My route to becoming a Nutrigenomics Counselor was not exactly straight forward, but it became one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. I first worked, studied and published as a physicist during my BS in physics at the University of Arizona. I was invited to the University of Oslo as a Research Scholar and worked in the condensed matter group building lasers and microscopes to look at superconductors. I then became interested in the prospect of designing optical surgical tools which led me to studying my masters in biophysics at the University of Oslo.I loved being a research scientist: traveling to conferences, designing complex physics experiments and working with other research groups from around the world to create new technology... Then my life took a sudden turn after I was infected with the human parvovirus B19. You may have heard of "long-COVID19", which has shed light on other post-viral illnesses that cause serious and debilitating symptoms causing people to never recover their former health. That happened to me in 2005.
I went from specialist to specialist and was told it was in my head, to go out and exercise, or change my diet. I was no longer able to get to the lab, but was able to still participate in some research remotely from home over the next 2 years. Eventually, I became homebound and sometimes bedbound for months. I was in horrendous pain day in and day out, I lost the ability to speak at times or even tolerate light. I never in my life thought someone could be so sick and not die or that it was possible to get a virus and then deteriorate to an empty shell of a person. All of my dreams were gone and my body was failing me at only 24 years old.
Eventually I became too sick to participate working remotely and used the little energy I had to read research articles related to my condition. Sometimes it would take me months to get through one article, but I persevered one paragraph at a time. Although my blood work was always "normal", I knew that there was something physiologically very wrong with me. A normal blood panel measures about 20 biomarkers and we have hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions going on per second. I knew I just needed more data.
Luckily, I had studied biophysics in my masters program at the University of Oslo.
Biophysics includes the study of biochemistry, genetics and physiology, only with a lot more mathematics than non-biophysics courses. This background combined with the training in problem solving and analytics as a physicist made it possible for me to analyze my own DNA data and find genetic variants that were contributing to my illness.
Courses in nutrition and nutrigenomics then led me to not only being able to find genetic variants that were contributing to my illness severity, but also to know nutrient-gene and biochemical interactions that can help improve these genetic variants. This lead me to creating a nutrigenomic protocol to improve my genetic variants and lead to improved health. I am not 100% back to my previous level, not by a long shot, but many of the severe issues such as energy, brain fog, concentration difficulties and PAIN are very manageable.
I have been working with gene variants like MTHFR since 2010 and started Farstad Analyser in 2018. I am now also able to offer my clients DNA analysis combined with Organic Acids Test (OATS), Urine Amino Acids (UAA) and blood work (vitamin and mineral panel, immune markers, inflammatory and hormone markers), as well as including hormone results from the DUTCH test. Including all this extra data helps determine, not only genetic risks, but how well or poorly certain genes and pathways are functioning and the client's current biochemistry: creating the most personalized nutrition and precision medicine reports based on the latest research. These lifestyle, diet and nutrition interventions can greatly improve wellness and reduce age-related genetic disease risks.
Although I lost my original career as a physicist, I have found incredible meaning in my life working with clients to improve their health. It is so incredibly rewarding and meaningful to be able help others, especially those who were told "there's nothing wrong with you" and left to their own devices and are in pain and suffering and need help. I am not a doctor, obviously, and I do not prescribe medications, but I have found underlying genetic causes of illnesses for various clients and I provide information to take to your doctor to get proper treatment.
More detailed bio:
My professional research background is in physics and my publishing career started at the age of 19 with my first publication being in the Japanese Journal of Applied physics. I published every year, up until I became severely ill in 2005. I was granted the title of Undergraduate Research Specialist while working at the Optical Sciences department of the University of Arizona (U of A) during my bachelors degree in physics. During my time at the U of A (1999-2003), I published 4 papers, attended and presented research at 5 international physics conferences, and even was the head organizer of one of the conferences in my local city. All before I was 23 years old, I had worked on research projects for NASA, the CIA, Samsung Electronics, LG, and General Electric. I also published a book, or technical manual, on a software I helped develop that simulated electromagnetic fields as they interact with different materials, including human tissue.
