News and events
The latest news and upcoming Centre events
Latest news and upcoming events
News: Genetic factors influencing adult obesity take effect in early childhood
Body mass index (BMI) in infants, children and adults is influenced by different genetic factors that change as we age, according to a major new study
An international consortium of researchers, led by scientists at Imperial College London, the University of Surrey, and the University of Oulu, Finland, discovered that BMI in babies is influenced by a distinct set of genetic variants that play little role in determining weight in later life.
They found, however, that some genetic variants associated with adult BMI start playing a role during childhood from around the age of 4-7 years old – suggesting that the origins of obesity in adults may lie in this critical stage of childhood.
News: Study reveals link between soft drink consumption and increased risk of death
Consumption of soft drinks is linked with higher rates of mortality, according to a new multinational European study.
The study, which involved over 450,000 participants from 10 European countries, found that those who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks, including sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks, per day had a higher risk of mortality from all causes than those who consumed less than one glass per month.
Past news and events
Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research Launch 8th October
In December 2018 we gained Imperial Centre of Excellence status, forming the Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research, building on the work and success of what was formally the Nutrition and Food Network. The Centre brings together world leading research teams across Imperial College’s Faculties. Using multi-disciplinary approaches and cutting edge techniques the Centre extends the strength and capability of the research base to respond to key emerging global challenges in Nutrition, Food and Health.
On the 8th October 2019 we held a Launch event which included an inspiring talk from Dr David Nabarro and an interactive workshop host by Professor Peter Childs (Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering).
Seminar: Impacts of meat intake and meat-free dieting on cardio-vascular health: evidence from UK Biobank
The Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research is proud to invite Dr Deborah Schneider-Luftman from Imperial College to discuss the impacts of meat intake and meat-free dieting on cardio-vascular health.
Date: Thursday 5th September 2019
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Venue: Seminar Room 1 & 2, Wolfson Building, Hammersmith Campus
Dr Schneider-Luftman is a UK Med-Mio Fellow in Biostatistics, working at Imperial College London in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics department. She completed her PhD in multivariate Statistics in 2016, and has worked in Public Health research ever since. Her interests evolve around multivariate analysis, statistical methodology, cardio-vascular epidemiology, and nutritional epidemiology of veganism.
News: New hormone injection aids weight loss in obese patients
An injection has helped reduce body weight and glucose levels in patients with diabetes and obesity in four weeks.
The findings came from a small study in which patients lost on average 4.4kg and the treatment led to substantial improvements to their blood glucose, with some patients’ reducing to near-normal levels.
News: Salt rules linked to 9900 cases of cardiovascular disease and 1500 cancer cases
A relaxation of UK food industry regulation has been linked with 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease, and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool analysed the salt intake of the population in England over thirteen years to compare the effect of changes in regulations on how much salt manufacturers can use in their products.
Seminar: Vegetarian diets and plant foods for chronic disease prevention
The Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research is proud to invite Dr Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College London and Dr Keren Papier from the University of Oxford to discuss Vegetarian diets and plant foods for chronic disease prevention.
Date: Thursday 1st August 2019
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Venue: Seminar Room 1 & 2, Wolfson Building, Hammersmith Campus
Dr Dagfinn Aune is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health of Imperial College London and an associate professor at Bjørknes University College in Oslo, Norway. He completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2016 and has a MSc in Nutrition from the University of Oslo from 2008. Since 2010 he has worked for several years in the Continuous Update Project of the World Cancer Research Fund, updating systematic reviews and meta-analyses on diet, anthropometry, physical activity and cancer risk and has contributed to the Third Expert Report "Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective" which was published in May 2018. He has also worked on systematic reviews and meta-analyses within other areas of public health as well as on projects in the EPIC-study, HUNT-study, and in South American case-control studies. His main research interests are on the relationships between diet, adiposity, physical activity and smoking and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, pregnancy complications and premature mortality.
Dr Keren Papier is a postdoctoral nutritional epidemiologist in the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at The University of Oxford. Her current research with the LEAP Project (Livestock, Environment and People) examines the relationship between animal sourced foods and health outcomes in the EPIC-Oxford Study and the UK Biobank Study. Prior to coming to Oxford, Keren completed a doctoral degree in Epidemiology at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, for which she assessed the incidence and risk factors of emerging type 2 diabetes mellitus in Thailand. She also holds a Bachelor of Public Health Nutrition with first class Honours from Griffith University. Keren’s research interests include assessing diet and lifestyle and examining their role in the development of chronic diseases and premature mortality. Her international research settings have included Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the UK.
News: Experts gather in Nairobi to explore the influence of undernutrition on gut health
News: Food freshness sensors could replace ‘use-by’ dates to cut food waste
Imperial academics have developed low-cost, smartphone-linked, eco-friendly spoilage sensors for meat and fish packaging.
The researchers say the new sensors could help detect spoilage and reduce food waste for supermarkets and consumers.
Seminar: Vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections
The Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research is proud to invite Professor Robert Wilkinson from Imperial College and Professor Adrian Martineau from Queen Mary University of London and to discuss 'Vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections'.
