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Meet the Members of the Think Tank

CSIC, Isabel Medina, Principal Investigator

Dr. in Chemistry from the Univ. of Santiago de Compostela in 1994, she completed her doctoral thesis at the IIM-CSIC in the field of lipids in fishery products. She ended her training with pre- and postdoctoral stays at the Universities of Davis, USA, Naples, IT and Guilford, UK. She has extensive experience in food chemistry and analysis, particularly in marine lipids and omega-3 fatty acids and their oxidation products and has applied this experience to different aspects related to the quality, safety and nutritional value of fishery and aquaculture products.
Since January 2017, she is the National Coordinator of the Food Science and Technology Area of CSIC, currently Area Global VIDA CSIC.

CSIC, Claudia Ruiz, Research Scientist

Graduated in Veterinary in 1999 by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and finished her PhD degree in veterinary science from the UCM in 1997. She did a postdoctoral stay (1997-2000) at the International Fishieries Institute (HIFI) and at the Institute Food Health Quality (FHQ) of the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. In 2000, she joined the IF again and in 2001, she was awarded a Ramón y Cajal Contract. She is currently a senior science researcher in the Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC). Dr. Ruiz-Capillas addresses various lines of research: development of healthier meat products (fat analogues, reduction of salt and additives, etc.), improving their quality, valorization of meat products, application of storage systems (change, protective atmospheres, etc.), studies of chemical, physical and structural changes in components and properties of meat products, and also their quality and safety.

CSIC, Abelardo Margolles Barros, Research Scientist

Abelardo Margolles received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy at the University of Santiago de Compostela, in 1997. After a postdoctoral stay in the University of Groningen, (1997 to 2000), in 2001, he became Staff Scientist of CSIC. Currently, he holds a “Profesor de Investigación” position in IPLA-CSIC. He has had the opportunity to carry out his research thanks to competitive grants funded by regional, national and international funding agencies, as well as several contracts with the industry. Since 2016, he is Scientific Founder of the CSIC start-up MicroViable Therapeutics. His present research interest focuses on technological and health applications of food and intestinal microbiomes, mechanistic studies of the health-promoting effects of food and intestinal bacteria, as well as the understanding of the molecular interactions between the gut microbiota and the host.

IMDEA, Ricardo Ramos Ruiz, Deputy Director

Research scientist leading the platform GENYAL which provides services linking nutritional intervention, genetic analysis and metabolic studies, Ricardo Ramos is also Deputy Director of the research Institute IMDEA-Food. He studies the potential benefit of precision nutrition on human health, focused in obesity, cardiometabolic health, cancer and aging.

IMDEA, Josune Latasa, Research Scientist

María Jesús Latasa, known as Josune, holds a PhD in Pharmacy, specialising in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and works at IMDEA Alimentación researching the relationship between diet and genes, with the aim of implementing Precision Nutrition. More specifically, she studies how diet affects the ‘functioning’ of genes and DNA fragments that do not give rise to proteins but are essential for the correct functioning of genes.

AZTI, Itziar Tueros, Head of the Food and Health department at AZTI

Itziar Tueros is the head of the Food and Health department at AZTI (Spain) and researcher for the Scientific Foundation of AECC (Spanish Association Against Cancer). She has more than 15 years’ experience in the food sector. Expertise in bioactive compounds (polyphenols and lipids), lipid metabolism and nutritional clinical trials with different population groups (cancer patients, obese children, pregnant women and athletes).

AIT- Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Petra Wagner, Deputy Head of Center for Innovation Systems and Policy

Petra Wagner focuses on responsible research and innovation, exploring theories and practices of social systems change, and innovative approaches to policy and governance design, including the concept of catjects. As the leader of Co-Change WP2, she is dedicated to creating a platform that fosters mutual learning and enhances capacities for transformative change. Additionally, she is a founding member of the Austrian RRI platform, contributing to the development and promotion of responsible research and innovation in Austria.

AIT- Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Beatrix Wepner, Scientist

Beatrix has joined the AIT in 2010 as technology manager. She has extensive experience in the field of cluster management from her previous engagements at ecoplus , Lower Austrian Business Agency and at ‘ofi Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology’, where she worked as a scientist and head of the institute for medical devices. Her work areas at AIT are monitoring and detecting emerging issues and emerging technologies. She develops and enhances models for investigating data so that emerging trends can be identified.

