University of Bridgeport to open 'Center of Excellence'

Posted: February 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

BRIDGEPORT -- Every person is unique. Thus, it follows that no two people will respond the same exact way to the same illness, the same medication or even the same food.

At least, that's the theory behind much of what's taught at the University of Bridgeport's College of Naturopathic Medicine, where students are trained in providing a more personalized kind of medical care. "Rather than (advocating) the practice of `Everyone with this disease gets this drug,' we focus on treating the individual," said Dr. David M. Brady, UB vice provost for health sciences.

The college will soon be able to expand its training and provide more naturopathic health services to the greater Bridgeport community with the development of its new Center for Excellence in Generative Medicine, which is slated to open in late March or early April. The center will be located in a grand, white former Victorian across the street from UB's Health Sciences Center, where many naturopathic students are currently trained.

The Center for Excellence will build on the work of its new director, Dr. Peter D'Adamo, supervising physician of the personalized medicine shift at the Health Sciences Center. D'Adamo is perhaps best known for writing the best-selling 1996 book "Eat Right 4 Your Type," which advocates the theory that your blood type is a genetic marker that dictates which types of foods are best for you.

As a doctor, he's designed a software program, called SWAMI, that uses various pieces of genetic information about a patient to determine which foods are most beneficial for him or her. "How does one person thrive on a low-fat diet and one person thrive on a low-carb diet?" D'Adamo said. "The truth is, there are probably as many different kinds of diets as there are people."

The SWAMI software is used as part of the naturopathic college's curriculum. He's also working on a form of software that uses genetic information and other data to determine the best medical therapies for an individual patient.

D'Adamo said, too often, physicians overlook things like genetic markers and nutrition when determining the best way to treat a patient. Among its many missions, the Center of Excellence will sponsor research in the fields of nutrigenomics and epigenetics, which examine how human genes interact and are affected by the environment, lifestyle and diet.

Brady and D'Adamo said the new center is in keeping with the university's commitment to both education and to serving the community. The university's health programs -- which include not just the naturopathic college, but also schools of acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, dental hygiene, human nutrition and a physician assistant school -- conduct about 20,000 patient visits a year and provide several million dollars worth of medical care. The care is provided at a low cost or no cost.

"The nice thing about this is we're offering a high level of health care to the medically underserved," Adamo said.

Many of UB's naturopathic students are looking forward to the opening of the new center, including Kristin Tomko, a fourth-year naturopathic medicine student from Jericho, Vt. "I think it's a great idea," she said.; 203-330-6290;;

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University of Bridgeport to open 'Center of Excellence'

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