Invited Speakers

Professor Baukje de Roos is an internationally recognised nutrition scientist having over 25 years of experience in the design and delivery of dietary intervention studies. Her current work focusses on developing and implementing novel and state-of-the-art interdisciplinary precision and personalised nutrition approaches to improve population and individual health, as well as identifying responders and non-responders to interventions, supported by RCUK and industry funding as well as several international research collaborations. Her Scottish Government-funded research program focusses on exploratory modelling of relationships between ‘healthiness’, ‘carbon footprint’, ‘level of processing’ and ‘cost’ of UK diets to identify the most important potential food switches in real-time diets. Her expertise in the area of diet and health has formed the basis of multiple contracts and consultancies with large food companies, food levy boards, the food and drink support sector and national UK television.


Prof. Wim Vanden Berghe obtained his PhD at the University of Ghent in 1999 in the Faculty of Science Biochemistry-Biotechnology. After postdoctoral research at various research institutions (University of Montpellier, Stellenbosch and Oxford), Wim Vanden Berghe was appointed professor of Epigenetics in 2009 at the lab for Protein chemistry, proteomics and epigenetic signaling (PPES, University of Antwerp and UGent, Belgium). With his current research, he is characterizing epigenetic plasticity of kinase signaling pathways to modulate aging disease phenotypes with phytomedicinal or pharmacological compounds by treating chronic inflammatory processes in cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes or neurodegeneration. Website: , 


Dr. Clarissa Gerhäuser studied Pharmacy at the University of Würzburg and obtained a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Munich in 1993. From 1993 to 1996, she has worked as a postdoc and research assistant professor in the area of cancer chemoprevention at The University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1996, she joined the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and currently heads the group Cancer Chemoprevention and Epigenomics. Her main research interest is the investigation of epigenetic alterations associated with breast and prostate cancer, collaborating with large international consortia. An additional focus is on the “Metabolic Syndrome”. Her team investigates dynamic changes in DNA hydroxymethylation associated with adipogenesis, and the possibility to prevent or modulate epigenetic deregulation by dietary interventions. She has authored more than 120 research articles, reviews and book chapters, which have been cited >10000 times, and holds four patents.  Further information at:


Professor Michael Müller is a Professor of Nutrigenomics and Systems Nutrition. He is a renowned expert in the area of molecular nutrition related to lipid homeostasis, nutrigenomics and nutritional systems biology and his work is focussed on the molecular mechanisms underlying genome-wide effects of foods (specific bioactive components or nutrients) on immuno-metabolic health and plasticity of the gut-liver axis. Professor Muller is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He was a member of the editorial boards of numerous journals, i.e. “BMC Genomics” (associate editor), "European Journal of Nutrition" (section editor "Nutrigenomics") and “PLOS One” (academic editor). He is an visiting professor at Nanjing Agricultural University (China) and (co)author of more than 250 peer-reviewed publications with more than 16000 citations.  As promoter, he has supervised 26 PhD students. He has an H-factor of 75. Since September 2019 he is the scientific director (CEO) of NuGO, an association of Universities and Research Institutes with a focus on joint development of research in molecular nutrition, personalised nutrition, nutrigenomics, and nutritional systems biology.


Marco Ventura holds a PhD in Natural Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland. Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland from 2003 to 2005. From 01/11/2005 to 30/04/2010, he was non-tenure Track Lecture (Professor with contract) at the Department of Genetics, Biology of Microorganisms, Anthropology and Evolution, University of Parma, Italy. Since 31/12/2018 to date, he is full professor of General Microbiology at the Department of Chemistry Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Italy. He is the Head of the Microbiome Research hub, representing an Interdepartmental Research Centre of the University of Parma focusing on the characterization of the human microbiome. Ventura’s research activities entail the genomics of probiotic bacteria and lactic acid bacteria, metagenomics of the human intestinal microbiota and genetics of stress response in bacteria. He is/was involved in several projects as research unit scientific leader including EU grants as well as founding sponsored by food industry. He participated as a speaker several International Congresses and Conferences. He is involved in the biotechnological transfer for industrial food companies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the University Spin-Off "GenProbio", focused developing the next generation of probiotic bacteria. He is member of the editorial board of Microbiome, Scientific Reports, Microbial Biotechnology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Microorganisms and BMC Microbiology. He is author or co-author of 246 scientific articles published in journals quoted by ISI with impact factor, 8 chapters in international texts. As reported today by Scopus, publications reviewed were cited 12937 times, with an index "h" of 62. Marco Ventura was nominated among the highly cited researchers in 2020 (Top 1% by citation per field and year by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Clarivate Web of Science.


