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Arnold School of Public Health


Nitin Shivappa brings the dietary inflammatory index to France through a Travel Fellowship

July 9, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

After receiving a Travel Fellowship award from the European Association for Cancer Research, Nitin Shivappa spent half of June in France furthering the Cancer Prevention and Control Program’s (CPCP) work on the dietary inflammatory index (DII). A researcher with CPCP since 2010, Shivappa is also a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health. He earned a Medical Degree at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in India and a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology from the Arnold School.

Led by Director James R. Hébert, Health Sciences Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology, CPCP researchers have spent the last decade turning the abstract idea of a dietary inflammatory index into a concrete approach to reducing health risk factors related to chronic inflammation. At the request of practitioners, they are even converting the index into a set of clinical tools for managing patient care. Shivappa is also involved in the day-to-day operations of this project, which will be conducted at Hébert’s 2013 start-up, Connecting Health Innovations (CHI) LLC, with funding from the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases.

While based at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, Shivappa and Hébert shared their team’s scientific journey related to their dietary inflammatory work with IARC members (see video). During his trip, Shivappa also calculated the index and performed data analyses for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which is largest human study in the world, and the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition and Adolescence studies.

“We have definitely initiated a long-lasting collaboration with IARC by including dietary inflammatory index in the EPIC cohort,” Shivappa says. “Through this partnership, we plan to publish several manuscripts and also write grant applications that can benefit both USC and IARC—not to mention public health on a global scale.”