BFBH 2018


March 20-22, 2018


Members of the scientific community as well as regulatory, academic and industry stakeholders present their findings and insights.

Maureen Black

RTY International and University of Maryland School of Medicine (United States)

Maureen Black, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Fellow at RTI, International and the John A. Scholl MD and Mary Louise Scholl MD Endowed Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Black has appointments in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and in Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr. Black is a pediatric psychologist who conducts research in strategies to promote healthy nutrition and child development and to prevent health disparities, extending from the family to national policies. She has conducted intervention trials with children exposed to environmental threats including prenatal drug exposure, failure to thrive, nutritional deficiencies, poverty, food insecurity, HIV, poverty, and risk of obesity. She has conducted her work in low-income communities of Maryland and in low- and middle-income countries throughout the world. She has been an author in the 3 Lancet series on Early Child Development, serving as the lead author for the first paper in the 2017 series. She has more than 300 peer reviewed publications and chapters with funding from multiple federal agencies, including NIH, USDA, MCHB, and CDC and has served as president of two divisions of the American Psychological Association. She has served as a regular member of two NIH study sections, is on the external advisory committee of NIH’s Science of Behavior Change Committee, and has served on multiple local, national, and international organizations, including advisory committees for UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank Group.


Thursday, March 22

8:30am - 9:00am

Links between nutrition & cognition in children

Nutrition plays a critical role in early growth and brain development, beginning prior to birth and continuing to adulthood. The first 1000 days (conception to age 24 months) are characterized by rapid increases in both growth and brain development. Nutritional deficiencies during this period can lead to deficiencies in weight gain, and under chronic conditions, to deficiencies in linear growth or stunting (length-for-age < -2 z-scores, based on WHO standards). Stunting by 2 years of age can have a lifelong impact, including poor academic performance, reduced economic capacity, and negative consequences for the growth and development of the next generation. Macro and micro-nutritional deficiencies during the first 1000 days have also been associated with specific consequences to brain development, depending on the timing, duration, and severity of the deficiencies. In addition to nutritional deficiencies, children in families who experience food insecurity may also be adversely affected by the parental anxiety that often accompanies food insecurity. The presentation reviews the progression of children’s early cognitive development, including the consequences of specific nutritional deficiencies to brain development and children’s cognitive functioning, the impact of interventions designed to prevent nutritional deficiencies among young children, and the impact of integrated interventions that include both nutrition and strategies to promote early cognitive development through responsive caregiving and opportunities for exploration and learning.

Robert Black

Johns Hopkins University (United States)

Robert E. Black, M.D., M.P.H. is Professor and Director of the Institute for International Programs of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a medical epidemiologist who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and at institutions in Bangladesh and Peru. He was Chair of the Department of International Health of the Bloomberg School from 1985-2013. Dr. Black’s research includes field trials of health technologies and evaluation of health service programs in low- and middle-income countries. His other interests are related to the use of evidence in policy and programs. He is a member of the US Institute of Medicine and advisory bodies of the World Health Organization, the International Vaccine Institute, icddr,b and other international organizations. He serves on the governing boards of the Micronutrient Initiative and Vitamin Angels. He has 650 scientific journal publications and is co-editor of the textbook “Global Health.” Dr. Black is the recipient of the Programme for Global Paediatric Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health in 2010, the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health in 2010, the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award in 2011 and the Nutrition Leadership Award from Sight and Life in 2013, and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in 2016.


Wednesday, March 21

9:00am - 9:30am

Dietary interventions for infants and children in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)

Childhood undernutrition, including stunting of linear growth, wasting i.e. low weight for height and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, is highly prevalent in the low and middle income countries. Poor fetal growth, related to maternal undernutrition and frequent infections in childhood contribute, but diets that are insufficient in caloric adequacy and quality during the first two years of life play a key role in the development of childhood undernutrition. Thus, to enable healthier growth and prevent nutritional deficiencies interventions have focused on infant and young child feeding. These interventions include promotion of breastfeeding, exclusively for the first six months and continuing for at least two years and the provision to the child of nutritionally rich complementary foods in addition to breast milk from 6 months to 23 months or longer. Dietary interventions in this age group include caregiver education and counseling about appropriate feeding practices and, especially in food-insecure families, the provision of supplemental foods. In a recent review that included nine trials of nutritional counseling in food-secure populations, there was a statistically significant effect of small size on length-for-age z-score. In seven trials of nutritional supplementation of infants and young children in food-insecure populations, there was also a small statistically significant benefit for linear growth. There were few studies of nutritional counseling alone in food-insecure populations, reflecting the belief that the desired feeding practices could not be implemented if families lacked sufficient resources to provide appropriate foods. Other specific food-based interventions have also been tried. Mixing vitamins and minerals in powdered form into complementary foods has reduced anemia related to iron deficiency, but has not shown consistent benefits on growth in early childhood, nor has vitamin and mineral fortification of processed foods or biofortification of staple foods. The provision of small quantity lipid nutrient supplements, which include vitamins and minerals, has an effect of similar size to that of other food supplements provided to children. Dietary interventions will continue to be important for childhood nutrition along with social, economic and environmental improvements.

