Biomedical Sciences Research Institute

Human Intervention Studies Unit

Academic Coordinator: Dr Ruth Price
Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 4101
Email: hisu@ulster.ac.uk

The Human Interventions Studies unit (HISU) is dedicated primarily to the carrying out of nutritional intervention trials on human volunteers. Studies may range from strictly-controlled residential trials - featuring a range of metabolic measurements - to non-residential trials with periodic checks.

The Unit Features:

A specially-designed residential suite with accommodation, in which up to 12 human volunteers may be accommodated for days or weeks at a time; A kitchen for preparation of duplicate meals.

The Unit’s state-of-the-art analytical facilities include:

An exercise suite with BodPod, ergometer, treadmill, ergospirometer and bone densitometer.

A gastrointestinal laboratory, with access to a Category II laboratory for blood sampling and analysis.

Support for Health Claims

There is increased awareness of the role of diet which, in addition to meeting the metabolic needs of individuals, can have beneficial physiological and psychological effects and can help reduce the risk of disease. Food manufacturers have been quick to recognize this increased awareness by consumers, and the growing list of health claims in relation to food products has, in turn, come under considerable scrutiny from international legislative bodies in recent years. One of the most important roles of the HISU is to perform rigorous scientific testing of potential health benefits associated with food products and dietary supplements. Additionally, the work of the HISU will help in the discovery of new health benefits.

Multidisciplinary Science

The HISU is located within the state-of-the-art Centre for Molecular Biosciences (CMB) of the University of Ulster, alongside NICHE’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biology facilities, where ongoing research areas include the role of diet in different types of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. This close proximity enables close collaboration and understanding between scientists across the ’spectrum’ from the laboratory bench to the human subject, enabling optimal quality in the design, execution and interpretation of diet/health-related intervention studies.