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Traditionally, nutrition has been a minimal part of the standard course of study for most clinicians. However, as more is discovered and understood about the impact of plant compounds–phytochemicals–on human health, many are looking for additional peer-reviewed guidance that supports diet and behavior change to treat or prevent disease.

North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) has researched the health benefits of more than 20 crops, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, even seaweed. PHHI is a research-focused component of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), located at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC.

We have 11 faculty who are each associated with a home department within CALS, such as Horticulture, Animal Science, Plant and Microbial Biology, or Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences. While all our faculty are focused on how plants (and plant compounds) impact human health, they each bring their own area of expertise to a transdisciplinary research effort. At PHHI, our mission is to lead the discovery and delivery of innovative plant-based solutions to advance human health.

Our research addresses the role food crops play in disease prevention and treatment. The PhytoMedicine program explores evidence-based studies that cite disease and phytochemical interaction relevant to a disease state. Fruits and vegetables have been shown to contain compounds that effect health and wellness both by providing nutritional components as well as enhancing the body’s ability to defend itself against chronic disease. The goal of our PhytoMedicine program is to provide healthcare providers with tools that can help improve their patients’ health outcomes.

Meet Cheri Granillo

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Cheri Granillo is responsible for developing and disseminating programs related to research affecting health and wellness and the Plants for Human Health Institute. Her particular interests include prevention and disease mitigation through diet change and maintenance. She has experience as a Primary Care medical provider in underserved communities.

At PHHI, she works with faculty and Extension to bring research-based information to healthcare providers. A key program effort is the PhytoRx, a produce prescription initiative. She also assist with clinical trial coordination and PHHI and offers community outreach to the general public.

Cheri is an alumna of NC State University, where she earned her BS in Biology with a Nutrition concentration and a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She received her BSN and MSN at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing beginning her career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

In addition to her role at PHHI, Cheri keeps a literal finger on the pulse of clinical patient care by working for HealthReach Community Clinic in Mooresville one day a week. In 2023 she earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from UNC Charlotte.

Work with Dr. Cheri Granillo to promote PhytoMedicine, the health benefits of plant compounds, throughout North Carolina. Contact her to start a conversation.

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