Marie Bodinier

INRA, Nantes - Angers Center, BIA unit (France)

Dr Bodinier, 42 years-old, is a First Class Scientist (CR1) at INRA in the BIA unit. She is an immunologist and has a high level of expertise in mechanisms of food allergy reaction through the development of cellular and animal models. Her recent work focuses on strategies to prevent food allergy using improved diet (prebiotics) during perinatal period. Moreover, she is responsible for the allergy topic in the scientific committee of the CRNH-West (an association of public research organization founded by INRA, INSERM, Nantes, University and Nantes University Hospital). During her research career she has authored 29 publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals. She is a recognized expert in food science at the international level, and is involved in large network collaborations on prebiotics and allergies. She was previously an adviser at the French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) and is currently a member of the scientific committee of the French Society of Nutrition. She is an inventor with one patent licensed to Beckman Coulter. She has experience in coordinating national projects (PREBIOTICS, PREGRALL, COPADAF, CIMMAP, IGIFA1, IGIFA2 …).


Wednesday, March 21

2:15pm - 2:45pm

Determinants of allergenicity and modulation of allergies. Rationale for perinatal intervention. Prebiotics example.

Allergies are a real public health problem. Today, 30% of the world population is affected. We can count 3 different types of allergies: atopic dermatitis, respiratory and food allergies.

There are the most common and earliest signs of the vulnerability of the immune system (IS) related to the modern environment. They are linked to dysfunctions/ alterations of epithelial barrier (gut, skin and lung), microbiota (dysbiosis) and IS. We think that modern lifestyle including low fibres, high-fat diet and too much hygiene leads to microbial diversity decline and disruptions in “gut homeostasis” and IS maturation as a result of inflammatory disease such as allergies. Allergies are sometimes detectable the first months of life.  So, early life seems to be a criticial time for immune disorders and thus, for allergic risk. Early life can be also an opportunity to prevent some pathologies associated to IS and microbiota. Indeed, we know that during gestation, delivery and lactation there are transfers of bacteria and immune factors from the mother to the fetus or child. By these exchanges microbiota and IS can be orientated. We know that the environmental conditions especially during both pregnancy and early childhood determine physiologic, immune, metabolic, and bacterial development which will influence future disease susceptibility. So, it seems very intresting to study the early effects of lifestyle interventions especially the diet on early immune function and allergic disease. Prebiotics are interesting. Indeed, these non-digestable food ingredients are able to modulate microbiota, IS and gut. Because allergies are induced by immune and bacterial disorders, then prebiotics by their effects seem very attractive for allergy prevention and we can list 4 clinical studies and about 14 preclinical ones.

Marc Bonneville

Institut Mérieux (France)

Marc Bonneville, D.V.M. and CNRS research director, is currently in charge of the scientific and medical affairs at Institut Merieux, a biopharma company developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools in the field of infectious diseases, cancer and food safety. In 2016, he was appointed chairman of the Alliance for Research and Innovation in the Healthcare Industries (ARIIS). The purpose of this professional organization affiliated to the French Health Industry Federation (FEFIS) is to break down barriers in private research and promote synergies and partnerships between public research and industries in the field of Pharmaceuticals, Medical devices and diagnostics.”.

Marc started to work in 1983 on transplantation immunology in Nantes (France), switched from 1987 to 1989 to analysis of mouse cellular immune responses during his postdoctoral training in S. Tonegawa’s laboratory (MIT, Boston), and has been heading an INSERM research team in Nantes from 1990, until he joined the Institut Merieux in 2013. He has been the director of an INSERM Research Center in Nantes (France) for more than 15 years.

Marc has authored more than 200 scientific papers, is co-inventor of 8 patents, and has been involved in more than 30 national and international scientific advisory boards and evaluation committees. He has received the CNRS silver medal and several prizes from charities (Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale, Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer, B. Halpern prize…) for his contributions in the field of human cellular immunity in the context of infections and cancer.

He is also a co-founder of Innate Pharma SA, a biotech company that implements new immunotherapies targeting innate lymphocytes in infectiology and oncology.

