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Personal profile

Research interests

endocrinology & metabolism

body fat composition

cardiometabolic risk

omics

microbiome

aging

epigenetics

polyphenols

weight Loss

diet

Biography

Iris Shai, RD, PhD, is a Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at BGU in the field of nutrition, aging and chronic diseases, Adjunct Professor at Harvard University & Honorary Professor in Leipzig University, Germany. Shai is the chair of the International center of Health Innovation& Nutrition, and a member in the Government Health Ministry Committee for healthy Nutrition Regulations in Israel.  Her focuses are obesity, diabetes, aging, cognition, epigenetics, microubioum and cardiometabolic risk, while performing long-term, large scale, compressive dietary randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in standards of drugs trials, and long-term cohorts. Following her fellowship, awarded with Fulbright, in Harvard School of Public Health, where she focused on traditional and non-traditional biomarkers for CVD,  she leaded, with her international research team, the  2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) and 4-year follow-up (A Dietary Intervention- Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) Study), comparing the effects of dietary strategies on cardiometabolic risk and plaque regression. In her next trial , CASCADE (The CArdiovasCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol (CASCADE) Trial) she addressed the 2-year effect of moderate alcohol in type 2 diabetes and her recent whole-body MRI trial ,CENTRAL (Diet and Body Composition (CENTRAL)), focused on dynamic of human specific fat depots and fuel metabolism across dietary strategies. Recently, she completed the DIRECT PLUS trial (Effects of Green-MED Diet Via the Gut-fat-brain Axis (DIRECT-PLUS)), which explores the effect of green Med diet, high- polyphenols on the gut-fat-brain axis. In this trial new horizons were explored, related to Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, brain atrophy attenuation and epi-genetics. The above-mentioned clinical trials serve in global nutritional guidelines in the field of obesity, cardiology, diabetes and fatty liver diseases. Currently, Shai directs the FIT project (Follow Intervention Trials) project which aims to identify predictors & drivers determining personal health outcome, as age-related brain atrophy; as an integration of four long-term, large scale dietary clinical trials. The FIT will leverage huge omics data bank from various human specimen, MRI scans and health outcomes toward personal medicine approach.

Shai teaches and counselling in the areas of Novel Technologist in Dietary Clinical Trials and Effective Scientific Writing.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

19962002

Master, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

19931996

External positions

Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

Honorary Professor , Leipzig University

Member in the Government Health Ministry Committee for healthy Nutrition Regulations in Israel and the Israeli Cardiology Association committee for nutritional guidelines for preventive cardiology , Ministry of Health, Israel

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