Date: 25th June 2019
Time: 1pm - 2pm
Venue: City and Guilds Building Lecture Theatre 640, South Kensignton Campus
Robert J Wilkinson is a Professor in Infectious Diseases at Imperial and a Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. Much of his research is conducted at the University of Cape Town South Africa where he is an Honorary Professor of Medicine and directs that institution’s Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa. Wilkinson has contributed a number of articles on tuberculosis and HIV-associated tuberculosis.
Adrian Martineau is Clinical Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Queen Mary University of London. Adrian joined Queen Mary as a lecturer in Respiratory Medicine in 2002, and established a programme of laboratory and clinical research into the immunomodulatory actions of vitamin D in tuberculosis. He received his PhD in 2010, and is currently conducting clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation to prevent respiratory infections and non-communicable diseases in the UK, South Africa and Mongolia.
News: Obesity rising faster in rural areas than cities
Obesity is increasing more rapidly in the world’s rural areas than in cities, according to a new study of global trends in body-mass index (BMI).
The research, led by Imperial College London and published in Nature, analysed the height and weight data of more than 112 million adults across urban and rural areas of 200 countries and territories between 1985 and 2017.
Seminar: Gut microbiome and metabolomics approaches for nutrition and fitness research
The Centre for Translational Nutrition and Food Research is proud to invite Dr Orla O'Sullivan from Teagasc Food Research Centre and Dr Isabel Garcia Perez from Imperial College to discuss the influence of diet and fitness on the human gut microbiome.
Date: 9 May 2019
Time: 11.00 - 12.00
Venue: City and Guilds Builiding Lecture Theatre 640
Campus: South Kensington Campus
Dr. Orla O’Sullivan is a computational biologist at Teagasc Food Research Centre and a senior investigator with APC Microbiome Ireland. Her research focuses on elucidating the microbiome from various environments including human gut and lung, rumen and food. Of particular interest to her is the role of physical fitness and diet on the human gut microbiome both in healthy and diseased cohorts.
Dr. Isabel Garcia Perez is a Lecturer in Precision and Systems Medicine, in the Department of Surgey and Cancer at Imperial College London and NIHR Research Fellow. Isabel is an expert in analytical chemistry and metabolic profiling and has developed clinical trial methods for nutritional and exercise studies. Her main passion is the development of tools for monitoring individuals and their response to diet and lifestyle interventions.
News: Managing severe malnutrition: It takes more than calories
Scientists from Imperial and beyond discuss the latest research and developments on the management of severe malnutrition.
News: Researcher urges food industry to reduce salt in food
The food industry must do more to lower the amount of salt in their products in order to tackle high blood pressure, says an Imperial expert.
Professor Paul Elliott, Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at Imperial College London, talked about his work on how salt contributes to raised blood pressure, and strategies to tackle high salt consumption, at the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) seminar. He was joined by Professor Neil Poulter, Honorary Consultant Physician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the College, who talked about his work on raising awareness of the impact of raised blood pressure.
News: Pre-announcement: Call for Industry-led Innovations to Tackle Childhood Obesity
The STOP Consortium, in collaboration with EIT Health and EIT Food, will launch a call for industry-led projects aimed at developing innovations that have the potential to curb childhood obesity in Europe, either by making critical improvements in the food environments faced by children and their families, or by increasing children’s fitness and physical activity. The call will be launched by the end of April 2019.
News: Imperial researchers call for urgent action to tackle obesity epidemic
There is an urgent need for new dietary approaches and treatments to tackle the global health crisis of obesity in children and adults say experts.
The worldwide prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016 and experts say that more needs to be done to make healthy, nutritious food more available at home and school, especially in poor families and communities. Regulations and taxes to protect children from unhealthy foods are also needed.
News: DNA test and phone app to ‘nudge’ Waitrose shoppers towards healthier food
A new app, developed by Imperial start-up DnaNudge, will use shoppers’ DNA to help them make healthier choices while food shopping.
In the first study of its kind, researchers at Imperial College London will study the effects of DNA-personalised food choices on health outcomes for people with pre-diabetes.
News: Could personalised 'food passports’ help to boost health and tackle obesity?
Combining AI technology, personal data and culinary know-how could help to keep the population healthier for longer.
In a concept which brings a bit of science fiction to the dining table, researchers at Imperial are investigating how incorporating data from our genome with how we perceive the food we eat could lead to more personalised meals, which could also help to tackle climbing rates of chronic conditions like obesity, cancer and diabetes.
News: Early puberty linked with increased risk of obesity for women
Girls who start puberty earlier are more likely to be overweight as adults, finds new research from Imperial College London.
The researchers say their findings, published today in the International Journal of Obesity, strengthen existing evidence of a link between the onset of puberty and a woman’s body mass in adulthood.
Previous studies have established a link between obesity and puberty, with increased body weight known to be a risk factor for girls starting puberty earlier.