Kenneth Brown

University of California, Davis (United States)

Dr. Brown is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis; he completed medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and trained in Pediatrics at the Boston Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Brown has conducted research and published more than 300 articles on the causes, complications, treatment, and prevention of childhood undernutrition in low-income countries, focusing on infant and young child feeding practices, relationships between infection and nutrition, and control of specific micronutrient deficiencies, including zinc, iron and vitamin A. He has served as Founding Director of the Program in International and Community Nutrition at UC Davis; Founding Chair of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group; committee member of multiple global health organizations and technical expert groups; and editorial board member of several leading nutrition journals. He is a past-President of the Society for International Nutrition Research, Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and the International Union of Nutrition Sciences, and a recipient of the Kellogg Award for International Nutrition Research, the McCollum Award, the Rainer Gross Award, the Suskind Award for Pediatric Nutrition and the Prince Mahidol Award for nutrition and public health.


Tuesday, March 20

6:15pm - 7:00pm

Assessment and control of nutritional deficiencies globally

Nutritional deficiencies and inappropriate child feeding practices are responsible for an estimated 45% of childhood deaths worldwide. Designing public health programs to reduce undernutrition requires reliable information on the prevalence of these conditions and related risk factors to determine whether interventions are needed, and how best to target these programs and assess whether they have been effective and safe. Nutritional status assessment includes dietary, anthropometric, clinical and biochemical assessment techniques, but few lower income countries have applied these methods comprehensively and systematically to assess the population’s nutritional status, and there is a particular dearth of information on vitamin and mineral (micronutrient) status. This presentation examines possible reasons for the lack of reliable information on population nutritional status and considers different approaches to remedy this situation, including advocacy for obtaining better data; consensus-building on appropriate use and interpretation of nutritional indicators; development of novel, field-friendly assessment techniques; and better use of the resulting information for improved program design and evaluation.

Wei Cai

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)

Prof. Wei CAI is the past Chairman of Chinese Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (CSPEN), Vice Chairman of Chinese Society of Pediatric Surgery and f Chinese Nutrition Society, He is the Vice President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Head of Department of Nutrition in School of Medicine, and Director of Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research. As a pediatric surgeon, he has special interest on clinical nutrition practice in critical ill infants and pediatric intestinal failure. He spent almost three years in Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School as visiting scholar and research fellow from 1995 to 1998.

Until now, he has published 7 books, 103 peer reviewed international Journal papers, has been invited to give lectures more than 100 national and international conferences.


Wednesday, March 21

6:15pm - 6:45pm

Nutritional challenges for children in China

Accompanied with rapid socioeconomic development in recent 40 years in China, the social structure and lifestyle have changed from a rural orientation to an urbanized society, During this period, the dietary and lifestyle were changed fast, which was consumed more fatty, protein and less outside exercises than before. Nutrition related disease has been increased as well, in which obesity and diabetes are going up in the cities.  However, the children in the mountain area still lack of protein and some elements intake. Facing double burden of malnutrition, the Chinese government have set action for these problems which provided nutritional supplements for school children in mountain area and public health program (nutritional lunch and outside exercises for 1 hour a day) for school children in the cities. For clinical practice, hospitalized children have high prevalence of malnutrition (from 20%–40% varied speciality). It is high EUGR in NICU around whole country.  We need to provide more nutritional knowledge for most pediatricians and improve their right nutritional intervention for their patients based on guidelines. Chinese Society of Parental and Enteral Nutrition has set CME courses and clinical nutritional symposium every year to take this responsibility.

Mark Chataway

Hyderus Teoranta and Baird’s CMC (United Kingdom)

Mark Chataway is an expert in health policy and communications. He has worked for over 30 years as a consultant to multinational companies, governments, foundations, international organisations and universities.

Mark has worked extensively in policy on child survival and thriving. He was the expert communications speaker at the 2014 Indo-US Summit on Child Survival. He helped plan and implement communications activities for several programmes in India for PATH funded by international foundations. In 2017, he helped a major multinational to plan its social responsibility programmes in Mozambique as a model for Africa.

Issues such as spending on paediatric health and better provision of maternal and neonatal health have been at the centre of work that Mark has done for clients including Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Gavi and seven of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies.

Mark started his career as a broadcast journalist. He writes frequently for publications ranging from the Hindustan Times to Pharmaceutical Executive. He founded Hyderus, an Irish and British communications consultancy specialised in health and development and is co-chair of Baird’s CMC, a global network of market researchers and communicators. He is based in Wales and speaks native English and Welsh and good French and Portuguese.

