SPEAKERS

Cesarettin Alasalvar, PhD., FIFT.

TUBITAK Marmara Research Center, Food Institute. Gebze-Kocaeli, Turkey

Dr. Cesarettin Alasalvar is the Director of the Food Institute at TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (MRC) in Turkey and is also an Associate Professor of Food Science and Engineering. His research interests focus mainly on development of functional foods and nutraceuticals, nutritional and functional properties of foods, bioactive properties of phytochemicals, and separation and identification of bioactives as well as bioavailability of foods and human clinical trials. Dr. Alasalvar has been active in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) programs for many years and served as a past chair of the Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods Division. He was one of the co-founders of the International Society for Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (ISNFF) and also served as a past president of ISNFF. Dr. Alasalvar is an associate editor of Food Chemistry and serves as an editorial board member of Journal of Functional Foods and Journal of Food Bioactives. He is active in Horizon 2020 Programme and has been serving as Turkish Delegate of Societal Challenges II (Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bio economy) of the Horizon 2020 Programme Committee since 2017. He is also the Scientific Advisory Board Member of PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area - Horizon 2020) and serves as Academic Committee and World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination Committee Members of International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC). Dr. Alasalvar is the editor of six books including Tree Nuts: Composition, Phytochemicals and Health Effects, Dried Fruits: Phytochemicals and Health Effects, and Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried Fruits and holds two patents.  His work has led to the publication of over 100 research articles in the form of peer-reviewed journals (h-index of 34) and book chapters. Dr. Alasalvar has received a number of international prestigious awards; including the IFT-Fellow Award (2012), the TÜBİTAK MRC - Most Successful Researcher Award (2012), the ISNFF Merit Award (2014), and Sabri Ülker International Science and Innovation Award on Food, Nutrition, and Health (2015) in recognition of his pioneering scientific achievements.

David Baer, PhD

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center located in Beltsville, Maryland

David J. Baer, Ph.D., is a Supervisory Research Physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center located in Beltsville, Maryland.  He serves as the Research Leader for the Center’s Food Components and Health Laboratory.

Dr. Baer conducts controlled dietary intervention studies to investigate the relationship between diet and the risk for chronic degenerative diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes in people. Some of the dietary interventions he has investigated include the effects of different types of protein, fats and fatty acids, fiber, margarine, butter, plant sterols, salad dressings, nuts, whole grains, berries, alcohol and tea on overall nutrition and health.  His publications include important findings from randomized controlled trials on the effects of different fatty acids on risk for cardiovascular disease, especially several large trials investigating partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fatty acids.  He was among the first to demonstrate how diets impact systemic inflammation, and this research was recognized in 2004 when he was the inaugural recipient of the Pan American Prize on Nutrition, Science and Food Technology. In 2012, he began publishing several peer-reviewed articles describing the energy value of different nuts using an approach developed in his Laboratory. This research updates methods that have been used since the late 1890s to label the energy (calorie) content of foods. He served as the Guest Editor for the journal Nutrients’ special issue titled “Nut Consumption for Human Health.”  In addition to dietary intervention studies, Baer is involved in research studies to validate food survey methodologies and to develop new methods for dietary assessment.

Dr. Baer earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his Masters and doctorate in nutrition from Michigan State University.

John Blundell, Prof.

Appetite Control and Energy Balance Research Group (ACEB); BioPsychology (Nutrition) Group; and Institute of Psychological Sciences, Leeds, UK.

Prof. John Blundell is a highly cited investigator in the science of appetite regulation, energy balance and physical activity (h-index of 109 by July 2019), and he has over 25 years experience of the management of interdisciplinary interventions involving simultaneous measurements in metabolism, physiology, energy balance, behaviour and psychology. JB’s early training was in Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, University of London, and much later he became founder Director of the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds. In 1990 he established the Human Appetite research group (HARU). JB has been awarded several prizes and recently has been Visiting Professor at the University of Ghent, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Rhode Island. He was a  member of Expert Group of UK government Department of Health (DoH) on the Social Marketing of Childhood Obesity, and of the Expert Group of UK government Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) Foresight Team on Tackling Obesities. In the 1980s JB helped to develop the concept of the Satiety Cascade, but for the last 20 years he has investigated the interactions between energy expenditure and energy intake, positioning appetite control within an energy balance framework and linking it to body composition. This approach places appetite control in an evolutionary context; it has demonstrated that Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is a major determinant of the drive to eat and Energy Intake, and has led to a new formulation for understanding appetite control.

