Division of Nutritional Sciences

Training in Human Nutrition - Soy and Human Health



Funding Agency

USDA National Needs


  • Sharon M. Donovan, Professor, Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Paul S. Cooke, Professor, Dept of Veterinary Biosciences
  • Elvira de Mejia, Associate Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • John W. Erdman, Jr., Professor, Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Ellen M. Evans, Assistant Professor, Dept of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • William G. Helferich, Professor, Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Elizabeth H. Jeffrey, Professor, Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition

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Interest in the physiological roles of dietary bioactive components among consumers, physicians and researchers has increased dramatically. Clinical, experimental and epidemiological data provide evidence for health benefits of soy, including protection against cardiovascular disease, cancer and bone loss. However, data do not support unequivocally beneficial effects of soy isoflavones and further research is needed to establish safe and efficacious levels of consumption. The focus of this grant is to train doctoral candidates in Human Nutrition with a focus on delineating the role of Soy and Human Health. The University of Illinois has a remarkable strength in multidisciplinary research centered on soy and many of the contributions to our understanding of soy and cardiovascular and bone health came from research conducted at the University of Illinois.

Research training encompassed health and disease from infancy to aging and investigated the impact of soy components on tissues and organ systems, with applications to obesity, cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.