Louise Dye

University of Leeds (United Kingdom)

Louise Dye is N8 Professor of Nutrition and Behaviour in the School of Psychology, University of Leeds. Louise is Academic Lead for the University of Leeds of the HEFCE catalyst funded N8 Agrifood Programme. She sits on BBSRC Strategy Board for Biosciences for Health and BBSRC’s Diet and Health Research Industry club (DRINC) Steering Group. She held MRC and Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowships in the UK and Europe and an EU funded Marie Curie Professorial Fellowship in Jena, Germany. Louise is a Chartered Health Psychologist and British Psychological Society member. Her career began in Human Psychopharmacology leading to 20 years’ experience in the assessment of nutritional and pharmacological interventions on cognitive function and wellbeing. She is Associate Editor of Nutritional Neuroscience and the European Journal of Nutrition. Her research interests include functional foods for wellbeing, stress management, mental health and cognitive performance/decline and in altered metabolic states such as obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as genetic disorders such as PKU and Cystic Fibrosis. She has published a number of influential systematic reviews and meta analyses on the effects of breakfast on academic, cognitive and behavioural outcomes in children and adolescents, iron deficiency/supplementation and cognition in children and young women, and studies on the effects of different food components to maintain mental performance and prevent cognitive decline.

Sandra Einerhand

Einerhand Science & Innovation (Netherlands)

Dr Sandra Einerhand is the founder of Einerhand Science & Innovation BV, a consultancy providing nutritional solutions to infant formula and other food (ingredient) companies. She is also partner of Nutrition Consultants Cooperative. Before she worked for Danone Nutricia Research (NL) 2011-2015, Tate & Lyle Ingredients (F) 2007-2011 and Lipid Nutrition (NL) 2004-2007 as Scientific Program Director and Nutrition & Health Director leading large scientific programs to bring new products like prebiotics, probiotics, lipids and infant formulas to the market with scientifically proven health benefits yielding several patents.

During the first part of her career (1992-2004) she worked as assistant (AMC, Amsterdam) and associate professor (ErasmusMC, Rotterdam) specialized in prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in children and published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and secured fundraising from national and international organizations. She studied Chemistry in Amsterdam and has a PhD in Biomedicine.

She has more than 20 years of experience in business-oriented research management and innovation in nutrition (including prebiotics, probiotics and lipids), gut and metabolic health.

Angèle Guilbot

Pileje (France)

Angèle Guilbot has a PhD in human genetics and is graduated from ESSEC. She first worked as researcher to generate and analyze genetic data from large cohort studies. From 2006 to 2012, she was medical writer then project manager in Medical Affairs in a CRO, mainly involved in clinical trials implementation. In 2012, she joined Pileje as Scientific Manager in the R&D department. Pileje develops dietary supplements and other health solutions in the fields of microbiota, phytotherapy and nutrition. The Research team driven by Angèle Guilbot is dedicated to characterize ingredients and provide proofs of clinical efficacy for the wide range of products. Her expertise lies on innovation in Human Health and communication.

Maria Hassapidou

Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Maria Hassapidou is currently professor of Nutrition and Dietetics in the department of Nutrition and Dietetics of the Alexander Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki (ATEI), Greece. She is also head of the post-graduate course on Clinical nutrition, director of the Human Nutrition Laboratory and vice -president of the research committee of the same institution.

She has coordinated and/or participated in several research projects funded by the E.U. (Europe against cancer, Health, Diets I and II, Healthgrain, Eurreca, JANPA), the research committee of ATEI, the Greek Ministries of Health, Education, Research and Technology, food and pharmaceutical companies, in the areas of dietary assessment and nutritional evaluation, dietary treatment of obese patients with cardio metabolic diseases and childhood obesity. She is the national coordinator for Greece for COSI (WHO European Childhood Surveillance Initiative), member of the EASO Childhood Obesity Task Force, member of the executive board of ECOG (European Childhood Obesity Group) and co-chair of the European Specialized Dietetic Network (ESDN) of EFAD on Obesity. She is a member of the Hellenic Nutrition Policy Committee.

She has been author of several books and has published more than 100 scientific papers (referred papers in journals and conference proceedings) in the areas of nutrition and obesity. She is also a reviewer in many related European and International journals.


Wednesday, March 21

10:00am - 10:30am

How to assess nutrition and provide practical recommendations to the family

Healthy nutrition prevents the risk of malnutrition, obesity and related metabolic diseases in childhood and adulthood, improves quality of life during childhood and is necessary for optimal growth (physical, mental, emotional). Providing counselling and proper information for future parents and informing mothers about the health benefits of breastfeeding is the first step towards health and wellbeing. Childhood is a key period for  delivering potentially effective preventive interventions. The early childhood years are periods of sensitivity to environmental influences, maximum societal care and protection, multiple settings for intervention, and changeability.

