Foods for Health


Many costly and preventable chronic conditions — heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and developmental delays — are affected by diet. An individual’s metabolic profile and their response to foods are influenced by many factors including genetics, physiology, lifestyle and environmental factors.

As the only public university in the U.S. with an agriculture and seven health science colleges co-located with an agricultural college and top-ranked academic medical center on one campus, Ohio State is a poised to address the complexities of metabolomics-based food and nutritional problems in ways that enable personalize prevention and medical care, dietary recommendations, and food-based interventions to improve health and prevent disease. 

By connecting our faculty expertise and students to state-of-the-art technology and public-private partnerships, our interdisciplinary teams are creating unprecedented knowledge and making discoveries in personalized food and nutritional metabolomics. Our understanding of individual biochemical variability in response to nutrients and foods provides the foundation for across diverse disciplines to:

  • Developing and using state-of-the-art analytical and informatics technologies to comprehensively identify and profile metabolites of nutrients and other bioactive food compounds in foods and biological samples. 

  • Generating data using other "-omic" technologies to correlate unique features of the human metabolome to unique characteristics of individuals. 

  • Discovering new biomarkers that define subtypes associated with wellness and diseases. 
  • Developing personalized food and nutritional interventions to improve one’s metabolic profile to improve health. 

  • Building a broad-reaching ‘crops-to-clinic-to-consumer’ network.

Committed to creating a healthier future for individuals and populations, our teams are leading new scientific approaches that integrate foods and nutrition, metabolomics, and health.

Program Leads

Executive Director

Kamal N. Aboshamaa, PhD

Interim Faculty Lead

Mark Failla, PhD


Discovery Themes

Discovery Themes Seed Grant Showcase: Nov. 15, 2017

The Food and AgriCultural Transformation, Sustainable and Resilient Economy, and Foods for Health Discovery Themes program areas will host a Discovery Themes Seed Grant showcase on Nov. 15, 2017.

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Foods for Health

Metabolomics study builds on link between tomatoes, skin cancer protection

Because of the pigments they contain, tomatoes might offer a dietary means to reduce the risk of skin cancer, a study by Ohio State researchers suggests.

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Foods for Health

Foods for Health awards three postdoctoral research awards

The Foods for Health Discovery Theme is pleased to announce awards to three postdoctoral researchers for 50% support for one year beginning August 2017. Recipients will each work on a transdisciplinary, collaborative project that uses metabolomics to address a relevant problem in the food-nutrition-health axis, with mentoring by two or more faculty affiliates in the FFH initiative.

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Foods for Health

Columbus 2020 website features Flavor Research and Education Center

What if commercially made whole-wheat bread tasted just as good as its refined-wheat counterpart? What if you could enjoy the guilty pleasure of eating a bag of potato chips with a third less sodium but all the flavor? These are the types of questions being tackled by the Flavor Research and Education Center, newly arrived to The Ohio State University.

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