AIT- Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Stefan Pfeiffer, Business Development & Innovation Management

Stefan Pfeiffer has a PhD in Biotechnology and is a Coordinator Horizon Europe PATH2DEA
At AIT, he is a business developer, in charge of customer acquisition and sales management. He also coordinates and manages industrial-public research and innovation projects.

ROQUETTE, Frédéric Bouvier, Open Innovation Science & Technology Advisor

Frédéric Bouvier is Scientific Advisor, Open Innovation, at Roquette, a global leader in Health and Nutrition. Since he got his PhD in Biochemistry and Food Science, specialized in lipids chemistry, from the University of Bordeaux, France, Frédéric has served multiple scientific and management roles with Roquette, spanning the science and technology of plant-based ingredients for food and nutrition and also for industrial applications.

DANONE, Irini Giziakis, Research Project Lead

Experienced Project Leader with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry, Irini is skilled in Stakeholder managemnet, Product Innovation, Sensory Evaluation, Product Development, and Scientific communication. With a MSc focused in Food Production Management from the University of Nottingham, Irini is a Research project lead in Early Life Nutrition at Nutricia Research. She is working as a project lead on science projects on innovation.

PURATOS, Sara De Pelsmaeker, Group Health & Well-being Director

Sara De Pelsmaeker started at Puratos as Group Health & Well-Being Director where she helps to carry out the "Magic" of Puratos with the aim to improve the Health & Well-being of consumers while maintaining an outstanding taste and texture.

VITAGORA, Marthe Jewell, Communications Manager

As a founding member of the Vitagora operational team, Marthe has developed with the cluster from operational management of corporate communications and events to the strategic optimisation of digital communications environment, community building and international communication.

CEU San Pablo University, Gregorio Varela Moreiras, Director of the Department Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences,

Gregorio Varela Moreiras, Professor of Nutrition and Bromatology at the San Pablo-CEU University, Director of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, and Head of the ‘Nutrition and Food Sciences’ Research Group.
He is President of the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), Past President of the Spanish Society of Nutrition (SEN), Academician of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, and member of the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy. Founding member of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Food Sciences.


University of Turin, Luca Coccolin, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, PhD Food Biotechnology

Luca Coccolin is a Professor of Food Microbiology at the University of Turin. He is Interested in the impact of diet on human health as modulated by the gut microbiome.

University of Turin, Beatrice Stella, Dietitian Nutritionist PhD Student

Beatrice Stella is a PhD student in Food Science and Technology at University of Torino, dietitian passionate about healthy aging and nutrition in the elder stages of life.

University of Turin, Dr. Valentina Chiabrando, Innovation Area and University Projects

Valentina Chiabrando is with the Innovation Area, University of Turin. She is part of the staff working on innovation projects of the University and, in particular, projects related to the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.

University of Reading, Yvonne McMeel, KIC Partnership Manager

Yvonne McReel is responsible for identifying and developing opportunities for inter/multi-disciplinary collaborations among researchers and other academics across the University of Reading, as well as with external stakeholders who share the vision of transforming the food system.

PAN Olsztyn, Prof. Carsten Carlberg, Leader of ERA Chair for Nutrigenomics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland and Professor of Biochemistry

Prof. Carsten Carlberg is a world-class biochemist in the area of research on vitamin D. He is the leader of ERA Chair international research group that will lay basis for creation of an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence exploiting the tools of nutrigenomics to assess the impact of nutrition on the genetic predisposition to diet-related diseases.

Prof. Carlberg’s research has been focused on vitamin D for over 30 years. He studied the effects of vitamin D on changes of the epigenome (which are modifications to genomic DNA and histones that do not affect the genetic code) and the transcriptome (set of mRNA molecules present at a specific time in a cell, in order to encode for specific and appropriate amounts of proteins)

PAN Olsztyn, Tomasz Jeliński, Chief Specialist

Chief specialist for cooperation with European Knowledge and Innovation Community in Food (EIT Food) and Chief Executive Officer at INOBIOTEK Ltd. – special purpose vehicle of IARFR. In WELCOME2, he supervises optimal implementation of project activities, human and financial resources, as well as facilitate efficient communication between WP activities.

