World Renown Expert on Blueberries Leads Plants for Human Health Institute

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Plants for Human Health Institute director is an international authority on blueberries

Dr. Mary Ann Lila and blueberries

Dr. Mary Ann Lila, Plants for Human Health Institute director, researches the health benefits of blueberries at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

Dr. Mary Ann Lila, director of N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, will reveal research findings on berries and their impact on human health during the Berry Health Benefits Symposium on June 27 in Westlake Village, Calif.

Dr. Mary Ann Lila, Plants for Human Health Institute director, researches the health benefits of blueberries at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

Lila, a world-renowned blueberry expert, will present “The Berry’s Enigma” at the nation’s largest gathering of berry researchers.

“Although research has demonstrated significant links between berries and human health benefits, the actual bioactive compounds in the berries and how they protect human health have remained largely enigmatic,” says Lila.

Currently, Lila’s research at the Plants for Human Health Institute is aimed at identifying bioactive compounds – and understanding how they work – in fruits, like blueberries, that confer human health benefits. She is particularly interested in compounds that could counteract chronic disease and promote endurance. Lila recently appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to discuss cancer-fighting compounds found in berries and muscadine grapes. (Watch the segments.)

The Berry Health Benefits Symposium is an international conference dedicated to exploring the latest scientific research related to berries and human health. The event will showcase the latest research in cancer prevention, heart health, brain aging and metabolism.

The Berry Health Benefits Symposium is presented by the National Berry Crops Initiative, an organization that promotes the growth of berry crop production in the United States. It is sponsored by every major berry organization in the country. In addition to Lila, more than 20 renowned scientists from around the world will present their most recent work related to berries and human health. Visit www.berryhealth.org for more conference details.

The N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute is part of the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis. Among its berry research efforts is the sequencing of the blueberry genome. The campus is a public-private venture including eight universities, the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) and corporate entities that collaborate to advance the fields of nutrition and health.

North Carolina grows about 8,000 acres of berries, like blackberries, blueberries, dewberries, raspberries and strawberries. The berries bring more than $90 million into the state’s economy each year. Nationally, North Carolina ranks fourth in production of strawberries and sixth for blueberry production. The Berry Health Benefits Symposium will focus on the fruit’s value to human health.

Berry Health Benefits Symposium

Writer: Justin Moore

Written By

Photo of Justin Moore, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionJustin MooreDirector of Marketing and Communications, NC State Extension (919) 515-1596 justin_moore@ncsu.eduExtension Administration
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Sep 28, 2018
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