Bradley Bolling, PhD.

University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Bradley Bolling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned undergraduate and PhD degrees in Food Science at UW-Madison and received postdoctoral training in Nutritional Sciences at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research center on Aging at Tufts University through the Training in Education And Critical Research Skills (TEACRS) Program, an NIH K12 IRACDA (Institutional Research and Career Development Award) Program. Dr. Bolling’s research focus is on determining the role of foods and phytochemicals in preventing chronic diseases. His current research aims are to characterize how interindividual variability in metabolic pathways of dietary bioactive components influences efficacy of dietary interventions; characterize the ability of bioactives to prevent chronic inflammation associated with obesity and auto-immune disease; and determine the abundance and variability of bioactive components in the food supply. He is presently utilizing human intervention studies, cellular studies, and animal models to accomplish these objectives. Dr. Bolling is a Scientific Editor for the Journal of Food Science and Secretary of the International Society for Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Food Science, include a graduate course about dietary bioactives.

Monica Bulló

Mònica Bulló is a Senior Researcher and Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University Rovira i Virgili and Institute of Health Pere Virgili. She graduated in Biological Sciences in the University of Barcelona and got her Honor Thesis in Nutrition and Human Health from the Rovira i Virgili University. Her career has focused in the development of several epidemiological and clinical studies in obesity and cardiovascular diseases leading several national and international projects. Among her lines of research are:  the study of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of obesity and its interaction with food; metabolomics as a practical approach for the study of T2D and cardiovascular disease; the study of the health benefits of nut consumption; the analysis of the interaction between diet, insulin resistance and dementia; and the modulatory role of diet on gut microbiota and epigenetic tags. She is a member of different boards and committees including the Spanish Society of Basic and Applied Nutrition (past), Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO), Center of Nutrition in Catalonia (CCNIEC), DNSG-international group, Nutri-Epigen network.

Montserrat Cofán, PhD.

(a) CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain. (b) Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Montserrat Cofan is currently a Postdoctoral Research fellow in CIBER Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition, CIBEROBN (ISCIII) (CB06/03/0017 Group – Diet and Atherosclerosis. PI: Dr. Emilio Ortega, at the Endocrinology & Nutrition Service, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona-IDIBAPS, and Associate Professor at University of Barcelona, Faculty of Medicine). She received her PhD at the University of Barcelona in physiopathological mechanisms of myopathy and cardiomyopathy by acute and chronic ethanol exposure. From 1998 to 2000, she was a Research Fellowship at Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology Department-Alcohol Research Centre, Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, USA), focused on the analysis of integrated signaling responses in liver and other tissues, and on the adaptive or maladaptive modification of these responses by ethanol exposure. She has been part of the board of directors of the Spanish Atherosclerosis Society from 2012-2014. Her main research interests include: - the study of interactions of Mediterranean diet and metabolism on nutritional phenotypes in the context of chronic diseases: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cognitive impairment in older people, mainly by conducting a characterization of the metabolome; - analysis of intestinal absorption and synthesis of cholesterol; - characterization of genetic dyslipidemias; - detection of preclinical atherosclerosis and its development. She has experience in: Laboratory techniques of biochemistry, chromatography, molecular cell biology and genetics, applied to both basic and translational biomedical research of different diseases; management of databases and research projects; statistical analysis; and dissemination of results through publications, conferences and internal reports.

Heinz Freisling,PhD

Nutritional Methodology and Biostatistics Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO) in Lyon, France

