Floyd "Ski" Chilton, PhD

Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Associate Director, The BIO5 Institute

Director, The Precision Wellness Initiative

EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

  • Post Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • B.S., Biology and Chemistry, The Western Carolina University

RESEARCH & INTERESTS

Dr. Chilton is passionate about providing solutions to overcome physical and emotional suffering so that people can live better, more joyful lives. He is a successful innovator in a wide range of areas including an academic professor (with over 140 scientific publications), an entrepreneur (starting several companies and one non-profit organization), and an inventor (holding over 25 patents). Dr. Chilton is widely recognized in academia and industry for his work on nutrition in the context of variation in the human genome and has been a pioneer in the areas of personalized or precision nutrition and wellness. Dr. Chilton has over 30 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Specifically, Dr. Chilton’s work examines how genetic and epigenetic variations interact with human diets (especially the modern Western diet) to drive inflammation and inflammatory disorders (including cardiovascular disease and cancer), as well as psychiatric/developmental disorders (ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and depression). These precision-, individualized- and population-based research approaches provide a wide range of opportunities to benefit humans that include: 1) providing a long-sought pathogenetic mechanism that underscores the different biologic behavior of inflammatory diseases in different racial/ethnic populations; 2) discovering new biomarkers of disease aggressiveness for early diagnostic and therapeutic intervention; 3) revealing new therapeutic strategies to affect disease aggressiveness using precision gene-based dietary, wellness and/or pharmacologic interventions; and 4) creating therapeutic foods and supplements that optimize immune system and brain development for different populations around the world. Dr. Chilton has won numerous awards for this work, including the Alumni Achievement Award at Western Carolina University, the Denham Harmon Outstanding Research Achievement Award from the American College for Advancement of Medicine and the 2016 Established Investigator Award at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

In addition to his research, Dr. Chilton has also had the opportunity to touch hundreds of thousands of lives as an author of five lay books focused on nutrition, diet, and physical and mental health. These books include Inflammation Nation (Simon and Schuster), Win the War Within (Rodale), The Gene Smart Diet (Rodale) and Made to Crave Action Plan (Zondervan). His most recent book, The Rewired Brain addresses the issue of the unconscious mind, its capacity to negatively impact our lives, and how thought patterns induce genetic (epigenetic) changes that alter brain circuitry. This gives humans the capacity to rewire and change their minds and thus their lives.

PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • Chilton FH. Inflammation Nation. Simon and Schuster (Fireside). New York, NY, 2005.
  • Chilton FH. Win the War Within. Rodale. New York, NY, 2006
  • Chilton FH. The Gene Smart Diet. Rodale. New York, NY, 2009
  • Terkeurst L and Chilton FH.  Make to Crave Action Plan. Zondervan/Harper Collins. Grand Rapids, MI, 2012
  • Chilton FH. The Rewired Brain. Baker Books. Grand Rapids MI, 2016

Magazine Articles and Blog Posts

  • Chilton FH. Help, I Can’t Stop Eating, Natural Triad. November, 2008
  • Chilton FH. Help, I Can’t Stop Eating! US Airways Magazine. June, 2009
  • Chilton F. Ski. The Neuropsychological Impact of Fear-Based Politics: What Happens to Your Brain during an Election Year? Psychology Today. June, 2016
  • Chilton Ski. I Just Don’t Want to be Lonely. ASBMB Today. October, 2016

Recent Publications (selected from over 140 publications)

