Golden Rice Project

Golden Rice Humanitarian Board

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Humanitarian Board Member Prof Robert Russell

Director, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Tufts University, Boston MA, USA

Chair, Panel on Micronutrients

His research focus is on retinoids, carotenoids, aging, and gastrointestinal function.

Rob Russell

Rob's input is crucial for the scientists working on the engineering of the carotenoid pathway; he and his team set the standards for daily vitamin requirements and bioavailability of beta-carotene in foodstuff. Technically it is now possible to store beta-carotene in excess in rice grains, but ultimately production will be adjusted to fit the recommended standards.

Dr Russell has studied the ageing effects on gastrointestinal digestion and absorption. He researched the problem of atrophic gastritis in the elderly and its nutritional consequences: particularly with regard to folate absorption, vitamin B12 absorption and carotene digestion absorption and conversion to vitamin A. Dr Russell has investigated the effects of bacterial overgrowth in the elderly with atrophic gastritis and developed experimental models in which to test the effects of probiotics and pre-biotics. He also showed that gastrointestinal absorption of fat continues to be highly efficient even in late life in the human. Dr Russell’s highest impact has probably been in the area of examining nutritional requirements of the elderly. Indeed, his work has led in large part to the estimations of the average requirements (on which the RDAs are based) for vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.

Among other Rob is editor of the journal Nutrition Reviews and Vice-Chair of the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine.

Selected publications:

Ribaya-Mercado JD, Solon FS, Fermin LS, Perfecto CS, Solon JAA, Dolnikowski GG, Russell RM (2004) Dietary vitamin A intakes of Filipino elders with adequate or low liver vitamin A stores as assessed by the deuterated-retinol-dilution method: implications for dietary requirements. Am J Clin Nutr 29:633-641.

Tang G, Qin J, Dolnikowski GG and Russell RM (2003) Short-term (intestinal) and long-term (whole-body) conversion of beta-carotene-vitamin A in adults using a stable isotope reference method. Am J Clin Nutr 78:259-266.

Yeum K-J, Aldini G, Chung H-Y, Krinsky NI, Russell RM (2003) The activities of antioxidant nutrients in the aqueous and lipid compartments of human plasma depend on the localization of attacking radical species. J Nutr 133:2688-2691.

Chung J-Y, Liu C, Smith DE, Seitz HK, Russell RM, Wang X-D (2001) Restoration of retinoic acid concentration suppresses ethanol-induced c-Jun overexpression and hepatocyte hyperproliferation in rat liver. Carcinogenesis 22:1213-1219.

Liu C, Wang X-D, Bronson RD, Smith DE, Krinsky NI, Russell RM (2000) Effects of physiological vs pharmacological beta- carotene supplementation on cell proliferation and histopathological changes in the lungs of cigarette smoke-exposed ferrets. Carcinogenesis 21:2245-2253.

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