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Research interests

Iris Shai

Professor of Nutrition & Epidemiology,

Dep. of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences – BGU.

https://in.bgu.ac.il/fohs/publichealth_department/Pages/default.aspx

 Adjunct Professor, Dep. of Nutrition- Harvard T.H Chan School of of Public Health

 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/iris-shai/

Honorary Professor, Dep. of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Germany|

 https://cris.bgu.ac.il/en/prizes/honorary-professor-in-leipzig-university-germany-chair-of-the-int

Chair of The Health and Nutrition Innovative International Research Center

https://in.bgu.ac.il/en/fohs/Health_Nutrition/Pages/default.aspx

home profile :https://cris.bgu.ac.il/en/persons/iris-shai-   4 

Email: irish@bgu.ac.il  office : shaiilaboffice@gmail.com Tel: +972-8-647-7449/3 Mobile:+972-52-5793040

Iris Shai, RD, PhD, is a Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at BGU in the field of nutrition and chronic diseases, Adjunct Professor, Dep of Nutrition, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/iris-shai/ , Honorary Professor in Leipzig University, Germany, chair of the International center of Health Innovation& Nutrition, chair of the Cathedra of Epidemiology named by Dr. Herman Kessel, and a 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 . Her focuses are obesity, diabetes 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, specifically fortified with enriched polyphenols aquatic plant, on the gut-fat-brain axis. In this trial new horizons were explored, related to Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and brain atrophy attenuation. The above-mentioned clinical trials serve in global nutritional guidelines in the field of obesity, cardiology, diabetes and fatty liver diseases.

Current H-index = 52 (i10-index = 96)

Total citations = 13,118

Competitive grant awarded in the past 4 years: DFG (2), NIH (4), ISF, Ministry of Science

Number of PHD student completed in the past 4 years: 5

 

Key publications: 

  • Normal fasting plasma glucose levels and type 2 diabetes in young men.   N Engl J Med 2005
  • Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet. N Engl J Med 2008
  • Adolescent BMI Trajectory and Risk of Diabetes versus Coronary Disease. N Engl J Med 2011
  • Four-year follow-up after two-year dietary interventions.  N Engl J Med 2012
  • Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med2015
  • Effect of distinct lifestyle interventions on mobilization of fat storage pools: the CENTRAL MRI Randomized Controlled Trial. Circulation2018
  • The beneficial effects of Mediterranean diet over low-fat diet may be mediated by decreasing hepatic fat content. Journal of Hepatology 2019
  • Visceral and ectopic fat, atherosclerosis, and cardiometabolic disease: a position statement. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol2019
  • Waist circumference as a vital sign in clinical practice: a Consensus Statement from the IAS and ICCR Working Group on Visceral Obesity. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2020
  • Effects of Diet-Modulated Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Weight Regain. Gastroenterology2020
  • DNA methylation signature in blood mirrors successful weight-loss during lifestyle interventions: the CENTRAL trial. Genome Med. 2020
  • The effect of green Mediterranean diet on intrahepatic fat; The DIRECT PLUS randomized controlled trial. Gut 2021
  • The gut microbiome modulates the protective association between a Mediterranean diet and cardiometabolic disease risk. Nature Med. 2021

External positions

Dr. Herman Kessel Chair in Epidemiology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Adjunct Professor, Dep of Nutrition, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health , Harvard 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 , Health Ministry Committee for healthy Nutrition Regulations in Israel

Honorary Professor , Leipzig University

Chair of the Health & Nutrition International Research Center, The Health and Nutrition Innovative International Research Center

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