At the age of 22, I was invited to come to the University of Oslo as a Research Scholar at the Physics Department and worked in the condensed matter group (working with magnetic fields inside superconductors). I maintained my relationship with the University of Arizona and was given the title of Technical Expert and consulted on the software we were developing as well as wrote the technical manual for it. My research group in Oslo was responsible for hosting an international NATO sponsored conference in Øystese, Norway. With my background from organizing a previous international conference, I became the head organizer for the 2003 NATO sponsored conference. I enjoyed my time with the research group in Norway so much that I decided to take a masters here and my project was to design a new microscope lense to look at magnetic fields in superconductors.
As all things in life, nothing ends up as we expect it to. In 2005 I became severely ill. Although my ability to attend university or participate in research was impossible due to illness severity, thanks to the internet, I was able to keep my mind busy with taking university courses via Coursera and Edx.
In addition to my formal education, I was able to complete nutrition and genetics courses online and now work as a Nutrigenomics Counselor.
University of Oslo: MS Biological and Medical Physics
University of Arizona: BS Physics
" Biophysics is a branch of science that uses the methods of physics to study biological processes. Physics uses mathematical laws to explain the natural world, and it can be applied to biological organisms and systems to gain insight into their workings."
Publications (under my maiden name: M. Bailey)
- A Guide to Understanding Fibromyalgia Research for Patients Norges Fibromyalgi Forbund Medlemsblad 2011
- Developed and wrote a technical manual on UAFDTD electromagnetic software simulation 2006
- Consultant and data analyst on Applications of Scanning Probe Microscopy to Data Storage and Raman Spectroscopy, 2004
- The Optical Society: Simulation of blue VSALs for optical data storage, 2003.
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Consideration and control of writing conditions with a near-field APSIL probe, 2002
- Japanese Journal of Applied Physics: Super-Resolution by Combination of a Solid Immersion Lens and an Aperture 2001
NATO sponsored magneto-optical conference Øystese, Norway 2003
Opto-Southwest conference sponsored by the International Society for OPtical Engineering (SPIE), Tucson Arizona 2001
Clinical Functional Immunology
Introduction to Biology
Functional Medicine: Immunology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics
Principles of Biochemistry
Fundamentals of Neuroscience
Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
Genomic Medicine Gets Personal
Fundamentals of Immunology
University of California at Davis (UC Davis)
The University of Melbourne:
Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression
Introduction to Genomic Technologies
Myths and Realities of Personalized Medicine: The Genetic Revolution
Ethical and Social Challenges of Genomic and Precision Medicine
Nutrigenetics_ Applying the Science of Personal Nutrition-Academic Press by
Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics in Functional Foods and Personalized Nutrition by Lynnette R. Ferguson
Nutrigenomics: Definitions and Advances of This New Science, Article Journal of Nutrition and Medicine N.M.R. Sales, P.B. Pelegrini, M.C. Goersch, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/202759
Metabolomics by Ute Roessner
Biochemistry, 7th edition by Cambell and Ferrell
Fundamentals of Biochemistry, 4th edition by Voet, Voet and Pratt
Essentials of Clinical Immunology, 6th edition by Chapel, Haeney, Misbah and Snowden
Roitt's Essential Immunology, 11th edition, by Delves, Martin, Burton, Riott
Epigenetics by Allis, Jenuwein, Reinberg
Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 10th edition, by Griffiths, Wessler, Carrol, Doebley
Genetics: Analysis and Principles, 4th edition by Robert J. Brooker
Guide to Nutrigenomic Testing, Amy Yasko
Lewin's Genes XI, by Krebs, Goldsein, Kilpatrick
Principles of Developmental Genetics, by Sally A. Moody
Medical Microbiology: The Big Picture, byt Neal R. Chamberlain
Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 5th edition, by Burtis, Ashwood, Bruns
The Cell; A molecular Approach, 4th edition by Cooper and Hausman