to take place with access to clinicians working at the animal and human level to translate outcomes into tangible impacts. This talk will outline current plant biology experiments occurring at the CNRC that utilize controlled environments in order to improve human health.