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Professor Philip Calder

DSM Nutritional Sciences Award 2017

Receiving the DSM Nutritional Sciences Award 2017 is a huge honor for me,” says Professor Calder. “It’s a recognition of my research team’s effort over many years, which has mainly been in the area of omega-3 fatty acid functionality. It’s very gratifying to receive such recognition from my peers, as it suggests that our research has been of importance and value. What’s more, I very much enjoyed the Award ceremony itself, where I got very nice feedback from many of the attendees.”
DSM Nutritional Sciences Award 2017

Award offers encouragement

I think that receiving this Award is an external validation that our research is on the right track, and that combining a life course approach with translation from basic science discoveries through to clinical trials is a good strategy. In essence, the recognition that this Award brings is a tremendous encouragement to maintain our strategy, and to try to continue our progress towards answering important nutritional questions.”

Understanding as a basis for solutions

My work aims to understand how nutrition affects the functioning of the human body. Better understanding is key to developing strategies to improve human health and well-being, to lower disease risk and to treat nutrition-related illnesses. More specifically, I’m very interested in fatty acid metabolism, handling and functionality with some emphasis on marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. I’m especially interested in the impact of these fatty acids on immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic health and in the underlying mechanisms of action.”

Clinical trials to deliver the proof

Equally, taking our research through to clinical trials is very exciting, and key to offering proof that our research really helps people. Our work has involved pregnant women; patients with advanced atherosclerosis in trying to find out how omega-3 fatty acids affect inflammation in the blood vessel wall; critically ill patients who are extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of inflammation; and patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by helping to understand the important roles of omega-3 fatty acids in maintaining health, in lowering disease risk and in treating disease.”

No finishing line to progress

Scientific progress is a continuum that is driven in part by the inquisitiveness of those involved in research. Most scientific progress is incremental and new questions arise all the time. In nutrition, we still have many important questions to answer. The explosion in technology available to nutrition researchers will undoubtedly help us on the path to answering those questions but nutrition is a complex science. Against this backdrop, I think that a ‘lifetime achievement’ is an evaluation of the contribution at a given time point. To an inquisitive researcher who is driven to answer the questions as best as is possible, the finishing line never fully arrives."