Louise Harvey, PhD is Team Leader for the Nutritional Programming team at Danone Nutricia Research in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She has over 15 years of experience with animal models of nutritional programing, including animal models of developmental vitamin D deficiency, maternal iron deficiency, and gestational diabetes mellitus and extensive experience with the assessment of growth, metabolic, and neurodevelopmental outcomes. She received her PhD in Biomedical Science from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in 2008 and completed her postdoctoral studies at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University, Montreal, Canada from 2008 – 2013. She joined Danone Nutricia Research in Singapore in 2015, leading the pre-clinical projects in the region, and relocated to Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2018.


Saverio Cinti is the Scientific Director of the Obesity Center at Marche Polytechnic University. The main interest is focused on adipose tissues. He published more than 300 papers and his H index is 72 (26700 citations Scopus). In 2018 published the book: “Obesity, type 2 diabetes and the Adipose Organ” by Springer.The most important observation is the concept of adipose organ. Adipose tissues are organized to form a true organ where white and brown adipocytes have different roles linked to the distribution of energy to functions allowing survival: thermogenesis (brown) and metabolism (white). The reason for their coexistence into the same organ is explained by their reciprocal ability to convert each other in order to face chronic cold (browning) and chronic positive energy balance (whitening). Most recently he discovered the white-pink reprogramming (mammary adipocytes can reversibly convert into glandular cells producing milk during pregnancy) with new perspectives in the field of breast cancer.He also discovered the cause of chronic low-grade inflammation of obese adipose tissue providing a pathogenetic link between obesity and T2 diabetes.In 2008 was awarded by the European Academy of Sciences and in 2013 was awarded by the European Association for The Study of Obesity.


Susan J. Duthie. My research investigates how diet affects human health. Low folate status alters the risk of heart disease and cancer. The focus of my work is how folate influences DNA stability and methylation in relation to CVD and colorectal cancer (CRC). I have shown how folate affects genomic stability, global protein expression and genome-wide DNA methylation in vitro, in rodents and in human case-control and intervention studies. I have investigated how gene-nutrient interactions affect malignancy, specifically how polymorphisms in folate metabolising enzymes influence DNA stability and risk of CRC in humans, and have shown how folic acid alters DNA base excision repair and uracil misincorporation in healthy subjects. I have shown how folate status alters protein expression and DNA methylation in aorta smooth muscle cells in vitro and how folate and/or B vitamin deficiency increases atherosclerosis by perturbing vascular lipid metabolism in ApoE mice. Poor folate status is also implicated in low fertility and fetal abnormalities in the newborn, and poor cognitive function and dementia in the elderly. In collaboration with other research groups, I have examined the role of folic acid in cervical cancer, in cognitive function, and in pregnancy and development.


Christian Milani is an Assistant Professor working in the Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Life Sciences at the University of Parma, Italy. He received his Ph.D. in Biotechnology at the University of Parma in 2015. Milani’s major research interest involves microbial genomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics for comparative and functional analysis of bifidobacteria to further understand their evolution, physiology, and ecology as well as their interactions with the host and other intestinal bacteria. He is a member of the Microbiome Research hub, representing an Interdepartmental Research Centre of the University of Parma focusing on the characterization of the human microbiome. He is author or co-author of 126 scientific articles published in journals quoted by ISI with impact factor. As reported today by Scopus, publications reviewed were cited 5514 times, with an index "h" of 43.


