I am currently working on…
Assessing and collecting evidence on micronutrient intake and status in the “developed world” - and publishing reviews on the respective gaps. This project - which I am leading at DSM - is important, since an appropriate daily intake of essential micronutrients, such as vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and carotenoids, is key to human health. Aside from these daily requirements, we are also investigating the role of these nutrients at pharmacological doses to reduce the risk of specific diseases such as osteoporosis, fatty liver and cardiovascular disease. Other projects I’m working on include a program in Food and Nutrition Security and another project exploring the potential of antioxidants and PUFA in reducing the burden of air pollution.
The aspect of my work that excites and inspires me the most is...
The wealth of insights that have been established for micronutrients, PUFA and carotenoids - and all that is still being discovered. I find these discoveries particularly exciting in combination with new techniques developed over the last few decades - such as omics and big data; and in new application fields (like pharma). I’m excited to bring this science to a level where it can be applied for the benefit of human health.
The breakthrough I would most like to see made in my field is...
Rather than one game changer, or scientific advance, it’s even more important that certain things fall into place to allow significant change in human nutrition. It is fundamental to have platforms that enable the key stakeholders (including academia, regulatory agencies, government, consumer and industry) to work together on the nutritional solutions that will effect significant change in our world.
Key areas of expertise:
- Human internal medicine & endocrinology
- Human nutrition
- Vitamins, carotenoids & polyunsaturated fatty acids metabolism
- Nutritional status and intake adequacy with a focus on the developed world and emerging emphasis on “food and nutrition security”
- Intake requirements of micronutrients
- Role of high-dose (micro)nutrients for pharmacological applications and drug-nutrient interactions
- M.D., Screening & development of functional food ingredients, University of Mainz (Germany)
- Ph.D., Nutritional Science, University of Bonn (Germany)
- Professor of Nutrition, University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim (Germany)
- PostDoc, Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Dortmund (Germany)
I represent DSM externally at:
- International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Member of Board of Directors, officer at ILSI Europe and member at the international ILSI Board of trustees
- European Nutrition Leadership Program (ENLP)
- EU Marie Curie Program – Work Program coordinator
- Regular attendance and participation in scientific conferences