Year: 2008-09

Company: Abbott Nutrition

Liaison(s): Wayne Wargo

Abbott Nutrition, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a leader in providing innovative and superior nutritional products that advance the quality of life for people of all ages. In the near future, individuals will be able to tailor their diets and health regimens to their genotypes or phenotypes. Such possibilities will be realized through nutrigenomics, the study of how genes and gene expression predetermine an individual’s response to foods, and the converse; how nutrients and metabolites affect gene expression. The goal of nutrigenomics is to predict how food components affect health by using epigenetics and system biology tools, such as genomics (DNA), transcriptomics (RNA), proteomics (proteins), and metabolomics (metabolites). This innovative area of research holds promise to change the way nutrition is viewed in human health. However, the potential market impact is poorly defined. The Abbott Nutrition TMP mission was to assess the market relative to the current state of nutrigenomics-related technologies and identify which disease states offer the greatest business potential for success. For the analysis of various nutrigenomics opportunities, the TMP utilized an evaluation matrix that the team created through conducting secondary and primary research with Abbott Nutrition internal members and key opinion leaders. As the final deliverable, the students facilitated Abbott Nutrition’s Innovation Forum, a meeting that involved the company’s top marketing and technical leaders. At the meeting, the team recommended a robust strategy to optimize the company’s immediate and long term impact on nutrigenomicsrelated technologies.