Speakers and Topics

Invited Speakers


Speaker topic


Amanda Palmer 

Nutrigenetics of Vitamin A

Johns Hopkins University, USA

Michael Fenech

Nutrigenetics of Vitamin B9 and B12

CSIRO, Australia

Patrick Borel

Nutrigenetics of Vitamin E

INRA, France

Carsten Carlberg

Nutrigenetics of Vitamin D

University of Eastern Finland

Anne Minihane

Nutrigenetics of 3 fatty acids and flavonoids’

University of East Anglia, UK

Giovanna Bermano

Nutrigenetics of Selenium

Robert Gordon University, UK

Chris Evelo

Bioinformatics and Pathway Visualisation

University of Maastricht, Netherlands

Amanda Palmer, Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Dr. Amanda Palmer is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has over 15 years of experience working on nutrition research, policy, and programs. The broad goal of her work is to improve maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries. This includes research on the interplay between nutrition and immune function; evaluating public health interventions; and informing public health policies and programs. Her specific focus is on vitamin A deficiency control through supplementation, food fortification, and dietary change. Dr. Palmer is the Principal Investigator on a series of efficacy trials to test the impact of regular provitamin A carotenoid-biofortified crop consumption on vitamin A status. These studies incorporate multiple vitamin A status markers—ranging from pupillometry under dark-adapted conditions to dual isotope dilution—and seek to understand how a population’s genetic background and environment may modify its response to nutrition interventions. Dr. Palmer holds doctoral and master’s degrees in human nutrition from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago. She has worked previously with the UNICEF, Helen Keller International, and the Peace Corps.


Professor Michael Fenech, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity


Professor Michael Fenech is recognised internationally for his research in nutritional genomics and genetic toxicology and for developing the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay which is a standard method used internationally to measure DNA damage in human cells. The CBMN assay has been endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD for in vivo radiation biodosimetry and in vitro testing of genotoxins respectively. His key goal is to determine the nutritional and environmental requirements for DNA damage prevention. In 2003 Dr Fenech proposed a novel ageing and disease prevention strategy based on personalised diagnosis and prevention of DNA damage by appropriate diet/life-style intervention, which has led to the Genome Health Clinic concept. In 2003-2009 his laboratory further developed the CBMN assay into a 'cytome' assay consisting of six complementary biomarkers of DNA damage and cytotoxicity which is now published in Nature Protocols. He co-founded the HUMN projects on micronuclei in human populations (www.humn.org) and is a member of the coordinating group and co-founder of the Micronutrients Genomics Project which he has been leading since July 2011. His research is currently also focused on (i) the impact of nutrition and psychological stress on telomere integrity and (ii) personalised nutrition for dementia prevention and cancer growth control. In 2014 he was elected Foundation President of the Asia-Pacific Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics Organisation (APNNO). Since 2010 he has been an invited speaker at 45 international conferences (9 plenary lectures). His H-index is 78 based on 26,580 total career citations according to Google Scholar.



Patrick Borel, Aix-Marseille University, France


Patrick Borel, nutritionist, obtained his PhD in molecular biology at Marseille University in 1988. He works for the french National Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA). Since 2002, he is the director of a research team called “Human Micronutrition”. This team belongs to a research unit called NORT for “Nutrition, Obesity and Risk of Thrombosis”. This is a joint research unit between INRA, INSERM (the french national institute of health and medical research), and Aix-Marseille University. The unit is located at the faculté de médecine de la Timone in Marseille (France) and includes 3 teams. The P Borel’s team is composed of 30 peoples (among them 6 full time researchers, 6 clinician researchers and 5 lecturers). It associates experts on micronutrients, on physiology, on molecular biology, on genetic and on metabolomics. Dr Borel is member of the scientist board of the nutrition department of INRA. He is vice chaiman of the SFVB (Société Francophone Vitamines & Biofacteurs ; French society on Vitamins). Dr Borel works on fat soluble micronutrient bioavailability and metabolism since 1993. He has published more than 120 papers in peer review international journals. In recent years, he has focused his topic on the identification of genetic variations that are associated, and thus are are assumed to modulate, the bioavailability and metabolism of fat soluble vitamins (A, E and D) and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein…).

