Keynote Speakers

Ken Brown

Dr. Brown is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis; he completed medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and trained in Pediatrics at the Boston Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Brown has conducted research and published more than 300 articles on the causes, complications, treatment, and prevention of childhood undernutrition in low-income countries, focusing on infant and young child feeding practices, relationships between infection and nutrition, and control of specific micronutrient deficiencies, including zinc, iron and vitamin A. He has served as Founding Director of the Program in International and Community Nutrition at UC Davis; Founding Chair of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group; committee member of multiple global health organizations and technical expert groups; and editorial board member of several leading nutrition journals. He is a past-President of the Society for International Nutrition Research, Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and the International Union of Nutrition Sciences, and a recipient of the Kellogg Award for International Nutrition Research, the McCollum Award, the Rainer Gross Award, the Suskind Award for Pediatric Nutrition and the Prince Mahidol Award for nutrition and public health

Ian Darnton-Hill

Trained as a public health physician in Australia, Prof. Ian Darnton-Hill is an academic with a background in public health nutrition policy, programmes and research in Bangladesh, PNG, the Philippines and Zambia as well as Geneva, New York, Sydney and Washington, DC. Currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia, and Tufts University, USA, and consultant, he was previously Special Adviser to the UNICEF Executive Director on Child Hunger and Undernutrition. Before that, he was Acting Chief, Nutrition Section, UNICEF HQ and Senior Global Health Leadership Fellow at WHO HQ, Vice-President for Programs at HKI, Director of the OMNI Project (USAID/JSI), and WHO Regional Adviser in Nutrition.

Invited Speakers

Carol Bower

Professor Carol Bower
Carol has qualifications in medicine, epidemiology and public health.  Her research has a strong focus on investigating causes and effects of birth defects, on translating research findings into public health policy and practice and on evaluating the effectiveness of that translation.  Leading examples are the prevention of neural tube defects (promoting periconceptional folic acid supplement use and mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid) and research on prevention, diagnosis and management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Anitra Carr

Assoc Prof Anitra Carr is a Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science at the University of Otago’s Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand. Her early work in the United States on the role of vitamin C in human health and disease underpinned the increase in the recommended dietary intake (RDA) for vitamin C in the USA. A/Prof Carr is currently involved in an expert working group focusing on increasing international RDAs for vitamin C. A/Prof Carr is also actively researching the role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases such as cancer and severe infection.

Heather D'Antoine

Ms Heather D’Antoine is a Bardi woman from the West Kimberley. She trained as a registered nurse and midwife and has over twenty five years of experience in health services and 15 years experience in health research.

Prior to entering into research, Heather worked as the Deputy Director for Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service where she was responsible for implementing the Coordinated Care trials and the Family Futures program. Heather then took on the position of Health Service Manager for Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek Health Service.

In 2001, Heather moved into a role in research at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (now Telethon Kids Institute) where she became involved in research on birth defects including neuro tube defects and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Heather moved to Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin to take up the position of Associate Director for Aboriginal Programs. She recently joined the Board of Primary Health Networks for the Northern Territory.

Sally Dunwoodie

Sally Dunwoodie gained a PhD researching the genetics of muscle development, at the Children’s Medical Research Institute, University of Sydney. She undertook postdoctoral training in embryology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. There she identified numerous genes necessary for normal mammalian embryogenesis. She has defined genetic causes of congenital vertebral defects with diagnostic genetic tests now available worldwide. Sally is embracing some of the newest genomic technologies to identify disease-causing mutations in hundreds of families with heart defects, among others. She is also exploring the impact that environmental factors and gene-environment interaction have on embryogenesis. She has received awards including the ANZSCDB Emerging Leader Award, was a 2016 finalist in the NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year Award, and won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Medical Biological Science in 2017. Sally Dunwoodie heads the Embryology Laboratory and the Chain Reaction Program in Congenital Heart Disease Research at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney. She is a Professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Science at the University of New South Wales

Manfred Eggersdorfer

Professor for Healthy Ageing University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)

Manfred Eggersdorfer studied chemistry at the Technical University Munich and did his PhD in organic chemistry in the field of synthesis and characterization of unusual amino acid. He was post-doc at the Stanford-University, California working with Carl Djerassi on the isolation and characterization of sterols from marine origin as potential contraceptives. He joined Roche in 1999 as Head of R+D Vitamins and continued in this responsibility after it was acquired by DSM in 2003.

Manfred Eggersdorfer holds the chair for Healthy Ageing at the University Medical Center Groningen (NL) and is responsible for Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products. His scientific work focuses on the role of essential nutrients for health, vitality, and well-being, especially on the impact of inadequate intake and status of micronutrients over the life cycle with a focus on long term health and healthy ageing.

He is active as member of the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, member of the Nutrition Council of Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and Board member of the Gesellschaft für Angewandte Vitaminforschung e.V. He is an Honorary Member of The Oxygen Club of California, and affiliate of various other organizations. He is author of numerous publications in the fields of vitamins, carotenoids, omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids for infants, adults, elderly and risk groups and on innovation in nutritional ingredients. He engages as reviewer for a variety of journals and is Associate Editor of the “International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research”.

Michael Fenech

Professor Michael Fenech is recognised internationally for his research in nutritional genomics, genetic toxicology and for developing the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay to measure DNA damage in human cells. His goal is to determine nutritional and environmental requirements for optimal maintenance of DNA integrity. He developed the Genome Health Clinic concept, which is a novel ageing and disease prevention strategy based on personalised diagnosis and prevention of DNA damage by appropriate diet/life-style intervention. His research is also focused on personalised nutrition for dementia prevention and cancer growth control. His Google Scholar H-index is 80 based on 28,775 total career citations.

