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Rutgers Dedicates New Food, Nutrition and Health Institute

Rutgers University today dedicated the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH), a university-wide hub for interdisciplinary research whose mission is to make New Jersey the “Healthy State” and a model for the nation.

The nearly 80,000-square-foot facility on the George H. Cook campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick, is supported by a $10 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $10 million from an anonymous donor and $35 million from the state’s Building Our Future Bond Act of 2012.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; Rutgers President Robert Barchi; Chancellor Richard L. Edwards; Executive Dean Robert Goodman, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; institute Director Peter Gillies; and Robin Mockenhaupt, chief of staff, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, participated in the ceremony.

“The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health has a bright future ahead of it,” said Guadagno. “Today’s dedication of the institute’s new home is but the beginning. Now the real work begins, educating the health and nutrition professionals of tomorrow to make New Jersey a healthier and happier place.”

The institute offers nearly 40,000 square feet of research space and approximately 30,000 square feet of community space to facilitate communication and cooperation among scholars who pursue interdisciplinary research; policymakers who apply research to real-world problems associated with food and health; and parents, their children and students whose lives can benefit from wellness programs and health and education activities.

“This institute is another example of how Rutgers brings together faculty, staff and students from across the university to demonstrate our extraordinary expertise in the fields of nutrition and health and share it with the people of New Jersey and beyond,” President Barchi said.

Added institute Director Peter Gillies, “I’m very proud of what we’ve built. The institute is an amazing resource not only for the university but for the broader New Jersey community. The basic research and community outreach of the institute will help build a culture of health in the state.”

The IFNH is the home of several specialized centers, including the Center for Lipid Research, the Center for Childhood Nutrition Education and Research, and the Center for Health and Human Performance.

The institute also houses the Cook/Douglass Student Health Clinic, which includes a telepharmacy, professional nutrition counseling services and clinical research space. There is a 145-seat seminar room available for use by both the university and the community, and a healthy eating courtyard.

The building features a modular, shared-space laboratory that can accommodate six to eight research groups and includes technical support for the Center for Digestive Health. In addition, there are open offices and designer workstations for 100 faculty, staff and students; a boardroom; and a high-tech, 45-seat video conferencing facility.

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