List of publications: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9977-3238


Prof Anne Marie Minihane, Nutrition and Preventive Medicine Department, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, UK

Anne-Marie Minihane heads the Nutrigenetics Group and is the Director of Research and Innovation, at Norwich Medical School, at the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK. The group investigtes the independent and interactive impact of dietary components (in particular marine n-3 fatty acids and plant bioactives) and APOE genotype on cardio-metabolic and cognitive health. Genetic and physiological determinants of dietary component bioavailability and tissue status are also of particular interest. The majority of the work uses randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with the ‘human’ interventions complemented by cell and rodent studies and molecular biology approaches to inform the RCTs and investigate the mechanisms underlying gene*diet*health associations. In addition, at UEA Anne Marie contributes to the teaching of the Medical and Bioscience students, in the area of nutrition and disease prevention and therapeutics.

She is academic advisor to the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force and Scientific Advisory Committee member for ILSI Europe, Deputy Editor of the British Journal of Nutrition and part of the Research Council UK (RCUK) 2017 Expert Group in mental health research.

Apart from science, Anne Marie enjoys, the outdoors and sports of all varieties, good food and books and travel (people and places).


Prof Carsten Carlberg, School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland

Carsten Carlberg is since the year 2000 Full Professor of Biochemistry at the School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland. Since more than 25 years he studies gene regulation by vitamin D and has published more than 100 original papers and 30 review articles on this subject. In this context he investigated the vitamin D receptor, its binding sites in the genome and other nuclear proteins (RXR, CTCF, PU.1, co-activators and co-repressors) supporting the actions of vitamin D on human tissues and cell types. A few years ago, the interests of Prof. Carlberg shifted to the genome- and transcriptome-wide understanding of the molecular effects of vitamin D supplementation. This led to the discovery of high- and low-responders to vitamin D and the concept of a vitamin D response index suggesting personalized vitamin D supplementation to human individuals.


Giovanna Bermano, Centre for Obesity Research and Education, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

Dr Giovanna Bermano is a registered nutritionist and director of the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) at Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen, UK. The group aims to improve understanding of the determinants involved in the development of obesity and related co-morbidities, with a specific interest in determining nutrient requirements at the cellular level and the role of nutrients in molecular functions. Identification of biomarkers for personalised/stratified management of both obesity and co-morbidities is also of interest to the group. Dr Bermano obtained her first degree in Food Technology and Nutrition from the University of Milan, Italy, and then moved to the UK to work with Professor J.E. Hesketh at the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen. She obtained her PhD on regulation of selenoprotein gene expression from the University of Aberdeen and established a reputation in nutrient-gene regulation. Her research involves the use of a wide range of cellular, in vitro and in vivo models to explore how normal physiology is altered in obesity associated diseases including cancer, diabetesand fatty liver disease, and to identify novel nutritional/therapeutic targets. Her research has highlighted the importance of Se status in CRC susceptibility and of a nutrient-gene-interaction leading to greater susceptibility of certain individuals to this disease, allowing the characterisation of biomarkers to be used for identification of individuals at high risk.


Professor Chris Evelo, Department of Bioinformatics, University of Maastricht, Netherlands

Professor Chris Evelo is head of the Department of Bioinformatics - BiGCaT at Maastricht University, which he started in 2001. His main research interest is to integrate different bioinformatics approaches to allow real understanding of the data generated in large scale genomics experiments. For this he develops pipelines that start with evaluation of data quality and allow filtering and normalisation (Stan Gaj’s project). Data is then statistically analysed and studied for patterns, gene clusters and profiles. After coupling through genome databases the results can be understood in the context of existing biological knowledge. Since the latter knowledge is domain specific and needs to be formalised we developed a pathway content wiki (see wikipathways.org) and a pathway analysis tool (see pathvisio.org). With these content is developed and used that is specific for research in the nutrition, cardiovascular and toxicology domains. New technology continuously offers new challenges and new chances in genomics. We now concentrate on integration of results along the full gene expression pipeline, from epigenomic imprinting via transcription and translation regulation up to protein modifications (Arie van Erk's and Michiels Adriaens' projects). These analyses are coupled to knowledge integration, for instance for regulatory pathways, which can be derived from literature mining (Andra Waagmeester's project).

Chris intensively collaborates with many research groups from all over the world. He is a member of the council of the European Network of Excellence for Nutritigenomics (NuGO) for which he coordinates the bioinformatics analysis in their proof of principle studies and for the research focus teams.

He is also a member of the council of NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism.


The workshop is proudly sponsored by the Asia Pacific

Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics Organisation (www.apnno.com)


 The workshop is proudly sponsored by the Nutrition Society (www.nutritionsociety.org)