  • Wang M, Chen H, Ailati A, Chen W, Chilton FH, Lowther TW, and Chen YQ. Substrate specificity and membrane topologies of the iron-containing ω3 and ω6 desaturases from Mortierella alpina. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol Jan;102(1):211-223. doi: 10.1007/s00253-017-8585-x. PMID:29082420, 2018.
  • Reynolds LM, Howard TD, Ruczinski I, Kanchan K, Seeds MC, Mathias R, Chilton FH. Tissue-Specific Impact of FADS Cluster Variants on FADS1 and FADS2 Gene Expression. PLoS One 13 (3): e0194610. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194610, 2018.
  • Rahbar E, Waits CMK., Kirby Jr EH, Miller LR, Ainsworth HC, Cui T, Sergeant S, Howard TD, Langefeld CD, and Chilton FH. Allele-specific methylation in the FADS genomic region in DNA from human saliva, CD4+ cells and total leukocytes. Clin Epigenetics  Apr 6. doi:  10.1186/s13148-018-0480-5, 2018. Rahbar E, Howard TD, Ruczinski I, Mathias R, Seeds MC, Sergeant S, Langefeld CD, and Chilton FH.  Uncovering the Dynamic DNA Methylation Landscape in Key Regulatory Regions within the FADS Cluster. PLoS One Sep 28;12(9):e0180903, 2017.
  • Chilton FH, Dutta R, Reynolds LM, Sergeant S, Mathias RA, and Seeds MC. Precision Nutrition and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Case for Personalized Supplementation Approaches for the Prevention and Management of Human Diseases. Nutrients Oct 25;9(11). pii: E1165. doi: 10.3390/nu9111165, 2017..
  • Sergeant S, Ruczinski I, Ivester P, Lee TC, Morgan T, Nicklas BJ, Mathias RA, Chilton FH. Impact of methods used to express levels of circulating fatty acids on the degree and direction of associations with blood lipids in humans. Brit J Nutr. 115(2):251-61, 2016.
  • Miller LR, Jorgensen MJ, Kaplan JR, Seeds MC,  Rahbar E, Morgan TM,  Welborn  A, Chilton SM, Gillis J, Hester A, Rukstalis M, and Sergeant S,  Chilton FH. Alterations in levels and ratios of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the temporal cortex and liver of vervet monkeys from birth to early adulthood. Physiol Behav 156:71-78, 2016
  • Sergeant S, Rahbar E, and Chilton FH. Gamma-linolenic acid, Dihommo-gamma linolenic acid, Eicosanoids and Inflammatory Processes. Eur J  Pharmacol 785:77-86, 2016.
  • Cui T, Hester AG, Seeds MC, Rahbar E, Howard TD, Sergeant S, Chilton FH. Impact of Genetic and Epigenetic Variations Within the FADS Cluster on the Composition and Metabolism of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prostate Cancer. Prostate 76(13):1182-91, 2016. 
  • Mathias RA, Seeds MC, Pani V, Sergeant S, Chilton FH. Genetic variants in the FADS gene:  implications for dietary recommendations for fatty acid intake. Curr Nutr Rep Jun;3(2):139-148, 2014.
  • Chilton FH, Murphy RC, Wilson BA, Sergeant S, Ainsworth H, Seeds MC and Mathias RA. Diet-gene interactions and PUFA metabolism: a potential contributor to health disparities and human diseases. Nutrients. 6(5):1993-2022, 2014.
  • Howard TD, Mathias RA, Seeds MC, Herrington DM, Hixson JE, Shimmin LC, Hawkins GA, Sellers M, Ainsworth HC, Sergeant S, Miller LR, and Chilton FH. DNA methylation in an enhancer region of the FADS Cluster is associated with FADS activity in human liver. PLoS ONE. May19; 9(5):e97510. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone. 0097510, 2014.
  • Hester GA, Murphy, RC, Uhlson CJ, Ivester P, Lee TC, Sergeant S, Miller LR, Howard TD, Mathias RA, Chilton, FH. Relationship between Common Variants in the Fatty Acid Desaturase (FADS) Cluster and Eicosanoid Generation in Humans. J Biol Chem, Jun 24. pii: jbc.M114.579557, 2014.
  • Kazani S, Arm J, Boyce J, Chhay H, Dutile S, Wechsler M, Govindarajulu U, Ivester P, Ainsworth H, Sergeant S, Chilton F and Israel E. LTC4 synthase polymorphism modifies efficacy of botanical seed oil combination in asthma. Springerplus. 2014 3:661, 2014.
  • Lee TC, Ivester P, Sergeant S, Ainsworth H, Case DL, Morgan T, Bowden DW, Chilton FH. The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acid-based dietary supplements on disease biomarkers in a metabolic syndrome/diabetes population. Lipids Health Dis. 13(1):196, 2014.
