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Grant Abstract: Computer Based Nutrition Curriculum

Grant Number: 2R25CA065474-04A1
PI Name: Steven Zeisel
Project Title: Computer Based Nutrition Curriculum

Abstract: A major aim of the Cancer Education Grant Program of the National Cancer Institute is the development of unique educational approaches that teach preventive nutrition and will have an impact on reducing cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity. With funding provided, in part, by an R25 grant from the NCI, we designed, implemented and have begun to evaluate the first three (of nine) computer programs which focus on the role or nutrition in the etiology and prevention of diseases including cancer. These first computer programs have been requested by more than 100 medical schools and by schools in several other countries. This curriculum has received excellent reviews from nutrition scientists and from medical nutrition societies. We now ask for continued funding to: 1) complete the series of nine modules of a national core curriculum in nutrition/prevention for medical students including inclusion of cancer content in all modules; the modules present preventive and therapeutic perspectives and contents will cover the biochemical basis of nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, clinical nutrition and nutrition assessment, and nutritionally related preventive health care in relation to cancer and other chronic diseases. We will refine the program on Nutrition and Cancer by updating information, adding key concepts and making improvements requested by medical schools. As we develop programs on Diet, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease, Aberrations in Glucose Metabolism: Diabetes and Weight Control, Nutrition and Pregnancy, Nutrition and Growth, Nutrition for the Second Half of Life there will be opportunities to present cancer-related content and to emphasize prevention and epidemiology aspects. When we return to Nutritional Anemias, and Nutrition and Stress to update them, your funding will make it possible to add cancer appropriate content. Finally, since our last proposal we have committed to developing the Nutrition Supplements and Fortified Foods program in Spring 2000. This program will provide the medical student with the knowledge and skills needed to determine how use of supplements and fortified foods should be handled in their medical practice. Approximately half of this module will focus on cancer-related information. 2) implement the curriculum at UNC and transfer it to US medical schools and provide sustained technical and content update support. 3) provide Wide World Web support for the use of these modules in teaching medical students; Web based instructions, updates and intellectual exchange forums will be developed to help students and instructors who are using the modules. A web based examination system will be implemented which will enable instructors to draw from a pool of exam questions or construct their own and use them to test student's acquisition of knowledge from the nutrition curriculum. 4) evaluate the impact of these curricular innovations on physicians-in-training in terms of exposure, knowledge attitudes, and practices.

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