Inga C. Teller. After having completed her MSc in nutritional sciences and home economics at the Justus-Liebig University in Germany (2000) Inga Teller was awarded her PhD in cellular biology from the Université de Sherbrooke in Québec (2007). She worked in industry research for Danone Nutricia in the Netherlands for a decade and now heads the Institute NaturScience (2019). Intestinal development, preterm and neonatal nutrition, human milk composition, fortification and breastfeeding, infant physiology, fat and protein quality are her research interests coupled with her current task to bring infant nutrition closer to health care professionals as editor in chief of this online platform Scopus ID LinkedIn


Fabio Virgili is Senior scientist at the Research Centre for Food and Nutrition CREA-AN in Rome, Italy. His research activity deals with the effect of molecules of nutritional interest on transcriptional control of gene expression and on the effect of the presence of specific genetic variants and epigenetic modification in the risk of degenerative diseases having a nutritional component. He is founder and Editor-in-chief of the Journal “BMC Genes and Nutrition” published by Springer-Nature he participates to the Editorial board of several international scientific journals including Free radicals Biology and Medicine and International Journal Molecular Sciences.


Prof. dr. Marianne Rots is professor of Molecular Epigenetics since 2010 at the University Medical Center in Groningen (Department of Pathology and Medical Biology), the Netherlands. She studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam, obtained her PhD at the VU Medical Center, Amsterdam in 2000 and was subsequently trained as postdoctoral fellow in the Gene Therapy Center of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA. She was recruited to Groningen (2001 School of Pharmacy, 2007 University Medical Center) to consolidate her laboratory combining gene therapy with epigenetics. As such, she pioneered the innovative approach of Epigenetic Editing to reprogram gene expression profiles. She graduated 14 PhD students (two with the highest distinction), lectures at all levels (students, general public), mentors young scientists, acted as research coordinator of an H2020-EU-ITN (, as vice-chair cq Management Committee of EU COST actions (; and serves as Scientific advisor to Sangamo Therapeutics and as Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature’s Clinical Epigenetics and Epigenetics  Communications.  Website:


John Mathers is Professor of Human Nutrition, Director of the Human Nutrition Research Centre and Director of the Centre for Healthier Lives in Newcastle University, UK. He was an undergraduate in Newcastle and undertook his PhD and post-doctoral research in the University of Cambridge followed by a Research Fellow post in Edinburgh University before being appointed in Newcastle. His major research interests are in understanding how eating patterns influence risks of age-related diseases including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and bowel cancer. He uses genomic and epigenomics approaches to understand the mechanisms though which nutrition influences cell function and, ultimately, health.


Raffaele De Caterina is Professor and Chair of Cardiology, Director of the Postgraduate School of Cardiology at the University of Pisa, as well as Chief of the Cardiology Division I at Pisa University Hospital. He is also a Consultant and Scientific Advisor for the “G. Monasterio” Foundation and the National Research Council Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa, and of the VillaSerena Research Foundation in Pescara, Italy. Professor De Caterina is Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and has held several positions at ESC, including being Vice President (2008-2010), Councillor to the Board, Chairman of the Council for Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, Chairman of the Science Council, Chairman of the Working Group on Thrombosis, and Member of the Committee for Practice Guidelines. He is currently member of the Nominating Committee of the ESC. He has also been President of the International Society on Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics (2009–2012). Professor De Caterina is the past Editor-in-Chief of the journal Vascular Pharmacology, Executive Editor of European Heart Journal, and Editorial Board Member of several cardiovascular journals. He has authored over 700 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 12 books. Professor De Caterina’s major research interests include thrombosis and atherosclerosis atrial fibrillation, pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease and cardiovascular pharmacology. He is also Steering Committee Member of several recently completed or currently ongoing clinical trials and registries involving antithrombotic drugs in atrial fibrillation.


Augustin Scalbert is a scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France ( His current research focusses on the development and implementation of metabolomic approaches in cancer epidemiology. His main objectives are to discover novel biomarkers for lifestyle exposures and to implement them to identify risk factors for cancer. Before joining IARC, he conducted research at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAe) on the chemistry, bioavailability and health effects of dietary polyphenols. He notably developed Phenol-Explorer, the first comprehensive database on polyphenols in foods and on their metabolism (


Prof. Omry Koren received his MSc and his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and subsequently accepted a post- doctoral position at Cornell University where he was part of the NIH Human Microbiome Project and where he led the first study to demonstrate that pregnancy is associated with a profound alteration of the gut microbiota and host metabolism. Today, Prof. Koren leads his laboratory at Bar-Ilan University and his team’s research aims to better understand the interactions between microbiota and the host endocrine system, host behaviour, and host development, in health and in disease states.