Dr. Heinz Freisling is a Scientist in the Nutritional Methodology and Biostatistics Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO) in Lyon, France. He earned undergraduate and PhD degrees in molecular nutrition and nutritional epidemiology at the University of Vienna. During his stay as a post-doctoral researcher and later on as a Scientist at the IARC-WHO, he assumed a leading role in dietary exposure assessment to answer scientific questions related to diet and health, in particular with regard to cancer prevention. His current research interests are focused on understanding the role of diet, nutrition, and metabolic health, and their interplay with genetic susceptibility in the etiology of major chronic diseases, in particular cancer, but also diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This will be done in large, mostly prospective, observational studies that are accessible for research such as the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, the UK Biobank, but also primary care databases and genetic consortia. He is currently coordinating five large on-going research projects in cancer epidemiology as Principal Investigator. An important feature of these projects is the aim to go beyond the state-of-the-art in terms of data acquisition and statistical analysis. One example of this in his research is the application of a “triangulation” approach combining two or more statistical techniques as a means to reduce uncertainty and identify potential causal factors in relation to disease risk. His scientific competence is exemplified by over 127 peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals, with many as first or senior author (his H-index is currently 24)

Marta Guasch-Ferré, PhD.

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Guasch-Ferré is a Research Scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Guasch-Ferré earned her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism from the Rovira i Virgili University, Spain. She previously earned a BS and Master in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the same university. Her research interests include the role of Mediterranean diet, nuts, olive oil and dietary fatty acids on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and mortality. She has conducted extensive research on this field in the framework of the PREDIMED trial and three large U.S. prospective cohorts, the Nurses’ Health Study I and II and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. During her postdoctoral training at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, she has integrated metabolomics approaches to gain insights into the biological mechanisms underlying the associations between dietary and lifestyle factors with chronic diseases. Her ongoing research aims include bringing an individualized therapeutic lifestyle approach to the clinical treatment of cardiometabolic diseases by integrating dietary and lifestyle factors, phenotypic and omics data for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She is the PI of the project ‘Mechanisms underlying metabolomics profiles and type 2 diabetes’ granted by the American Diabetes Association.

David Jenkins, Prof.

University of Toronto & St. Michael's Hospital.

Prof. David J.A. Jenkins is an University Professor, and Canada Research Chair, in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, a staff physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital.  He was educated at Oxford University, obtaining his DM, DPhil and DSc. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.  He has served on committees in Canada and the United States that formulated nutritional guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and recommendations for fiber and macronutrient intake under the joint US-Canada DRI system (RDAs) of the National Academy of Sciences.  He also served as a member of Agriculture Canada’s Science Advisory Board (2004-2009) on the future direction of Canada’s agriculture and agricultural research. He has spent much time working with the food industry to develop products for the supermarket shelf and, for example, helped to initiate a major Canadian supermarket line of heart healthy foods. His research area is the use of diet in the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia and diabetes.  He has over 350 original publications on these and related topics.  His team was the first to define and explore the concept of the glycemic index of foods and demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber, including blood glucose and cholesterol lowering. His group developed the cholesterol lowering concept of the dietary portfolio that has entered guidelines in many jurisdictions (e.g. CCS, Heart UK etc.). He believes in the therapeutic value of plant based diets and that diets have to be environmentally sustainable.

Cyril Kendall, Prof.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto. Toronto, Canada

Prof. Cyril WC Kendall is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael's Hospital and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan.  He was educated at the University of Toronto, where he obtained his Honors BSc, MSc and PhD. His primary research interest is the role of diet in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.  Dr. Kendall has over 180 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals.  His research on the Portfolio Diet, which combines cholesterol-lowering food components, has been included in the US National Cholesterol Education Program (ATP III) and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines as an effective dietary strategy for cholesterol reduction.  He has also conducted much research on the role of healthy diets, including low glycemic index diets, in the control of type 2 diabetes.  Dr. Kendall has worked extensively with the food industry to develop healthy foods.  He is a founding member of the International Carbohydrate Quality Consortium (ICQC), Executive Board Member of the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group (DNSG) of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), is on the Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee for Nutrition Therapy of the EASD and is a Director of the Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials foundation.

Penny Kris-Etherton, Prof., RD., FAHA., FNLA., FASN., CLS.

The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton is Distinguished Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research expertise is cardiovascular nutrition.  She conducts controlled clinical nutrition studies designed to evaluate the effects of nutrients, bioactives and dietary patterns on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Kris-Etherton has served on national committees that have issued dietary guidelines (the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee and the 2002 National Academies Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Macronutrients and Cholesterol).  She served on the 2nd Adult Treatment Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program.  As a member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Nutrition Committee, she has co-authored numerous Scientific Statements and Advisories that have made diet and lifestyle recommendations for the prevention and treatment of CVD.  She also co-authored the National Lipid Association’s (NLA) recommendations for Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia.

