Dr. Aaron Gardner

Head of Research

Dr Aaron Gardner is a life-scientist with a strong background in genetics and medical research, and a particular interest in the developing fields of personalised medicine and nutrition.

Hi, I’m Aaron Gardner, a writer and contributor to Gene Food and its Custom Nutrition Plan with a background in genetics, human health and personalized medicine.

I’ve had a long running interest in the potential of genetic testing as a tool to alleviate disease but also improve general health and wellbeing. This is a rapidly growing field and with the advent of consumer based genetic testing the potential benefits are becoming available to ever more people.

My academic research focuses on cystic fibrosis, one of the most common and severe genetic disorders, and encompasses a range of ongoing studies at the genetic, molecular and population level. At Gene Food it is my aim to use this understanding of the influence of genetics on disease to help people better understand the role their own genes can play in modulating their health and general wellbeing, and also how we can influence their action through lifestyle and nutrition changes.

While I have long been interested in science it was only as an undergraduate at the University of York in the UK that my real interest in genetics developed. I graduated in 2007 with a BSc in Genetics, but as part of my studies I was fortunate to spend a year working in the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium laboratory based in Imperial College in London. Here my interest in personalized medicine was really developed as I could see first hand the impact that the national newborn screening program, which was rolling out at the time, could have on people’s lives.

Following on from this I undertook my graduate studies at my hometown university in Newcastle where I was awarded a Masters of Research in Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by my doctorate in immunology in 2012. Carrying on the theme of previous research I investigated the role of specific molecular pathways in disease progression including potential genetic influences that were associated with a worse prognosis.

Since completing his studies I have worked in a variety of medical research laboratories including those at Durham University and Newcastle University in the UK and Columbia University in New York. My work has concentrated on understanding the genetic modulation of various fibrotic disorders, most recently returning to focus on cystic fibrosis, and more specifically the potential of targeted personalized medicine in this disease, and the use of machine learning techniques and algorithms to assess individuals risks and outcomes.

Importantly I also want to communicate these ideas to the wider community and hope to use my understanding here at Gene Food to make science accessible, and help people better understand their genes, and their nutrition.

Dr. Aaron Gardner's Latest Articles

July 28, 2019

Omega 3 vs Omega 6 intake: what your ratio may mean for you

In some of the recent podcasts with John you’ll have heard us discussing omega-3 and omega-6 fats and how it may be the ratio of each of these fats, rather… Read More

February 27, 2019

Does Smoking Marijuana Cause Mental Illness? What Role Do Genetics Play?

Cannabis is one of the hottest health topics around right now. It’s been linked with a vast number of positive health effects such as increased appetite in cancer patients and… Read More

Paleo and saturated fat
February 8, 2019

Is the Paleo Community Right About Saturated Fat? A Look at the Evidence

This post is the third in our “Study Series,” the blog series we started to give a deep dive into the nutrition studies that are so often thrown around in… Read More

ghee vs. butter
January 18, 2019

What we can learn from an 18 country study on dietary fat

In our first Study Series post, titled What is a Good Carb? we looked at a new study that is music to the ears of the plant based community. That… Read More

Fiber and health
January 16, 2019

What are good carbs? A new study provides answers

The world of nutrition science can be a very murky place. Experts online and on podcasts routinely cite studies that all seem to conflict with one another. To help shed… Read More

ghee vs. butter
November 13, 2018

Can a Ketogenic Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? What about ApoE4?

We received a question recently from a gentleman who purchased a custom nutrition plan and wondered about the results. His diet type was assigned as Villager, which due to issues… Read More

Mold genes
June 14, 2018

The Mold Genes: What You Need to Know

The fuzzy weblike structures formed by molds are a common sight, which is not surprising given that the number of identified mold species number in the thousands, with likely millions… Read More

B12, B6, B9
May 3, 2018

B Vitamin Supplements and Cancer risk: How to Make Smart Decisions

You might have come across some articles discussing an association between B vitamins and an increased cancer risk. Given how fundamental B vitamins are to some of our major focus… Read More

Vegan diet nutrient deficiency
March 22, 2018

The Vegan Guide to Dietary Supplements: B12, Iron and More

Attracted to its low environmental impact and potential health benefits, more and more people are beginning to follow a vegan diet and lifestyle. Just a few months ago, John experimented… Read More

platelet and white blood cell count on a plant based diet
January 2, 2018

What is CRISPR-Cas9? An introduction in genome editing

CRISPR-Cas9 is one of the hottest topics in molecular biology (see this Nature special), and with recent advances is starting to gain attention in the mainstream media; see NYT, Guardian,… Read More

Best DNA Test
December 30, 2017

Finding the Best DNA Test: Should I Genotype or Sequence?

If you’ve arrived here you’re probably somewhat aware of the various consumer genotyping kits available for people wanting to check their ancestry and more recently (at least in an official… Read More

December 12, 2017

TMAO and Heart Disease: what we know (and what we don’t)

In a previous post (and several others) John covered the ongoing debate about dietary cholesterol, with a particular focus on eggs. As part of that post he introduces the molecule… Read More

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