Tim Green

Professor Tim Green is Principal Nutritionist at the South Australia Health and Research Institute and Affiliate Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics at the University of Adelaide. He trained in Canada and spent 8 years each first at the University or Otago and then at The University of British Columbia. Tim started his work in the area of B-vitamins, particularly folate and vitamin B12, and subsequently extended his research to vitamin D, with emphasis on pregnancy and early life. He has carried out nutritional surveys and intervention studies in both high and low income countries including Canada, Oceania, South-East Asia, and Africa.

Martin Kussmann

Since 2016, Martin holds a position as Full Professor of “Systems Biology in Nutrition and Health” at the Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. His team and programme focuses on infant micro- and mycobiome and health; maternal nutrition, breast milk and infant health; and nutritional effects on early-life epigenetics.

Since 2016, Martin is furthermore the Scientific Director of New Zealand’s “National Science Challenge” on “High-Value Nutrition”. This 3rd largest NZ National Research Programme focuses on infant, immune, metabolic and gut health with a focus on nutritional innovation for Asian consumers.

In February 2011, Martin joined the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) on the campus of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, as Head of the “Molecular Biomarkers Core”, which he has built from scratch. This core facility and program covered five platforms and teams, i.e. proteomics, metabonomics, lipidomics, micronutrient analysis and diagnostics, with a strong focus on clinical applications. Over the first five years of NIHS, Martin seeded lipidomics, micronutrient analysis and diagnostics in his group, and then spun these out into other research cores, according to their main applications.

Proteomics and metabonomics served as the key molecular phenotyping platforms in Martin’s latest “Systems Nutrition Group” at NIHS, which further developed and conducted systems biology-oriented nutrition and health research in the context of healthy ageing with a focus on cognitive, metabolic and intestinal health.

In June 2009, Martin was appointed Honorary Professor for Nutritional Science at the Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, Denmark. From June 2012 to September 2016, he was Lecturer (Maître d’Enseignement et Recherche, MER) at the Faculty of Life Sciences, EPFL. From March 2003 to January 2011, Martin was leading the Functional Genomics Group at the Nestlé Research Centre, Lausanne, and was responsible for nutrigenomics and nutri(epi)genetics.

Being educated and trained as an analytical biochemist, Martin has acquired research experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech start-up and nutritional industry. Martin holds a B.Sc. from the Univ. Aachen, Germany, and a M.Sc. from the Univ. Konstanz, Germany. He performed his doctoral research in Konstanz and at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. During his doctorate and post-doctorate, he specialised in mass spectrometry, and proteomics.

Martin has (co-)authored >130 publications, edited books and journal issues, and is an internationally requested author and speaker. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Keystone Symposia. He is an Editorial Board Member of e.g. Frontiers; Genes and Nutrition; OMICS Journal of Integrated Biology; and Journal of Integrated Omics

Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason has a medical background and research interests in vitamin D metabolism, maintenance and function. She has served on international and national working groups on Sunlight, Health and Vitamin D and on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and Endocrinology. The 14th International Workshop on Vitamin D awarded her for career contributions to vitamin D research. She is Professor and Head of Physiology, Deputy Director of the Bosch Institute at the University of Sydney, a Board member of Osteoporosis Australia and a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society.

Helene McNulty

Professor Helene McNulty is Director of the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at Ulster University. She is an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy and Fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin (BSc and PhD in Nutrition) and the Dublin Institute of Technology (Diploma in Dietetics), Helene joined Ulster in 1992 and was promoted to her current academic post, Professor of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, in 2001. The purpose of her research – with particular expertise in folate and metabolically-related B vitamins – is to provide greater understanding of nutrition-related health issues, to achieve impact through facilitating food and health policy, and to drive innovation activities. Helene is actively involved in nutrition teaching (at undergraduate and masters levels) and research project supervision to PhD level.

Andrew Scholey

Professor Andrew Scholey is director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia. He has led research into the neurocognitive effects of metabolic substrates, recreational drugs, natural products, supplements and food components. His current research focuses on neuroimaging and biomarker techniques to better understand the mechanisms of cognitive enhancement. Andrew works closely with industry which allows rapid translation of research into evidence-based end-user health benefits.

Xiang-Dong Wang

Dr. Xiang-Dong Wang earned his medical degree from Peking University Health Science Center and completed resident training at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing. After receiving his PhD degree in Nutritional Biochemistry at Tufts university, he joined the faculty of the Jean Mayer USDA-Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (JM-USDA-HNRCA) at the Tufts University. Presently, he is an Interim Associate Center Director and a Senior Scientist, and the director of the Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the JM-USDA-HNRCA. He is also a Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Nutrition Program, at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, USA.

Steven Zeisel

Dr. Zeisel is the Kenan Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Zeisel earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1975, was a resident in pediatrics at Yale University from 1975–1977, and earned his PhD in nutrition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. He served as chair of the Department of Nutrition at UNC from 1990-2005. Dr. Zeisel is the Director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and Director of the UNC Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (one of 12 centers of excellence funded by the US NIH), North Carolina. He serves on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal editorial board. His research team focuses on the essential nutrient choline and why there are individual differences in nutrient metabolism, using new approaches in nutrigenetics and metabolomics. Dr. Zeisel has proven that humans require choline and that this nutrient is critical for normal brain development, and for liver and muscle function. Based on his research, the US Institute of Medicine set a dietary requirement for choline in 1998. Dr. Zeisel has authored more than 350 scientific publications.

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