She is Chair of the AHA Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health, and Past Chair of the AHA Nutrition Committee.  Dr. Kris-Etherton is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the National Lipid Association (where she served as President), and the American Society for Nutrition.  She has published over 350 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and has received numerous awards from the American Society for Nutrition, the American Oil Chemist’s Society, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council, the Northeast Lipid Association Chapter, and the National Lipid Association for her accomplishments and contributions to the profession.

Giuseppina Mandalari, PhD

University of Messina, Italy

Giusy Mandalari, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the University of Messina, Italy. My main research interest involves the basic physiology underlying the digestion of food materials within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. I am particularly interested in simulated in vivo studies investigating human digestion in relation to gut health. The bioaccessibility of nutrients and phytochemicals from various food matrices has important implications in the areas of disease prevention and management.

Noushin Mohammadifard, PhD

Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Dr. Noushin Mohammadifard is an Assistant Professor and Head of Nutrition Department at the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran (a WHO Collaborating Center in Eastern Mediterranean Region for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention and Control). She is a Research Deputy of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center in this Institute, as well.

She earned her PhD in Nutrition Science from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Also She received the BSc from the same university and MSc degree at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Her research interests focus on cardiovascular nutrition. She has substantial expertise in nutrition epidemiology especially examining the impact of individual foods and dietary patterns on CVD outcomes and risk factors and also community interventional programs to improve nutrition for the prevention and control of CVDs. She has conducted extensive research on this field in the framework of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) and Isfahan Cohort Study (ICS). She has served as the Head of  Nutrition Committee of IHHP, a practical model of WHO for implementing comprehensive population based interventional program in developing countries and Co-Investigator of ICS, a longitudinal ongoing study in urban and rural areas in Iran begun from 2001. She has published more than 100 scientific papers in peer review journals regarding various aspects of diet and non-communicable diseases. She cooperated in writing and publishing three books such as Healthy Cooking for Having Healthy Heart. She is a Section Editor of Nutrition in Arya Atherosclerosis, an International Journal indexed in emerging sources citation index of Thomson Reuters ISI. She has been a key note speaker at National and International Conferences. She has received several research and travel grants, from national and international organizations such as World Heart Foundation (WHF) for participating in world congresses or conducting studies.

Emilio Ros, Prof.

Endocrinology Sevice, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona

Born in Girona, Spain in 1945. Founder and former head of the Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology Service, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona. Emeritus Investigator, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi Sunyer (DIBAPS,) Barcelona. Former principal investigator and now associate member of the research group “Nutrition, Lipids and Cardiovascular Risk”, CIBEROBN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain. Received MD degree in 1968 and PhD in 1991, University of Barcelona. Postgraduate training in USA (1970-1976). American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Gastroenterology, Boston in 1973-75. Member and founder of the Spanish Arteriosclerosis Society (SEA); member of European and International Atherosclerosis Societies and American College of Cardiology. Awards to best scientific career in Nutrition from Fundación Danone in 2013, SEA in 2014, and Catalan Nutrition Center in 2015. Golden Nut award from the International Nut Council in 2014. Has published more than 400 original papers, over 130 review papers, 30 editorials, and 90 scientific textbook chapters (h index 61; ORCID identifier 0000-0002-2573-1294). Award as highly cited researcher globally for the period 2006-2016 by Clarivate Analytics. He has been a speaker at many scientific conferences and professor at many courses focused on nutrition, lipid metabolism, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular prevention. Research interests: nutrition in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cognitive decline, with especial interest in the Mediterranean diet and walnuts; plant sterols; blood membrane fatty acids; genetic dyslipidemias; cardiovascular risk assessment; and vascular imaging techniques, especially carotid ultrasound. He also led the nutritional intervention of the landmark PREDIMED trial of Mediterranean diet for primary cardiovascular prevention.

Joan Sabaté, MD, PhD

Loma Linda University School of Public Health, CA, USA.

