Friday, October 16, 2020

Pet Food Health & Nutrition: A spotlight on Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum session chair Elaine Krul, Ph.D.

Dr. Elaine Krul is the session chair for "Relationship between Canine Diets & Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – Pet Food Health & Nutrition," the penultimate session of this year's Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum.  

Session description

DCM has become a polarizing issue in the pet food industry since the FDA first announced a possible link between certain pet food diets and DCM in July 2018. Additional research since the first FDA report has included research which showed that dietary-associated DCM may occur with some grain-free diets, but that the cause is likely multifactorial, resulting from a combination of dietary, metabolic, and genetic factors. A cause-and-effect relationship between DCM and grain-free diets has not been proven to date, however, there is much concern and debate among pet food formulators, veterinarians, and pet owners. This session is intended to inform AOCS and meeting attendees on the latest developments in this research area and stimulate ideas for any needed further research.

You can still register for the Forum to view this session's live stream. 

Meet Dr. Krul

A brief biography:

Elaine Krul has over 35 years of research experience in both academia and industry and is President and founder of EKSci, LLC, providing consulting services in nutrition and pharmaceutical sciences. Elaine retired from DuPont Nutrition and Health where she was a Senior Technical Fellow, leading preclinical and clinical research focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms of how food ingredients exert their nutritional and health benefits and providing scientific substantiation for health claims and regulatory documents.  Prior to joining Solae, Elaine led project teams at Pfizer developing high throughput screening assays and novel animal models to identify drug candidates and novel bioactivities of existing drugs. Elaine also led various projects at the Nutrition Sector at Monsanto, applying high-throughput cell-based screens to identify novel bioactivities in compounds isolated from a wide variety of foods that were collected from global sources and compiled into a novel food library.  Elaine has served on an Expert Panel in Nutrition for the WHO/FAO, is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and is an adjunct Research Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis where she conducted research for 12 years on the genetics and molecular aspects contributing to cardiovascular disease risk. Elaine received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry with honours from McGill University, Montreal, Canada.                                

1) Why did you decide to get involved with the Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum?

My research at Solae/DuPont Nutrition and Health focused on soy protein – understanding how soy protein confers health benefits as well as the analytic issues of plant protein measurement and quality. This experience is very relevant to issues with plant protein in general and is of interest to me, which is why I became involved with the Forum.

2) How does your work intersect with the session, you are chairing?

My interest in and experience with cardiovascular disease research and plant protein nutrition converge in the session on possible diet-related factors that may contribute to Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs.

3) Have you attended a Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum before? If so, what have you enjoyed about previous forums? If this is your first forum, what are you most looking forward to?

I attended the first Plant Protein Science and Technology Forum in Toronto in 2019. I enjoyed meeting researchers all focused on expanding research around plant proteins as this becomes a more important source of sustainable protein for consumers going forward.

4) If you had one piece of advice for speakers submitting their abstract for review, what would it be?

Decide what your topline message(s) will be and make sure the data presented is clear and supports the message(s).

 The Relationship between Canine Diets & Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – Pet Food Health & Nutrition is scheduled for October 20. Find out more about the full technical program.

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