Julia DeBenedictis (J.N.)

In October 2018, Julia began working as a PhD candidate in the Toxicogenomics department of Maastricht University. She is conducting a human dietary intervention study (CombiChem - MiBlend Study) that investigates the synergistic effects of a combination of fruits and vegetables on human health. Health effects will be evaluated on the level of phenotypic markers of disease risk, in combination with whole genome gene expression analyses taking into account genetic variability between subjects. This research will provide more insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms by which different combinations of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables exert their chemopreventative effects. In addition, the results of this study will provide more insight into what is the optimal combination of phytochemicals to protect the body against oxidative stress and DNA damage (which occur in diseases like cancer, diabetes type II mellitus, cardiovascular disease, etc.). Finally, it will explain why subjects respond differently to different dietary interventions and will identify a genotypic subgroup which benefits more from a particular composition. This information can be utilized to progress the field of personalized disease prevention strategies.