About the Lab

Hirschi lab 1.22.15 (320x240)
credit: Adam GillumGroup photo of the Hirschi lab members.

The idea that nutrition may now encompass the ingestion of genetic information has generated both intense interest and intense controversy. We propose that particular conditions favor the detection and functionality of dietary-based nucleic acids in consuming populations.

Our preliminary studies support this concept and our proposed studies are focused on identifying regimes that facilitate the detection of dietary nucleic acids in consuming populations. We will use genomic technologies to provide sensitive assay systems to measure functionality in gut epithelial cells. Establishing conditions where diet-derived nucleic acids are absorbed and functioning in the consumer will drastically alter our concept of the relationship between health and nutrition; help establish useful dietary practices; and potentially open up new vistas for gene therapy.