It is crucial to have interventions/ programmes focused not only on mothers but also fathers and other caretakers, as they also represent a model for future behaviour of children regarding both eating habits and physical activity. The dietary recommendations to the family should be practical and easy to follow, based on the National nutritional guidelines  for children. Developing national dietary guidelines is an important part of the nutrition policy of a country and necessary for the dissemination of consistent information about a healthy diet and lifestyle. Personalised dietary advice must be based on a comprehensive nutritional assessment (dietary, anthropometric, clinical, biochemical)

Childhood obesity prevalence is increasing worldwide although some studies indicate that there is a levelling off in certain European countries. The COSI study has shown that the prevalence is higher in Southern European countries when compared to the Northern and Eastern ones and this is partly explained by differences in dietary  and physical activity habits.

One of the key areas of the EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity, 2014-2020, is to promote healthier food choices and to inform and empower families. One of the aims of the EU funded project JANPA was, among others to support a healthy start in life by promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity to pregnant women and families with children, through identifying the successful multi-component interventions for different settings.

Joseph Kindler

Purdue University (United States)

Dr. Joseph Kindler is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University. In 2012, he graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Nutritional Sciences with honors in Kinesiology. In 2017, he completed his doctoral studies in Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA USA) focusing on nutrition, obesity, and musculoskeletal development. His dissertation research was aimed at understanding the influence of obesity and obesity-related chronic health conditions, namely insulin resistance, on adolescent bone growth. After completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Kindler joined the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University to further his training in pediatric nutrition, cardiovascular health assessment, and type-2 diabetes. Dr. Kindler is currently involved in studies examining the influence of adolescent overweight/obesity and type-2 diabetes on bone health, as well as dietary strategies to optimize cardiometabolic health and musculoskeletal growth.


Wednesday, March 21

9:30am - 10:00am

Dairy intake and bone growth during childhood

Milk and other dairy products are recognized as important dietary components for proper growth and development. Calcium and vitamin D are two important nutrients for bone health and are both predominantly consumed in the form of dairy products. In fact, it I estimated that greater than 50% of consumed calcium and vitamin D are provided through dairy sources such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Additionally, dairy foods provide a number of other nutrients that are beneficial for skeletal accrual, including protein, as well as certain vitamins and minerals. In a recent systematic review sponsored by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the authors provided a cumulative review of the modifiable factors, specifically those pertinent to diet, involved in optimizing pediatric skeletal growth and the attainment of peak bone mass. Based on the results from three randomized controlled trials and a number of observational studies, the evidence for dairy intake and bone growth was assigned a grade of “B,” for “moderate” evidence. Current recommendations for dairy consumption during childhood and adolescence are 2-3 daily servings. However, data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggest that average dairy consumption in children greater than 2 years is only about 1.9 servings per day. Since bone mass that is accrued during childhood tracks into adulthood, it is important to advocate for dairy consumption in an effort to optimize skeletal growth, therefore potentially contributing to osteoporosis prevention and fracture risk reduction.

DeAnn Liska

Biofortis - Merieux NutriSciences (United States)

DeAnn Liska, PhD, is the Sr. Director of Nutrition Science & Biostatistics at Biofortis – Mérieux NutriSciences, where she leads the team responsible for scientific consultation, design, and interpretation of clinical trials and scientific literature assessments. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the nutrition industry with past leadership roles at Kellogg’s, Ocean Spray, and Metagenics. Dr. Liska holds a PhD in biochemistry (University of Wisconsin) and was an Assistant Research Professor in biochemistry at the University of Washington prior to joining industry. She is on several industry scientific advisory panels, including for the North American International Life Science Institute (ILSI), and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), as well as a member of the advisory panel for the Cornell Division of Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Liska has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and is co-inventor on 12 patents.

Patrice Malard

H&H Group (China)

H&H Group is an international group having activities in baby nutrition, personal care, baby accessories and VMS through the brands Biostime, Swisse Wellness, Dodie and Healthy times. My current position is Chief Technology Officer of the group and I am based in Guangzhou China leading the R&D,Quality, Regulatory Affairs and our non-profit foundation BINC. I have been working as research director in the field of enzymes with Gist Brocades, startegy and development director for Pioneer Hi-bread in the seed business and also Business Development Director for Lallemand in Probiotics.
My main interests are in Probiotics, gut and skin microbiota, immune systems, brain-gut axis and baby nutrition. Baby nutrition is by far the most complex food we can design as we aim at being as close as possible to human breast milk which is the gold standard and the only food given to babies up to 6 months of age. Understanding structures/functions of divers components of human breast milk and ways to produce corresponding or similar molecules is the main challenge.

