DSM Nutrition Award 2009 presented to Michael Holick and Heike Bischoff-Ferrari
An international judging committee, chaired by Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President Research & Development, DSM Nutritional Products, selected Professor Holick and Professor Bischoff-Ferrari from among several candidates shortlisted by an international pre-selection committee. The award – which carries a cash prize of EUR 50,000 that the two winners will share – was presented by Dr. Eggersdorfer and Mr. Mauricio Adade, President Human Nutrition & Health, DSM Nutritional Products, at the International Congress of Nutrition 2009 in Bangkok (Thailand) on 6 October.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Adade said: "Our Innovation Awards Program forms part of our interaction with the academic world. We consider this interaction to be very important, as it is an essential component of our 'open innovation' approach. As a science-based company and leading producer of vitamins and other nutritional ingredients, we are convinced that science and technology will always play a crucial role in providing innovative solutions to the many challenges confronting mankind. We are very pleased to honor here today two of the world’s most outstanding scientists working in the field of human nutrition."
Speaking on behalf of the judging committee, Dr. Eggersdorfer said: "Over the past decade the understanding of vitamin D has extended beyond its well established effects on bone metabolism to encompass vitamin D needs in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, immunological disorders and certain forms of cancer. The award winners have made major contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in human health."
Pioneers in vitamin D research
Michael F. Holick is renowned worldwide for his lifetime contribution to the basic understanding of the formation of vitamin D in the skin, the regulation of vitamin D absorption in the gut, and the metabolism and activation of vitamin D by liver and kidney. He also established the evidence that most human populations have a limited capacity to form vitamin D by sun exposure, thus resulting in a critical need for an adequate supply of vitamin D by diet and dietary supplements. Michael F. Holick is Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston USA.
Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari is recognized for her significant contributions on the effects of vitamin D in the field of population health and her demonstration of a widespread vitamin D deficiency, particularly in the elderly. Already at this early stage of her career she has demonstrated the critical role of vitamin D in assuring muscle strength and bone health to prevent falls and fractures, thus redefining the vitamin D and calcium requirements of this growing segment of the population. Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari has received a professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation and is director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the Department of Rheumatology and the Institute of Physical Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
The DSM Nutrition Award forms part of DSM’s Innovation Awards Program. It is granted every two years and alternates between the fields of human and animal nutrition. The DSM Nutrition Award for Human Nutrition is granted in recognition of excellence in innovative research related to essential nutrients as well as to other naturally occurring bioactive compounds in the field of human nutrition. This can be research of a fundamental nature as well as applied research providing solutions to important research questions in the field of human nutrition.