Academic Units

Human Nutrition Unit

The Human Nutrition Unit seeks to generate scientific knowledge of the highest quality, train advanced human capital of excellence, and actively contribute to the transfer of knowledge in nutrition and food through research, postgraduate teaching, clinical activity and technical assistance. 

We are organized into laboratories that carry out inter and transdisciplinary research. A wide range of subjects converge in them, ranging from cellular and molecular biology to social sciences, through clinical genetics, endocrinology, and nutrition, among others.

We carry out basic, clinical and epidemiological research on metabolic and genetic diseases, celiac disease and food intolerances, sleep neurobiology, critical nutrients, obesity and cardiometabolic diseases (metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, etc.), aging, and physical activity. 

At the postgraduate level, we participate in the Nutrition and Food (MNA) and in Aging and Quality of Life (MECV), Master Degree programs. In addition, in the Doctorate in Nutrition and Food program, as well as in different diplomas and specialization courses, inside and outside the University of Chile.

Our academics are also part of different national and international scientific societies, editorial committees of scientific journals, study groups in agencies that finance research, and ministerial commissions.

The UNH links with the community through clinical activity and technical assistance, and also through university extension and the dissemination of science.

Public Nutrition Unit

The Public Nutrition Unit is responsible for facing public health problems from the perspective of Nutrition and Food Environments.

Chile and the world face the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases related to nutrition, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. All this in the context of a rapid aging of the population, making it more susceptible to diseases associated with diet and sedentary lifestyle.

To meet these challenges, the Unit investigates these issues from different points of view and covers the entire life course. The main research topics are:

  • Obesity Prevention in kindergartens and schools, including implementation design and evaluation of interventions.
  • Cardiometabolic risk and malnutrition due to excess, physical condition and body composition, early psychosocial adversity associated with cardio-metabolic risk, and social, biological and psychological aspects of obesity.
  • Longevity, functionality and quality of life in older people and the impact on society
  • Impact of food environments on health, including food contamination and safety.

In the area of instruction, the Unit collaborates with the Nutrition and Food Doctorate program, the Master in Aging and Quality of Life, and the Master in Nutrition and Food program. In addition, the unit coordinates 11 postgraduate degrees dictated at INTA.

In terms of extension and community engagement, the Unit represents INTA in Ministerial Commissions and before Government organisms in charge of elaborating and evaluating policies and programs related to adequate nutrition and health of the population.

Food Unit

The Food Unit brings together academics who have a scientific interest in different aspects of food, and its contribution to nutrition and human health. The unit's academics actively participate in research, postgraduate teaching, extension, and technical assistance. 

The unit has an important collaboration network with researchers from public and private entities at national and international level. Among these collaborations we can emphasize   networks with Spain, Brazil, the United Kingdom, to mention a few. 

Basic Nutrition Unit

The Basic Nutrition Unit is composed of a group of 11 academics who work on various lines of research focused on generating knowledge about cellular and molecular bases of processes that are associated with nutrition and productive systems.

The research carried out in this Unit has diverse backgrounds. Study, for example, at the genomic and bioinformatic level, the mechanisms of the host-pathogen relationship, fundamental to understand the impact of diet and the role of microorganisms in the body. Also carries out research analyzing the genome of different species of fruit trees of commercial importance for our country, Chile (cherry, plum and peach), and their relationship with fruit traits. Furthermore, through the use of different techniques, both in vivo and in vitro, the unit contributes to a better understanding of how the metabolic responses of cells are associated with diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

The multidisciplinary work of this Unit has allowed the implementation of several types of projects, basic and applied research, and provides a development space for the training of new students and projects, as well as allowing participation in various internal and external academic programs.