Saurabh Mehta

Cornell University (United States)

Dr. Mehta is a physician and an epidemiologist with expertise in infectious disease, nutrition, maternal and child health, and diagnostics. The central theme of his research is the interplay between nutrition and infection, including facilitating field-friendly assessment for both, and elucidating how nutrition can be used as a modifiable risk factor for infections and associated outcomes, often in the context of pregnancy and early childhood. This is achieved through a combination of active surveillance programs, invention of point-of-care diagnostics for nutrition and infection, and randomized controlled trials primarily in resource-limited settings in India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.


Wednesday, March 21

3:15pm - 3:45pm

The gut microbiome: an emerging modifiable risk factor for iImproving immune function and child health

The gut microbiome is increasingly considered to play a central role in multiple metabolic and immune system pathways that affect several downstream outcomes including risk of infection, cognitive function, and overall health. The gut by itself is the largest immune organ in the body and recent research highlights the additional role of the microbiome in the early development of the immune system, vaccine responses, and autoimmunity. There is limited information on how the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome varies by nutritional status and geographical settings. Further, diet is one of the few nonpharmacological means of modifying the gut microbiome and there are only a few studies evaluating the impact of dietary interventions. We are working with a Mumbai cohort of 12-18-month-old children that is based in the urban slums and is participating in a 9-month dietary intervention and hence will give us an opportunity to not only examine differences by nutritional status but also long-term changes in it and the impact of the intervention. In addition, we are working with a New York City cohort that includes children with chronic kidney disease, which by itself is a major driver of malnutrition and altered immune function. Along with reviewing the current evidence on the linkages between nutritional status, diet, and the microbiome in the context of improving immune competence, this presentation will also share some early results from our ongoing work with these two paediatric cohorts.

Mark Miller

University of California, Berkeley on Detail from the National Institutes of Health (United States)

Mark Miller, MD is currently Associate Director for Research in the Office of the Director and the Founding Director of the Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. He is also a Physician at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital in Bethel, AK, which primarily serves Native Americans. He previously served as a Medical Officer on the Children’s Vaccine Initiative for the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Medical Epidemiologist for the CDC National Immunizations Program and Epidemiology Program Office, Office of the Director. He also conducted research at the Armed Forces Research Institute for Medical Studies in Bangkok, Thailand, the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit and Cornell University Medical College.

Dr Miller is the PI of several multi-national studies including the Malnutrition and Enteric Disease Study (MAL-ED) and the Multinational Influenza Seasonal Mortality Study (MISMS) and has received over $55 million of private and government research grants operating out of the National Institutes of Health. His biomedical research has also led to a patent of a novel method to formulate recombinant influenza vaccines and a common protein influenza vaccine.

Dr. Miller received his BA, Magna Cum Laude, in Neuroscience, Biology and Human Ecology from Amherst College, MA in 1983, and his MD from Yale University School of Medicine in 1990. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and became board certified in 1994.

He has served as a member of many professional societies and steering committees, including the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Council on Public Health Preparedness and several National Science Foundation and NIH task forces. He has presented and consulted nationally and internationally for organizations including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Agency for International Development, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Bank.

Current research interests include the integration of multi-disciplinary quantitative data to help inform population based public health outcomes. This includes the incorporation of historical vital statistics, biomedical, demographic, economic and environmental datasets of various spatial and temporal resolution to help understand the role of microbial organisms and human populations in the fields of infectious diseases, child growth and cognitive development. Most studies are conducted in diverse populations throughout the world.

Dr. Miller is a reviewer and/or editor for nine journals, including the British Medical Journal, Vaccine, Journal of Infectious Diseases, The Lancet, and the Journal of the American Public Health Association. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, from the US Public Health Service and the CDC. He has published over 120 scientific articles in the peer-reviewed literature, nine books and/or book chapters.


Wednesday, March 21

2:45pm - 3:15pm

Links between malnutrition & intestinal infections in children from LMICs

Stunting and wasting are common manifestations of childhood malnutrition. The Malnutrition and Enteric Disease Study followed cohorts of infants through to age five years to characterize social and biological factors associated with stunting in 7 resource-poor populations.

1,868 infants/mothers were recruited from 7 resource-poor settings in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, and Tanzania shortly after birth and followed for 24 months. Sociodemographic factors and longitudinal anthropometry, maternal-reported illnesses, and antibiotic use; child feeding practices; dietary intake starting at 9 months; and longitudinal blood, urine, and stool samples to investigate non-diarrheal enteropathogens, micronutrients, gut inflammation and permeability, and systemic inflammation were collected.  We categorized length-for-age Z-scores into 3 groups (not stunted, > −1; at risk, <−1 to −2; and stunted, <−2).  Logistic regression was used to model the cumulative odds of stunting.

