Ph, DOST host APEC strategic workshop to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

TAGAYTAY CITY, Cavite- The Philippines, through the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), hosted the “APEC Workshop on Strategies to Address Non-communicable Diseases through Science, Technology and Innovation: Nutrigenomics Approach” on 15-16 June 2016 at Taal Vista Hotel.

The workshop is part of the commitment of DOST and FNRI for the Policy Partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) Forum of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

APEC workshop to address non-communicable diseases

According to Dr. Mario Capanzana, FNRI Director and APEC Workshop Committee Chair, the workshop served as platform for participants from APEC countries to discuss the current situation, challenges, and advancements in Nutritional Genomics to address the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the APEC region.

It also entails substantive sessions and group discussions, providing the participants the opportunity to focus on specific areas from their own perspectives and national experiences in Nutrigenomics,” Dr. Capanzana said.

The two-day workshop consisted sessions on “Prevalence, Programs, Strategies to Address NCDs in APEC Economies,” “Nutrigenomics as a Science,” “Genomic Centers in Support of Health and Nutrition Research,” and “Nutrigenomics Research in the APEC Region.” Topics such as “Challenges and Opportunities in Nutrigenomics Research in the Asia-Pacific,” “Social, Economic and Human Health Dimensions of Nutrigenomics,” and “Perspectives Towards Nutrigenomics-based Initiatives,” were also discussed.

Representatives from APEC economies namely, Philippines, Russian Federation, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, United States of America (USA), Vietnam, and guest economy Switzerland, participated in the event.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo emphasized the timeliness of the workshop as the search for knowledge regarding healthy and adequate food has increased in the last decades. He explained that Nutrigenomics was created to assess the interaction between genes and nutrients.

The field of genomics is one of the major R&D agenda of the DOST…The discovery of this interaction will aid the prescription of customized diet according to each individuals’ genotype, thus it will be possible to mitigate symptoms of existing diseases or  to prevent future illness especially in the area of non-communicable diseases,” Sec Montojo said. Aside from formation of collaborative research network, the main output of the workshop is the presentation of APEC Nutrigenomics 2016 Declaration.

Nutrigenomics will be featured during the 2016 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) Metro Manila Science Community, to be led by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). ■

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