Aim of the school
The International Nutrition and Brain Summer School aims at combining theoretical and practical training. Methodological and goal-oriented training are achieved by guiding the students through hands-on experiments within the frame of short scientific projects. In addition, the school promotes interactions between students and internationally renowned scientists and offers conditions to stimulate students' discussion on lectures and laboratory experiences. For the 2012 school's edition, the central topic is Nutrition and Cognition. This highly innovative topic will be studied from an integrative point of view from molecular to behavioural levels in experimental models and humans.
Importance of the scientific area of the proposed project
Dietary habits are a major aspect of people's lifestyles that influence mental health and have received some attention in research. In particular, recent data revealed that dietary habits strongly influence brain function through the regulation of genes expression at the cellular level to the complex regulation of the neural systems involved in behavioural interaction of subjects with their environment. Indeed, it has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes. On the other hand, malnutrition, seen as the deficiency in micronutrients affects brain function and cognitive development.
Brain development and cognitive abilities are strongly determined by the nutritional status throughout life, including during the perinatal period and the childhood. Nowadays, new knowledge is necessary to better understand how nutrition affects brain functions to improve dietary formulation and measure biochemical outcomes. Increasingly, the strength of research programs in Nutrition and Neuroscience depends on translational researches conducted with multidisciplinary approaches.
The development of performing researches in the field of Nutrition and Neuroscience require knowledge in both fields and therefore preclude scientists in one area of research from being fully aware of all issues that pertain to a different area of research. Thus the purpose of the International NutriBrain Summer School is to bring nutritional researchers to be informed on integrative neuroscience research, but also that neurobiologists avail themselves of nutritional expertise.