The prevalence of having a Z-score < −1 increased from 43% (range 37%±47% across sites) shortly after birth to 74% (16%±96%) at 24 months. The prevalence of stunting increased 3-fold during this time. Factors that contributed to the odds of being in a stunted category at 24 months were lower enrollment weight-for-age (interquartile cumulative odds ratio = 1.82, 95% CI 1.49±2.23), shorter maternal height (2.38, 1.89±3.01), higher number of enteropathogens in non-diarrheal stools (1.36, 1.07±1.73), lower socioeconomic status (1.75, 1.20±2.55), and lower percent of energy from protein (1.39, 1.13±1.72). Analyses suggest that reported associations were similar across settings.

Maternal and neonatal factors were early determinants of lower length-for-age, and their contribution remained important throughout the first 24 months of life, whereas the average number of enteropathogens in non-diarrheal stools, socioeconomic status, and dietary intake became increasingly important contributors by 24 months relative to neonatal and maternal factors.

Adapted from PLoS Med 14(10): e1002408.

Benoît Miribel

Mérieux Foundation (France)

Since January 2007, Benoît Miribel has been Director General of Fondation Mérieux, an organization dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases, especially in developing countries. Since June 2013, he has also been Honorary President of Action Against Hunger (ACF), an association he chaired from 2010 to 2013 and headed from 2003 to 2006, after several years managing humanitarian programs for this organization.

He was Director General of the Bioforce Institute from 2003 to 2007.

He has chaired the French Center of Funds and Foundations (CFF) since June 2015 and also chairs the Humanitarian Logistics Platform, Bioport, which he helped found (1992).

Benoît Miribel is also:

  • Co-founder of the bilingual review journal Humanitarian Alternatives (2016)
  • Co-founder of the Forum Espace Humanitaire (FEH) (2009)
  • Co-founder of the think tank, Emergency and Post-Crisis Reflection Group (GRUPC) (2008)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Forum Convergences and of Friendship France that has operations in Bangladesh
  • Member of the think tank, (Re)Sources that addresses issues of sustainable development and access to water and essential services in developing countries
  • Member of the think tank, Solidarity and Global Health (ANRS)

With Alain Boinet in 2010, he co-authored a report commissioned by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (B. Kouchner) on the development of humanitarian action and its challenges.

He has also been a member of the High Council for International Cooperation (HCCI), of the White Paper Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2008), and of the National Commission for Human Rights (1998-2001 and 2011-2013). .

Benoît Miribel graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Lyon (IEP) and holds a D.E.A. in International Relations from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.


Tuesday, March 20

6:00pm - 6:15pm

Michel Neunlist

Inserm (France)

Michel Neunlist received an Engineering Degree in Physics from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique of Strasbourg. He obtained a PhD in electrophysiology from the University of Strasbourg. He spend a 5 years research training period in the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he developped optical recording methods to measure cardiac activity. He next spend 5 years at the Veterenary School of Medecine in Hannover (Germany) where he trained in the field of enteric neurobiology. He joined in 2000 the Institut of Digestive Diseases of the University Hospital of Nantes where he developed a translational research program centred on the study of the role of the enteric nervous system in digestive and brain chronic diseases. He is currently the head of an Inserm Unit of Neurogastroenterology


Thursday, March 22

9:00am - 9:30am

The microbiota-gut-brain axis in health and diseases of the newborn

The perinatal period is a key developmental period in life during which environmental and genetical factors interact and contribute to the building of organs, and in particular of the brain. In this context, the gut which represents one of the largest surface open to our environment (and contains also the second largest number of neurons besides the brain) plays an increasingly recognized role in the development and maturation of the brain. In particular, the gut microbiota has been shown to be a central regulator of both gut and brain maturation during this period of life. Conversely, early life alterations in microbiota composition has been linked to the development of various gut and brain disorders. These observations have lead also to the development of novel therapeutical approaches based on the use of pre/probiotic to restore gut and brain functions. These different points will be addressed in the lecture.

Jose M. Saavedra

Nestlé Nutrition (Switzerland)

Dr. José (Pepe) Saavedra is a paediatric gastroenterologist, clinical investigator, educator, and business executive. He is Global Chief Medical Officer for Nestlé Nutrition, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Saavedra carried out seminal work in the area of probiotics in paediatrics; and has an extensive record of publications in nutrition, intestinal and nutritional disorders, immunity and preventive nutritional strategies. Over the last several years, he has enhanced Nestlé’s educational and research activities on infant nutrition, health, and disease prevention. And he has spearheaded a number of collaborative initiatives focused on early childhood nutrition research and education, with paediatric societies and organizations globally, as well as UNESCO, and the National Academies of Science in Washington DC. Dr. Saavedra is Chairman of the Board of the Nestle Nutrition Institute.