Joan Sabaté MD, DrPH, is Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Loma Linda University School of Public Health where he directs the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention. Originally from Spain, Dr. Sabaté is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine who moved to the U.S.A. to further train in Public Health Nutrition. He obtained a doctorate in Nutrition and a Fellowship in Nutritional Epidemiology. Dr. Sabaté was the principal investigator of a nutrition intervention trial that directly linked the consumption of walnuts to significant reductions in serum cholesterol, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993. The Archives of Internal Medicine later published his findings of a pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials establishing the benefits of nut consumption on blood lipid levels and lowering the risk of heart disease. He has been the principal investigator of over 30 clinical trials investigating the health effects of nuts and other plant foods, funded by public and private agencies. He enjoys conducting research and disseminating the findings. He has authored more than 200 research articles in the scientific literature many of them in high-impact journals.  (h-index of 57 and more than 10,500 citations). Dr. Sabaté is co-investigator of the Adventist Health Studies, prospective epidemiological studies relating dietary intake with health outcomes that have the largest cohorts of vegetarians. He is editor of the reference book Vegetarian Nutrition published by CRC Press, and was the principal architect of the Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid released in 1987 at the 3rd International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition and redesigned in 2008. He has been chair of the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, and edited the congress proceedings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For the past 10 years, Dr. Sabaté has directed the Environmental Nutrition research program at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. This program focuses on sustainable diets and explores the interrelationships between the environmental and health impacts of food choices, and ultimately seeks to improve the sustainability, health and equity of food systems. He is editor of the book Environmental Nutrition: connecting health and nutrition with environmentally sustainable diets, published by Elsevier.

Albert Salas-Huetos, PhD

a) Andrology and IVF Laboratory, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. (b) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Biochemistry and Biotechnology Department, Human Nutrition Unit, Reus, Spain. Institut d’investigació Sanitària Pere i Virgili, Reus, Spain. (c) Consorcio CIBER, M.P., Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos obtained his degree in Biology in 2009 at the Universitat de Girona (UdG). Albert further completed his MSc in Cell Biology in 2010 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and he was awarded a PhD Excellent Cum Laude in Male Infertility (Extraordinary Prize of Doctoral students) in 2016 at the same University (UAB). He obtained his first Post-Doctoral fellowship position in the Human Nutrition Unit (Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology -Universitat Rovira i Virgili) in 2016 (to March 2018). He is now in the Andrology team at the University of Utah as a Post-Doctoral Fellow (USA). With his large experience in several experimental research designs (case-control, observational, randomized clinical trial, experimental design, cohort, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, etc.), cellular and molecular biology techniques (qRT-PCR, microarrays, cell culture, fluorescence techniques, cryobiology, sperm quality evaluation, DNA fragmentation, ROS evaluation, pyrosequencing, sequencing, zebrafish model, methylation, etc.), he has written more than 30 high impact articles. Moreover, Dr. Salas-Huetos is an inveterate traveler and has been to meetings and given invited lectures in Belgium, Canada, England, Mexico, Poland, USA, and Spain. Nowadays he is serving more than 15 indexed journals as a usual reviewer.

Aleix Sala-Vila, PhD.

Barcelonaßeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Barcelona, Spain

Dr. Aleix Sala-Vila received his BSc in Pharmacy (1999), BSc in Food Science and Technology (2002) and PhD in Biomedical Sciences (2004) from the University of Barcelona. His whole scientific career has focused on investigating how the intake of foods and nutrients characteristic of the Mediterranean diet (omega-3 fatty acids in particular) can help protect from chronic diseases. After working on atherosclerosis, aneurysm and ischemia/reperfusion injury, he started working on healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease. He has been involved in specific projects within the PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterranea) study. He is a co-investigator of the randomized controlled trial WAHA (WAlnuts for Healthy Aging, aimed at studying the effect of a diet enriched with walnuts for 2 y in comparison with a control diet on age-related cognitive decline and macular degeneration in 700 cognitively healthy older persons. He recently joined the Clinical, Biomarker and Risk Factors Research Group at Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC). In the framework of the ALFA Study, he is currently investigating whether dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the preclinic stages of Alzheimer’s disease might help delay the onset of the disease.

Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Prof, MD, PhD.

