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2012 Scholar Awards Luncheon A Resounding Success

Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012

Thanks to the generous underwriting of Hoffman Construction Company, Julie and Wayne Drinkward, OHSU, and Oregon State University and OSU Foundation, 100 percent of the luncheon proceeds directly support scholar awards.

The scholars had a wonderful time meeting Dr. and Mrs. Thornburg and Bob Moore at a patron party before the luncheon.  It was also evident that Mr. Moore and Dr. Thornburg enjoyed their interactions with the scholars and ARCS members.  The luncheon featured some of Bob's Red Mill products.

ARCS Scholar Colby Mangini was graciously introduced by his sponsor, ARCS member, Sally Drinkward.  He did a wonderful job of explaining his research: Russian Roulette and Radioactive Dust A Shortcut to Calculating High-Energy Electron Skin Damage and making it understandable to our audience.  Colby also talked about his deep appreciation of his ARCS award and described the many ways in which his ARCS funding made a difference in his ability to focus on his research without some of the financial worries that challenge many talented researchers.

Dr. Kent Thornburg, Director of the Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at Oregon Health & Science University, completely captivated the audience with his presentation: Nutrition Therapy: the Next Generation Medicine.  Dr. Thornburg’s research informs us that the first thousand days after conception through age 2 have an impact on fetal development in ways that we never imagined.  It is not just poor nutrition that creates problems for a developing fetus – the combination of stress and a nutrient-deficient diet can trigger an eightfold increase in the probability of diabetes and heart disease.

While it was concerning to learn that the genetic influence of chronic stress and poor nutrition begins with the grandmother, Dr. Thornburg also clarified that eliminating chronic stress and modifying one’s diet to include healthy food can reverse the genetic effects in the current population and potentially eliminate some chronic diseases in future generations. Dr. Thornburg’s goal is to “translate what research shows about the developmental origins of health and disease, both biological and sociological, into policies and programs that can improve the lives of Oregonians.” 

Pictures and more about the luncheon featured in the Portland Society Page.