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Manchester to add master’s degree in nutrition with DNA twist

Manchester University is moving ahead with plans to launch a Master of Science in Nutrition and Nutrigenomics (MSNGx), President Dave McFadden announced today.

Nutrigenomics studies the relationship between a person’s DNA, nutrition and health.

“MU is building on its track record as the first university in the nation to offer a master’s degree in pharmacogenomics,” McFadden said. “We’re combining what we already know in one area – the study of DNA and medication – to offer a unique opportunity in nutrition.”

Teri BeamThe timeline to offer the program will depend on hiring faculty and receiving accreditation approval from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and the Higher Learning Commission.

“To our knowledge, the MSNGx program would be the first of its kind in the country,” said Teresa Beam, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department chair and professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics at the MU Fort Wayne campus.

“Manchester University will train the nutritionist of the future,” she said.

The Board of Trustees last weekend approved the program. It is divided into two phases: Three years of undergraduate study at the North Manchester campus and two years of professional study at the Fort Wayne campus. This “3+2” approach would allow Manchester to offer a standalone master’s degree to those who already have a bachelor’s degree in a related science.

Jeff BeerThe undergraduate phase will be under the direction of Jeff Beer, who has a similar role with MU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training Program. He is an associate professor of exercise science and athletic training. He was an early champion of developing nutrition undergraduate and master’s degree programs at Manchester, and he laid the groundwork for this program.

Beam will lead the graduate-level phase at MU’s Fort Wayne hub for graduate and professional health science learning, and her expertise on the genomics side is key to pulling both elements into one program.

Students completing the MSNGx program will be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration national credentialing examination for certification as a registered dietitian nutritionist.

“The MSNGx academic foundation is built upon accreditation-mandated nutrition competencies and then enhanced through inclusion of advanced nutrigenomics (NGx) training,” Beam said. “NGx integrates genomic science with nutrition – using an individual’s DNA – to improve their health or athletic performance.”

“I cannot thank Teri and Jeff enough for getting us to this point,” McFadden said.

Manchester is working to launch a number of programs in the health sciences that will help the northeast Indiana school advance its mission to “graduate persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.”

For the media

  •  Contact and bio information for Teresa “Teri” Beam
  • Contact and bio information for Jeff Beer

  • Sculpture information: The Fort Wayne campus and the Science Center at the North Manchester campus each feature a soaring sculpture by Kenneth von Roenn, designed as a unifying element.

About Manchester
With campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., Manchester University offers more than 70 areas of academic study to 1,400 students in undergraduate programs,a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Science in pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

October 2019