This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Learn more x

DSM Science and Technology Award Europe 2015 goes to Dr. Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad for research into role of vitamins in human gut health

Sittard, NL, 22 Oct 2015 10:15 CEST

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, today announced that the DSM Science & Technology Award Europe 2015 has been awarded to Dr. Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. The award recognizes the exceptional contribution and novel insights of his Ph.D. research on the effect of vitamins on gut flora.
Dr. Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad (r) receives DSM Science & Technology Award Europe 2015 from Prof. Manfred Eggersdorfer (l) (©David Ghione)

The Science and Technology Award Europe is part of DSM’s Bright Science Awards program, which is designed to nurture, recognize, and reward excellence in fields of key interest to DSM: health, nutrition and materials. DSM has been presenting these awards for more than 25 years, and the Science and Technology Awards now span three continents, honoring bright young scientists in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Recognizing bright science

The Science and Technology Award Europe 2015 was open to all Ph.D. students who recently received their degree in nutritional sciences. The theme chosen for the 2015 competition was vitamin nutrition in relation to its impact on human health and society.

This year, the award was presented during the 12th Conference of the Federation for European Nutrition Societies in Berlin organized by the Federation for European Nutrition Societies (FENS). The winner was announced at the DSM-FENS satellite symposium focused on a targeted approach in nutrition to address risk factors in Metabolic Syndrome, after a series of presentations by some of the world’s leading nutritional experts from both within and outside DSM.

Investigating vitamin nutrition impact on gut health

Dr. Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad received the award for his Ph.D. research on the interaction between the gut and its microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease, conducted at the University of Groningen under the supervision of Dr. H.J.M. Hermie Harmsen. He received the award for the creation  of a new model that studies direct interaction between gastro-intestinal cells and gut bacteria. He proposes a new function for vitamin B2 to act as a pre-biotic. This has great potential to further foster research and development of micronutrients to improve gut health. This is a crucial and exciting area as research shows that gut health is considered increasingly important in human health.

DSM's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Marcel Wubbolts: “DSM has been granting the Science and Technology Award Europe for some time. What we’re seeing is that today’s young scientists are starting their professional careers at a time when it’s more urgent than ever to address pressing global challenges facing the world especially in health and wellness, in which nutrition plays a crucial role. With people growing older and healthcare costs on the rise, how will we maintain our health and stay well? Young scientists – their talent and dedication – are our future. Their science can change the world! And we are proud to recognize Dr. Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad, who established himself as a role model for his peers.”

Prof. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President and Head for Nutritional Science Advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products: Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabads work was highly original, addressing a difficult matter  which shows great promise for further development. “His research points out interesting new directions to investigate. If you take the insights a step further, I can imagine that it for instance someday might even be possible to reduce risk for auto immune diseases . This is something that could clearly deliver health benefits to society worldwide.”

"There is a role for initiatives like the DSM Science and Technology Awards in making advances in the field of Nutritional Science,” says Professor Heiner Boeing, FENS Conference President, Vice-President of the German Nutrition Society, and award jury member. “Young and eager talent can often make intriguing leaps forward. Highlighting novel results of the next generation of scientists can bring valuable new insights and tools to our human nutrition field.”

The runners-up for the DSM Science & Technology Award Europe 2015 were:

  • Dr. Michelle Clark, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Ireland
    Ph.D. thesis: The role of B-vitamin status, homocysteine and the MTHFR 677C→T polymorphism in bone health
    Ph.D. supervisor: Professor Helene McNulty
  • Dr. Karen Lindsay, UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science, Dublin, Ireland
    Ph.D. thesis: Maternal Nutrition in Pregnancy: new insights from cross-sectional, prospective and intervention studies
    Ph.D. supervisor: Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe
  • Dr. Marco Righettoni, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    Ph.D. thesis: Flame-made WO3-based nanostructured gas sensors for breath analysis
    Ph.D. supervisor: Professor Sotiris E. Pratsinis