(a) Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament de Bioquímica i Biotecnologia, Unitat de Nutrició, Reus, Spain. (b) Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili (IISPV), Reus, Spain. (c) Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Fisiopatologia de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

Currently, he is Professor in Nutrition and Bromatology and Director of the Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) and Clinical Head of the Nutrition Unit of the Internal Medicine Service of the University Hospital Sant Joan de Reus (HUSJR). However, he held positions in other important entities such as IIPSV, CIBERobn, INC, CCNIEC, RIBESMET, CODINUCAT and ACSA.

In last years, Dr. Salas-Salvadó’s expertise and research lines focused on human clinical trials evaluating the effect of diets and dietary compounds on obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Since 2005, he is one of the leaders of the PREDIMED study, a landmark trial evaluating the effect of the Mediterranean Diet on the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. He is the Director and Chair of the Steering Committee of the PREDIMED-PLUS study, an ongoing multi-centre, randomised, primary prevention trial on 6,900 overweight or obese participants (age 55-75 years) with metabolic syndrome. The project aims to determine the effects on cardiovascular disease events and mortality, adiposity, cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life, of an intensive weight loss intervention based on a traditional hypocaloric Mediterranean Diet, physical activity promotion and behavioral support compared to a less intensive program using Mediterranean Diet (without energy restriction nor physical activity). Recruitment started in September 2013 and ended in November 2016. The results will be available in 2022.

Since 1983 Dr. Salas-Salvadó has directed more than 25 research projects funded by public agencies (DGICYT, the Ibero-American Cooperation Institute, the Carlos III Health Institute - FIS, PROFIT, CICYT and the European Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition project) and 25 projects in collaboration with pharmaceutical industries and food industries. He has also participated as a Co-Investigator and as a Co-Principal Investigator in other projects funded by the Carlos III Health Institute - FIS, the European Commission, the National Institute of Health (USA) and the Institute of Health Studies of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

He has published more than 500 original articles in national and international peer-reviewed and indexed journals, as well as numerous reviews and editorials, accumulating an impact factor of 2.276, a factor H: 62 and more than 16.000 citations. He is a Clarivate Analytics high citated investigator. He is the editor of 7 books and the co-author of more than 65 other books. He has presented more than 450 communications in national and international conferences.

John Sievenpiper, MD., PhD., FRCPC.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto. Toronto, Canada

Dr. Sievenpiper is a Clinician Scientist who holds appointments as an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Lifestyle Medicine Lead in the MD Program at the University of Toronto. He also holds appointments as a Staff Physician in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Sievenpiper completed his MSc, PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship training in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. He completed his MD at St. Matthew’s University followed by Residency training in Medical Biochemistry at McMaster University leading to his certification as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC). He has established an internationally recognized research program focused on using randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews and meta-analyses to address questions of clinical and public health importance in relation to diet and cardiometabolic disease prevention with a particular interest in the role of sugars, carbohydrate quality, and plant-based dietary patterns. He is directly involved in knowledge translation with appointments to the nutrition guidelines’ committees of Diabetes Canada, European Association for the study of Diabetes (EASD), Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), and Obesity Canada. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a PSI Foundation Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship, Diabetes Canada Clinician Scientist Award, Banting & Best Diabetes Centre Sun Life Financial New Investigator Award, CIHR-INMD/CNS–New Investigator Partnership Prize, and CNS Young Investigator Award. He has authored more than 175 scientific papers and 15 book chapters.

Linda Tapsell, Prof.

University of Wollongong, Australia

Prof. Linda Tapsell is a leading Australian researcher in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a senior professor in the School of Medicine and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Australia. Professor Tapsell holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Pharmacology, post graduate qualifications in Dietetics and in Medical Education, and a PhD in Public Health and Nutrition. For over 30 years she conducted ongoing clinical trials manipulating the macronutrient content of diets, testing the impact of individual foods on health outcomes and evaluating the efficacy of healthy dietary patterns in lifestyle interventions. She has served as Director of the Australian Research Council Key Centre for Smart Foods and the National Centre of Excellence in Functional Foods, and contributed continuously to national and international expert committee She has over 200 scientific publications, including a textbook Food, Nutrition and Health (Oxford University Press). Professor Tapsell has trained a generation of nutrition scientists and practitioners and is a Fellow of both the Australian Nutrition Society and the Dietitians Association.

She continues to serve on a range of national and international expert committees on food and nutrition. In 2015 she was named a member of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to health science as an academic and clinician specialising in diet and nutrition’.