However, these observational findings can be influenced by situational factors, such as ethnicity, economic background, education level, and diet, making it difficult to determine whether early puberty or these other factors are the cause.
Seminar: New understanding around nutrition, inflammation and metabolism
The Nutrition and Food Network is proud to invite Professor Helen Roche from University College Dublin (UCD) and Dr Kevin Woollard from Imperial College to discuss the effect of inflammation and metabolism on nutrition.
Date: 20 April 2018
Time: 12.00 - 14.30
Venue: Lecture Theatre 3, Wolfson
Campus: Hammersmith Campus
Professor Roche is the Associate Professor of Nutrigenomics based at the Conway Institute, UCD in Ireland within the Food & Health Theme. She established the first Nutrigenomics research group in Ireland, at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Trinity College Dublin.
Dr Kevin Woollard is the group leader in the Renal and Vascular Inflammation Section, Department of Medicine at Imperial College. His interests are in understanding monocyte biology during vascular inflammation, particularly their contribution to cardiovascular and kidney disease.
The seminar is chaired by Professor Gary Frost (Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics).
Light refreshments will be provided prior to the seminar with an opportunity to meet the speakers.
- 12:00 - Welcome lunch in the the Wolfson Resturant, Commonwealth building
- 12:30 - Welcome from Gary Frost
- 12:35 - Professor Helen Roche on 'Nutritional modulation of metabolic-inflammation', followed by Q&A
- 01:30 - Dr Kevin Woollard on 'Lipids and lipaemia can modulate monocyte activity', followed by Q&A
Davos: Imperial academics present food solutions to world leaders
Imperial academics from the NFN joined global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss innovative ideas around nutrition and food production. Professor Gary Frost, Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr Marisa Miraldo Associate, Associate Professor in Health Economics and Dr Laura Barter, Director of AGRI-net and the Agri-Future Lab discussed how science and technology can play a key role in solving global challenges.
Read more about this year's World Economic Forum, which focused on "Creating a shared future in a fractured world".
Read more about the research carried out by a some of the members of NFN and how we are working together to solve global challenges.
Symposium: New Tools In Molecular Nutrition
The Nutrition and Food Network is proud to announce the first of a series of symposiums in Nutrition and Food to be held at the new White City Campus on Friday 16th March. This half-day symposium brings together experts from Medicine and Chemistry who will discuss what future holds for us in the field of Molecular Nutrition.
- Dr Aylin Hanyaloglu Senior Lecturer and Research Team Lead of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Signalling Group will talk about new techniques and understanding in G-protein coupled receptor physiology.
- Dr Filipe Cabreiro Principal Investigator of the Cabreiro Lab from UCL will be exploring 4-way drug-nutrient-microbe-host interactions using C-elegan and how understanding these interactions can improve human health.
- Dr Katia Karalis from Emulate Inc., Boston will talk about new advances in organ-on-a-chip technology and how this technology could be used for precision medicine and personalised health.
- Prof Zoltan Takats Professor of Analytical Chemistry as pursued pioneering research in mass spectrometry and he is one of the founders of the field of Ambient Mass Spectrometry and he will discuss new techniques for tracking metabolism.
Full details can be found on the Faculty of Medicine Events page.
Registration is open from 09.00. A light lunch will be provided following the talks with an opportunity to meet the speakers.
Staff and students from Imperial College are welcome and all attendees must register on Eventbrite in advance.
Seminar: How well targeted are soda taxes?
In collaboration with the NFN the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation is proud to invite Professor Rachel Griffith from the University of Manchester who will be discussing soda taxes and their effectiveness in reducing excess sugar intake.
Soda taxes aim to reduce excessive sugar consumption. Their effectiveness depends on whether they target individuals for whom the harm of consumption is largest. We estimate demand and account for supply-side equilibrium pass-through. We exploit longitudinal data to estimate individual preferences, which allows flexible heterogeneity that we relate to a wide array of individual characteristics. We show that soda taxes are effective at targeting young consumers but not individuals with high total dietary sugar; they impose the highest monetary cost on poorer individuals but are unlikely to be strongly regressive if we account for averted future costs from over-consumption.
Location: LG19A, Imperial College Business School, South Kensington
Date: 20 February 2018 15:00 to 16:00
Refreshments will be provided.
For enquiries, please contact Dr Jack Olney
Launch of the Nutrition and Food Network - September 2017
Imperial College is proud to announce the launch of the Network of Excellence in Nutrition and Food (NFN). The launch of the Network was attended by staff from across the Faculties of Medicine, Life Sciences, Engineering and the Business School. The Network aims to tackle some of the major health issues the world is facing relating to food and nutrition by drawing on the expertise of researchers making the College a beacon for nutrition and food research.
The Network is about bringing people from diverse backgrounds to focus on ever-increasing burdening problems associated with food, nutrition and health. Although people have been working in the space of Nutrition for many years, Imperial is not overtly known for this and the Network aims to facilitate innovation within Network and highlight this work in a given space so that we have a window that the rest of the world can see – Imperial plays an important role in nutritional discovery.