Research: Dietary Interventions with human Impacts

Dr. Sheila Jacobi is interested in how bioactive nutrients can be utilized to enhance the developing gastrointestinal track and modulate the mucosal immune system. Bioactive nutrients of early neonatal nutrition, particularly mother’s milk, impact gut development and helps program in the developing immune system. To have early impacts through nutrition on animal and/or human health is particularly exciting because the long term effects could enhance growth and production performance in food animal agriculture, as well as, modulate later in life health challenges for the animal or humans. Piglet models for humans also allows research to be completed in live models that could not be conducted in human infants. This work is particulary important in developing formulas that provide vital nutrition to infants that cannot breast feed. Together the research allows her to span a unique line between enhancing food animal production for the sake of feeding the world, and developing nutritional interventions for babies in need.