Abbott and the UI announced Dec. 19 that they have established the first multi-disciplinary nutrition and cognition research center, which will be located on the Urbana campus. The Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory will lead directed and solicited research on the impact of nutrition on learning and memory in the human brain.
The collaboration between Abbott and Illinois will take the field of nutrition science into new territory, with a focus on resources that historically have rarely been applied to nutrition science research. The center will utilize two world-renowned research facilities on the Urbana campus, the Institute for Genomic Biology and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, in addition to the university's Division of Nutritional Sciences and Neuroscience Program.
"Combining Abbott's leadership in science-based nutrition with the best-in-class capabilities at Illinois and the world's best scientific minds in the areas of nutrition, brain and cognition will allow us to advance unique and meaningful breakthroughs in this area of research," said Robert H. Miller, a divisional vice president for R&D and Scientific Affairs, Abbott Nutrition.
Illinois professor Neal Cohen, the director of the Neuroscience Program, will be a director of the new center. "Enhancing learning and memory through nutrition could have truly transformative effects on childhood development and resisting the effects of aging and disease," Cohen said. "This collaboration builds on more than 20 years of scientific partnership between Abbott and the university."
The center will direct an annual call for proposals that is designed to uncover innovative scientific research relating to nutrition's role in learning and memory. The first call for research proposals closed Jan. 6. Funding will be determined by a joint committee from Illinois and Abbott.