Iris Shai

Boston, USA & Israel

Iris Shai

Biography

Iris Shai, RD, Ph.D., is a Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at BGU in nutrition, aging, and chronic diseases, an Adjunct Professor at Harvard University & Honorary Professor at Leipzig University, Germany. Shai is the Chair of the International Center of Health Innovation& Nutrition, Chair of the Cathedra of Epidemiology named by Dr. Herman Kessel, former BGU President’s deputy on the advancement of women in academia, and a member of the Government Health Ministry Committee for Healthy Nutrition Regulations in Israel. Her focuses are obesity, diabetes, aging, cognition, epigenetics, microbiome, and cardiometabolic risk while performing long-term, large-scale comprehensive dietary randomized controlled trials (RCTs), in accordance with drug trial standards and long-term cohorts at Ben Gurion University (BGU) of Negev, Israel. Following her fellowship, awarded with Fulbright, in Harvard School of Public Health, where she focused on traditional and non-traditional biomarkers for CVD,  she led, with her international research team, the  2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) and 4-year follow-up (A Dietary Intervention- Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) Study), comparing the effects of dietary strategies on cardiometabolic risk and plaque regression. In her next trial, CASCADE (The CArdiovasCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol (CASCADE) Trial), she addressed the 2-year effect of moderate alcohol in type 2 diabetes and her recent whole-body MRI trial, CENTRAL (Diet and Body Composition (CENTRAL)), focused on dynamic of human-specific fat depots and fuel metabolism across dietary strategies. Recently, she completed the DIRECT PLUS trial (Effects of Green-MED Diet Via the Gut-fat-brain Axis (DIRECT-PLUS)), which explores the effect of green Med diet and high- polyphenols on the gut-fat-brain axis. In this trial, new horizons were explored related to Autologous Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, brain atrophy attenuation, and epigenetics. The above-mentioned clinical trials serve in global nutritional guidelines in obesity, cardiology, diabetes, and fatty liver diseases. Currently, Shai directs the Follow Intervention Trials (FIT) project, which aims to identify predictors & and drivers determining personal health outcomes, such as age-related brain atrophy; utilizing an AI integration of four long-term, large-scale dietary clinical trials.  Shai teaches and counsels in Germany and the US in the areas of Novel Technologists in Dietary Clinical Trials and Effective Scientific Writing courses.

Affiliations

Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at BGU in nutrition, aging, and chronic diseases.
Adjunct Professor at Harvard University & Honorary Professor at Leipzig University, Germany.
Chair of the International Center of Health Innovation& Nutrition.
Chair of the Cathedra of Epidemiology named by Dr. Herman Kessel.
Member of the Government Health Ministry Committee for Healthy Nutrition Regulations in Israel.

Area of expertise

Obesity, diabetes, aging, cognition, epigenetics, microbiome, and cardiometabolic risk.