  • Kavanagh K, Flynn DM, Jenkins KA, Wilson MD, Chilton FH. Stearidonic and gamma-linolenic acids in echium oil improves glucose disposal in insulin resistant monkeys. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 89(1):39-45, 2013.
  • Arm JP, Wang L, Chhay H, Zahid M, Patil V, Govindarajulu U, Ivester P, Weaver KL, Israel E, Chilton FH. Impact of a botanical oil combination (Echium plantagineum and Borago officinalis) on leukotriene generation and pulmonary function in asthmatics subjects. Lipids Health Dis. 12:141. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-141, 2013.
  • Chilton FH, Lee TC, Willard SL, Ivester P, Sergeant S, Register TC, Shively SA. Depression and altered serum lipids in cynomolgus monkeys on a Western diet. Physiol Behav.104: 222-27, 2011.
  • Sergeant S, McQuail JE, Riddle D, Chilton FH, Ortmeier S, Jessup JA, Groban L, Nicolle MM. Dietary fish oil attenuates diastolic dysfunction, but has no effect on memory or brain measures of inflammation in aged rats. J Gerontology: Biol Sci. May;66(5):521-33, 2011.
  • Mathias RA, Hugenschmidt  CE, Sergeant S, Torgerson DG, Ziegler JT, Ivester P, Case LD, Yanek LR, Bowden DW, Freedman BI, Rudock ME, Becker LC, Langefeld CD, Becker DM, Barnes KC, Chilton FH. The impact of FADS genetic variants on omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in African Americans. BMC Genetics.  May 20; 12(1):50, 2011.
  • Sergeant S, Hugenschmidt CE, Rudock ME, Ziegler JT, Ivester P, ­­­Ainsworth, HC, Vaidya D, Case LD, Langefeld CD, Freedman BI, Bowden DW, Mathias RA, Chilton FH. Differences in arachidonic acid levels and fatty acid desaturase (FADS) in African Americans and European Americans with diabetes/metabolic syndrome. Brit J Nutr 107:547, 2012.
  • Mathias RA, Fu W, Akey JM, Ainsworth HC, Torgerson DJ, Ruczinski I, Sergeant S, Barnes KC, Chilton FH. Adaptive evolution of the FADS gene cluster within Africa. PLoS ONE Sept 19; 7(9): e44926, 2012.
  • Ivester P, Sergeant S, Danhauer SC, Case LD, Lamb A, Chilton BG, Delar B, Hollingshead ML, Weaver KL, Chilton FH. Effect of a multifaceted, church-based wellness program on metabolic syndrome in 41 overweight or obese congregants. Prev Chronic Dis. Jul;7(4):A81-A88, 2010.
  • Mathias RA, Vergara C, Gao L, Rafaels N, Hand T, Campbell M, Bickel C, Ivester P, Sergeant S, Barnes  KC, Chilton FH. Association of fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster genetic variants with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in a homogeneous island population. J Lipid Res. Sept;51(9):2766-74, 2010.
  • Houston MC, Fazio S, Chilton FH, Wise DE, Jones KB, Barringer TA, Bramlet DA. Nonpharmacologic treatment of dyslipidemia. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 52(2):61-94, 2009.
  • Seeds MC, Peachman KK, Bowton  DL, Sivertson K, and Chilton FH. Regulation of arachidonate remodeling enzymes impacts eosinophil survival during allergic asthma. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 41(3):358-66, 2009.
  • Weaver KL, Ivester P, Seeds M, Case LD, Arm JP, Chilton FH.  Effect of dietary fatty acids on inflammatory gene expression in healthy humans.  J Biol Chem. 5: 284(23): 15400-7, 2009.
  • Barnes S, Birt DF, Cassileth B, Cefalu WT, Chilton FH, Farnsworth NR, Raskin I, van Breemen RB, Weaver CA. Technologies and experimental approaches at the National Institutes of Health Botanical Research Centers. Am J Clin Nutr. 87:476S-480S, 2008.
  • Chilton FH, Rudel LL, Parks JS, Arm JP, MP Seeds. Mechanisms by which botanical lipids affect inflammatory disorders. Am J Clin Nutr. 87:498S-503S, 2008.
  • Weaver KL, Ivester P, Chilton JA, Wilson MD, Pandey P, Chilton FH. The Content of Favorable and Unfavorable Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Found in Commonly Eaten Fish. J  American Diet Assoc. 108: 1178-1185, 2008.
  • Chilton FH.  Regarding favorable and unfavorable PUFA in fish. J Am Diet Assoc. 108(10):1614, 1616, 2008.