Xu and Ajabshir win scholarships to attend course at UNC Nutrition Research Institute

Later this month, two Dietetics & Nutrition students, Ling Xu and Sahar Ajabshir, will be attending the “Nutrigenomics, Nutrigenetics and Precision Nutrition” course at the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute thanks to competitive scholarships that they have been awarded, which cover the cost of tuition, meals and lodging during their five-day stay on the UNC campus.

Ling Xu

Ling Xu

What are you hoping to learn during the course?
LX: I hope to learn the basic principles in nutrigenetics, nutrigomics and precision nutrition that could be applied in my thesis research.

This course will help to expand my view regarding these topics, adding new information to help me build a complete “knowledge system” in nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics and precision nutrition, which will help me to deal with my research questions in study design, methodology selection, and data analysis results explanation and translation in my future academic research and clinical practice.

You will be representing FIU during your stay at UNC. What do you hope to convey about your alma mater during that time?
LX: I plan to actively participate in any and all discussions, and I hope to establish a connection between us and the world-class scientists from UNC in hopes of future collaboration.


Sahar Ajabshir

Sahar Ajabshir

What does receiving this scholarship that covers the cost of tuition, meals and lodging mean to you?
SA: It’s a great opportunity for us! We can attend this course and focus on learning without being worried about the costs and expenses. It will also provide us with an invaluable experience of socializing with the Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellows by spending more time together in the same residence.


Why do you see attending specialized courses like “Nutrigenomics, Nutrigenetics and Precision Nutrition” as important to your education? To your career?
SA: I’m a Ph.D. Candidate in Dietetics & Nutrition with background in biochemistry and cell molecular biology. Working in biochemistry, genetics, immunobichemistry, microbiology and nutrition labs for the past 10 years attracted my attention to the fact that each individual, each organ, each cell has specific needs and requires specific treatment.

I did some research about personalized nutrition and the more I read about it, I became more interested in learning more. I believe the integration of personalized nutrition, nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics will help predictive and preventive medicine, which can decrease the cost of health care in a community.

My current research is onType 2 Diabetes, Vitamin D and inflammation for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. I believe the nutrition guidelines for patients with Type 2 diabetes from different races and ethnic backgrounds need to be improved. As a nutribiochemitry scientist, I’d like to play a role in making this necessary and beneficial change happen.

Attending Nutrigenetics, Nutrigenomins and Precision Nutrition will help me to expand my knowledge in this field. Plus it’s a great chance to network with researchers who are currently working in the field.

You will be representing FIU during your stay at UNC. What do you hope to convey about your alma mater during that time?
SA: I am very proud that my university, FIU, has recently achieved the Top Tier Carnegie classification R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity and I hope I represent FIU well as a Ph.D. student.

Find out more about Dietetics & Nutrition at FIU Stempel College.


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