The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has officially approved establishment of the Texas A&M Center for Epigenetics and Disease Prevention (CEDP) as an organizational unit under the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology. The formal recognition will play a large role in the two-year-old center’s future growth as it aims to develop treatments using naturally occurring compounds to prevent and manage diseases.

“We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to grow this center and its novel approach to natural treatments, which hold great promise in the fields of medicine and preventative health,” said Brett Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Led by Roderick H. Dashwood, Ph.D., an expert in epigenetics and dietary cancer prevention, the CEDP takes an innovative approach to disease prevention by implementing a “field-to-clinic” paradigm. This initiative integrates nutrition, chemistry and medicine to transform current approaches to cancer, metabolic disorders and other chronic conditions, by exploring treatments that utilize beneficial agents found naturally in food, such as compounds found in broccoli that guard against prostate cancer.

The center was established in 2013 with support from the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI) and other institutions from the Texas A&M System in order to address new forms of preventative medicine. Currently, the CEDP receives funding from the CRI and various institutes within the Texas A&M System, totaling $9.1 million over five years, and receives over $10 million more in additional funding from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

— Elizabeth Grimm

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