MATÍS, Dr.Guðmundur Stefánsson, Research Group Leader

PhD in Food Science from University of Leeds. Dr.Gudmundur Stefansson background is R&D activities (1986-2000) as well as he participates in national and European research projects. He performed various roles in international fish businesses (2000-2012), as project manager, operational manager, plant manager, vice MD and R&D director and since 2012, he is a research group leader at Matis. Gudmundur is currently the coordinating the PrimeFish (H2020-635761) project as number of other projects, both on local and national scale.

MATÍS, Dr. Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Project Manager

Kolbrun Sveinsdottir, based in Iceland, is currently a Project Manager at Matís ohf/Icelandic Food and Biotech Company. Kolbrun Sveinsdottir holds a Ph.D. in Food Science at University of Iceland. With a robust skill set that includes Product Development, Sensory Evaluation, Research, Science, Life Sciences and more, Kolbrun Sveinsdottir contributes valuable insights to the industry.

University of Warsaw, Magdalena Zatorska, Research Fellow, Department of Organization Theory and Methods, Faculty of Management

University of Warsaw, Patrycja Sanecka, PhD Student Biotechnology

CARGILL, Olaf Gruess, Director of Partner Development

Technology Leader and Open Innovation professional of global, cross-functional teams driven to identify, assess, and prioritize breakthrough opportunities.
Over 23 years of experience in leading new product development, global, strategic business and research initiatives, as well as international technology and start-up scouting.
Currently leading the External Innovation and Partner Development efforts at Cargill.

CARGILL, Ramon Mensink, Specialized Nutrition - Business Development

Trained in food tech (BSc) and molecular nutrition (MSc), combined with a vast experience in oils, lipids, and value adding ingredients embedded within the world of specialized nutrition. Being part of the new Specialized Nutrition (SN) team in Cargill, Ramon Mensink currently develops new business opportunities within the SN category.

MASPEX, Bartłomiej Mielniczuk, Senior Innovation Manager

Bartłomiej Mielniczuk is currently a Senior Innovation Manager at Maspex Wadowice, bringing experience from previous roles at Maspex Wadowice, EY and Deloitte. With a robust skills set that includes European Union R&D funding among others, Bartłomiej Mielniczuk contributes valuable insights to the industry.

International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Lorenzo Pastrana, Chair of the Research Office

Prof. Lorenzo Pastrana has a PhD in Pharmacy (1991) by the University of Santiago (Spain). He was postdoctoral fellow (1992-1993) in the Centre de Transfert en Microbiologie et Biotechnologie–INSA at Toulouse (France).

In 1991, he joined the University of Vigo (UVIGO) in Spain as Assistant Lecturer in Biochemistry. Founder and first Director of the Centre of Research Transference and Innovation (CITI) at Tecnopole (Galicia Technological Park), he became Head of the Knowledge Transfer Office of the University of Vigo (2009-2010). Since 2016 he is member of the scientific board of the Cluster Portugal Foods. In September 2015, he joins the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory at Braga (Portugal) INL, as Head of the Department of Life Sciences.

Aarhus University, Malene Brion Lund, Project Manager

Malene is a creative engineer who loves using behavioral insights in her solutions. She likes behavioral science and applies it in behavioral design, with a huge focuson food.


Sabri Ülker Vakfı, Özlem Üliç Çatar, Senior Project Manager

Sabri Ülker Vakfı, Özge Dinç, Nutrition and Scientific Communication Executive

Experienced in the field of EU projects planning and management, wide knowledge of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes (with a specific focus on nutrition, education, agrifood and food sectors).
In SUF, she is responsible for the team managing EU collaborative projects and preparing proposals.

Project lead

Lorena
Lorena Savani EIT Food South

Mission Lead (Healthier lives through food)

Begon âa Perez Villarreal2 1
Begoña Pérez-Villarreal EIT Food South

Regional Director – EIT Food South

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