Stefano Lorenzetti (SL), graduated in Biological Sciences (1991) and in Sciences of Human Nutrition (2003). SL is a full-time researcher of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in Rome, Italy. Since 2017, SL is the National nominated member of the Endocrine Disruptors Expert Group (EDEG) at the European Chemicals Authority (ECHA), Helsinki. At present, SL is vice President of ecopa – the european consensus platform for alternatives and a Board Member of IPAM, the Italian Platform on Alternative Methods. SL research interests and expertise are mainly on the biological effects of dietary and environmental contaminants, in particular Endocrine Disruptors either plant-derived (e.g. flavonoids and other plant bioactives) or man-made chemicals (e.g. pesticides, plasticizers, food contact materials and so on). At present, SL is the scientific responsible of the ISS unit in different national granted projects devoted to identify i) predictive biomarkers to distinguish different prostate diseases, ii) environmental contaminants associated to the male reproductive health, and iii) mixture effects of novel indoor contaminants . SL co-authored more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals.


.Valerio Napolioni earned his PhD in Genetics in 2011, from the University of Camerino, Italy, working on the genetics of complex traits, focusing on both human longevity and autism. His interest in neuropsychiatric traits led him to continue working on the genetics of autism, first as a postdoctoral fellow at the Molecular Psychiatry Lab., University “Campus Bio-Medico” of Rome, and then as a visiting researcher (2011-2012) at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, AZ. In 2013 he became the Technical Director of the NGS core at the Department of Experimental Medicine of the University of Perugia, Italy. From 2015 he joined the Department of Neurology of Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA, first as a Post-Doc (2015-2017), and later (2017-2020) as a member of the Faculty of Medicine, as Instructor in Neurology and Neurological Sciences, pursuing his strong research interest in the genetics of human neuropsychiatric and behavioral traits. Since July 2020, Dr. Napolioni is Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at UNICAM where he set up the “Genomic And Molecular Epidemiology (GAME)” Lab., dealing with the analysis of genomic BIG-DATA and personalized medicine.


Prof. Dr. Torsten Plösch  studied biology at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and received his PhD in 2004 from the University of Groningen, Netherlands. He was appointed as adjunct professor of experimental perinatology at the University Medical Center Groningen in 2019. In 2020, Torsten additionally joined the Perinatal Neurobiology group at Oldenburg university where he currently heads the lab facility. He published more than 80 peer reviewed papers.  Torsten is a board member of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. Moreover, he serves as associate editor of the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and Epigenetics Communications. Torsten’s research is focused on how the fetal and neonatal environment determines the health of the offspring at adult age. The key idea is that nutrients, metabolites and other external signals induce epigenetic changes in the embryo, fetus or newborn organism which persist into adulthood. These can present beneficial adaptations but also lead to mismatches, which hence influence the susceptibility to develop chronic disease.


Melita Vidaković graduated from the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade in 1996. At the same University she obtained Master (1998) and Doctoral degree in Biological Sciences (2005). She is employed as a full research professor at the Institute for Biological Research. At present, she is a head of the Molecular Biology Department and her teams’ main scientific interests is Epigenetics and chromatin modification; Diabetes mellitus as a oxidative stress related disease and the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of diabetes; potential use of natural bioactive compounds in the therapy of diabetes. Website:


Tomasz Jurkowski, studied Molecular Biology at Warsaw University (PL) (1999-2004). He did his MSc thesis in the laboratory of Dr Janusz Bujnicki (IIMCB, PL) and Dr Monika Radlinska (Warsaw University, PL). Afterwards, he joined the group of Dr Albert Jeltsch at Jacobs University Bremen for his doctoral training, which he completed in 2008. After 4 years of post-doctoral training at Jacobs University in 2012, he joined the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart as a Junior Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Epigenetics. In 2019 he joined Cardiff University as Senior Lecturer in Mammalian Systems.