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Plenary Speaker


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From 2014 Assoc. Prof. Shpigelman is the head of the Laboratory for Novel Food and Bioprocessing in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel. Avi completed all of his degrees in the Technion, followed by a post-doctoral stay in KU Leuven, Belgium. Avi’s research focuses on the complex interplay between processing, the structure of food components, their behavior during the shelf life of the product, and finally their bioactivity in our body. The idea that drives the research is that the design of food processing should carefully balance all various aspects important to our health and well-being. Currently, the main areas of activity are novel protein sources and the effects of processing on the possible health-promoting capacity of foods, especially focusing on high pressure processing as an alternative non-thermal processing technology and polyphenolic compounds, focusing on their stability and bioaccessibility. 

Prof Avi Shpigelman
Haifa, Israel
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Fiona Gribble is Professor of Endocrine Physiology at the University of Cambridge, Director of Postgraduate Education for the School of Clinical Medicine, and an Honorary Consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. She runs a joint research laboratory with Dr Frank Reimann based in the Institute of Metabolic Science, funded largely by the Wellcome Trust and MRC. The group focusses on identifying signalling pathways in the gut-brain-pancreatic axis that could be exploited to develop new drugs that modulate the gut hormone axis for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

Prof Fiona Gribble,
University of Cambridge, England

Tara Grauwet obtained her PhD in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2010, with her work on proteins as indicator systems for temperature uniformity mapping in high pressure processing reactors. In 2011, she became a postdoctoral researcher establishing fingerprinting and profiling approaches to study changes of processed fruits and vegetables. In this context, she performed an intersectorial secondment at Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. In October 2014, she became an assistant professor at the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M²S) of KU Leuven, Belgium. Spring 2020, she has been promoted to the rank of associate professor. Tara Grauwet and her team study food digestion as influenced by processing and structure using an engineering approach relying on in vitro an in silico modelling. Currently, as a PI, her team consists of 2 post-doc, 6 PhD students and 3 master students. The team is a subpart of the Laboratory of Food Technology, KU Leuven. Tara has co-authored more than 120 international peer reviewed publications and has a comparable number of active international conference contributions (h-factor=32). Tara and her team are proud owners of several international research awards.


Prof Tara Grauwet,
KU Leuven, Belgium
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Prof Paul Cotter is the Head of Food Biosciences at Teagasc and a Principal Investigator with the large Irish Research Centres, APC Microbiome Ireland, Vistamilk and Food for Health Ireland and CTO/co-founder of SeqBiome, a microbiome sequencing and bioinformatics service provider. He is a molecular microbiologist, with a particular focus on the microbiology of foods (especially fermented foods), the food chain and of humans, as well as probiotics and postbiotics. Prof Cotter is the author of >350 peer-reviewed, was included in the Clarivate list of highly cited researchers for 2018-2021 and is the Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Microbiology. 

Prof Paul Cotter,
Teagasc, Ireland

Keynote Speakers


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Karen Scott is a Senior Research Fellow at the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen. She leads a research team investigating the (molecular) mechanisms by which key members of the gut microbiota interact with the diet and host, at different life-stages. The fermentation products of gut bacteria contribute to gut health, and are differentially expressed on different substrates, including prebiotics. In vitro bacterial growth studies utilising our large culture collection of gut anaerobes (in pure culture, mixed culture, fermentor systems, and also with human cells) and bioinformatic analyses illustrate niche-specific processes and bacterial interactions. Resident bacteria are also an important reservoir of transferable antimicrobial resistance genes, and other work investigates the evolution and spread of resistance from farm to fork. 

Dr Karen Scott, 
University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Dr Suzanne Hodgkinson completed her BSc in physiology and biochemistry followed by a MSc in digestive physiology and a PhD in physiology at Massey University. This was followed by a Post-doctoral Fellowship funded by what was then known as the New Zealand Dairy Board.  She then spent fifteen years working as an academic in the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia, Chile, where she set up research programmes in dog nutrition, pig and European wild boar production and nutrition.  Returning to New Zealand in 2015, she is now leading the Nutrition Team of the Riddet Institute at Massey University.  Dr Hodgkinson is involved with human studies as well as the use of animal models for nutritional studies. Along with commercial studies, Dr Hodgkinson continues to research methods to determine protein quality for human diets, and protein digestion and metabolism. 

Dr Suzanne Hodgkinson,
Riddet institute, New Zealand
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