Keynote Speakers

Prof. 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.

Dr. Kenneth H. 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.

Invited Speakers

Prof. 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).

Prof. Sarah Booth

Dr. Sarah L Booth, PhD, serves as the Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University. She is also the Director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at the HNRCA and a Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Dr. Booth is an expert in vitamin K and her main scientific interests include the absorption, transport, and metabolism of vitamin K and the role of vitamin K metabolism in the prevention of chronic disease. She has been working in the area of vitamin K nutrition for 23 years, and has been the Director of HNRCA Vitamin K Laboratory for the last 14 years. Her laboratory has been the leader in the field for conducting controlled, vitamin K feeding studies, and has successfully conducted NIH-funded clinical trials in the area of vitamin K, osteocalcin and bone health, and vascular biology. She is frequently invited to present on the topic of vitamin K and chronic disease in national and international conferences across multiple disciplines.

Ms. 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.

Ms. Jette Jakobsen

Jette Jakobsen is a senior researcher in the Research group for Bioactives – Analysis and application at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. For more than 25 years Jette Jakobsen has been part of the international community for analysis of vitamins in foods. Her main interests are the content of vitamins in foods, the stability of vitamins in foods, the natural variation of vitamins in foods, and the nutritional value of the specific vitamin active compounds. For the last 20 years vitamin D has been one of her main areas. Collaborating with researchers within human nutrition, animal sciences and the industry, in the effort to provide results which contribute to our understanding of the potential for biofortification of vitamins in food products, the activity of each of the specific vitamin active compounds (vitamin D and the 25-hydroxymetabolites), their effect on vitamin status and risk of diseases, and the storage capacity in mammals and human.

Prof. 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. 

Prof. Manfred Eggersdorfer

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”.

Prof. 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.

Prof. 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.

Associate Professor 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 focussing 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.

Prof. 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.

Prof. 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. 

Dr. Alida Melse-Boonstra

Dr. Alida Melse-Boonstra focuses in her research on new and sustainable solutions for micronutrient malnutrition in low and middle income countries. She studies vitamin A, iron, iodine and zinc deficiencies in relation to growth and health in vulnerable population groups such as pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents. She applies various stable isotope dilution technique to assess nutrient status and absorption. Major highlight of her research during the past few years is the research on biofortified cassava in Kenya and in Nigeria. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University & Research. She teaches in undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate courses on topics related to her research.

Prof. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Prof. Vieno Piironen

Vieno Piironen is Professor of Food Chemistry at the Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki. She has ca. 35 years experience in vitamin research. The research has focused especially on vitamin E, D and K as well as on folate, vitamin B12 and niacin. Research questions on vitamins cover their occurrence in foods; chemical and nutritional properties; importance in foods and diets; factors influencing the levels; natural enhancement; microbial biosynthesis. In addition, development of analytical methods for different vitamers as well as validation and harmonization of the methods through international collaboration are among her priorities. Recent collaboration projects have focused on enhancing vitamin contents in cereal-based foods by plant breeding, fractionation of the materials and bioprocessing.  The current  focus lies especially on in situ synthesis of vitamin B12 by Propionibacterium freudenreichii in plant-based matrices. She also investigates bioactive compounds of the dietary fibre complex and  different lipid classes and their oxidation reactions. Chemical and enzymatic reactions of lipids leading to off-flavour compounds are of interest in cereal and pulse matrices.  Properties and utilization of high value component in microalgae are also investigated.

Dr Dedreia Tull


Dedreia completed her PhD in 1995 at the University of British Columbia, Canada in bio-organic chemistry. She has over 20 years experience working on a broad range of multidisciplinary scientific projects spanning plant biotechnology to biomedical, and from academic to commercial research. She was appointed as the Manager of Bio21 Institute Metabolomics Australia Facility which with the facility at the School of Biosciences makes the University of Melbourne Metabolomics node. She is responsible for providing access to world-class metabolomics analysis to Australian and international biomedical and environmental researchers. She has managed collaborative projects with various research organisations such national and international universities, government organizations and industry.



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