Seppo Salminen

University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine, Functional Foods Forum (Finland)

Professor Seppo Salminen received his MS degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Washington State University, USA and MSc degree in Food Chemistry and Microbiology from University of Helsinki, Finland and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Toxicology from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. He did his post-doctoral training in Food Toxicology and RMIT University, Melbourne Australia where he has been a visiting professor for several periods since 1990. Dr Salminen worked as a research/senior scientist at the National Board of Health and then Ministry of Agriculture in Helsinki Finland. He then served as a nutrition specialist at the Research Centre of Valio Ltd before joining the University of Turku as associate professor of food chemistry, then professor of Food Development and the Health Biosciences Program and later Director of the Functional Foods Forum, Faculty of Medicine. His research has focused on gut microbiology and health, probiotics and prebiotics and functional foods. Since the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority he served as a member of the NDA panel for 9 years and another 3 years as a member of the Novel Foods working group. He has been a visiting professor and faculty member at the Australian Key Centre for Toxicology and the BOKU University in Vienna, Austria. He has been given an honorary doctorate from the University of Tartu, Estonia and he is a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. He received several prizes among other the Swiss Price of Modern Nutrition and the IDF Institute Pasteur Elie Metchnikoff Prize. He is also vice president of the International Society of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). He is an author of over 400 scientific peer reviewed publications and several books.

Patrick Stover

Cornell University (United States)

Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a BS degree in Chemistry and was awarded the Molloy Chemistry Award at graduation. He received a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia and performed his postdoctoral studies in Nutritional Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. Patrick Stover teaches three classes for graduate students: Grant Writing; Translational Research and Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Nutrition; and the B-vitamin metabolism section of Micronutrients: Function, Homeostasis, and Assessment. In 2015, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2014 was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2014, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the Osborne and Mendel Award for outstanding recent basic research accomplishments in nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition, and a MERIT award from NIDDK-NIH. In 1996 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. He has been selected as an Outstanding Educator four times by Cornell Merrill Presidential Scholars. He is editor of the Annual Reviews of Nutrition.

The Stover research group investigates the fundamental chemical, biochemical, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and the associated pathways within the one-carbon metabolic network, that underlie the relationships among nutrition, metabolism and risk for birth defects, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases Our research is revealing the causal role of nuclear dTMP synthesis in folate- and vitamin B12 responsive pathologies, and informing novel nutritional strategies for the prevention and management human pathologies.


Wednesday, March 21

8:30am - 9:00am

Dietary reference intakes around distinct nutritional needs

The prevalence of chronic disease is growing in all populations globally and across all subgroups. Chronic diseases can be described as complex traits, with risk determined by interactions among diet, age and genetics, among other factors. Susceptibility for chronic diseases can begin during the earliest stages of human development in response to in utero exposures through stem cell programming, with maternal nutrition being among the best studied in utero exposures that prevent or accelerate the onset of chronic disease. Once established, disease states and/or disease treatment can cause whole-body or tissue-specific nutrient depletion, excess or impaired utilization resulting in the need for altered nutrient intakes. There are no consensus guidelines for estimating the nutritional needs of individuals or subgroups with a diagnosed chronic disease, which constitutes nearly half of the United States adult population. Disease-related biochemical dysfunction and tissue regeneration can also result in a requirement for an otherwise non-essential nutrient, rendering it as conditionally essential, as seen in many inborn errors of metabolism. Current status and functional biomarkers for assessing nutrient needs in healthy populations may not apply in diseases states, and can be poor predictive indicators of chronic disease risk. Here, the need and underlying biological premise for the development of guidelines to address nutritional requirements for populations with chronic disease is discussed, as well as the role of systems biology approaches to understand and quantify the role of individual nutrients in the initiation and management of chronic disease.

Peter van Bladeren

PVB conseils (Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Peter van Bladeren is a member of the board of Mérieux Nutrisciences. In addition, he is President of ILSI, the International Life Sciences Institute and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the European Institute of Technology Food. Until February 2017 he was Vice-President Regulatory & Scientific Affairs at Nestlé. From 2002 to 2012, he was Vice-president for Science and Research and director of the Nestlé Research Centre, Lausanne with sites in St-Louis, Beijing and Tokyo. Since 1991, he is a part-time professor of Toxicology in the Department of Toxicology, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. He holds an MS and a PhD in organic chemistry and toxicology from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. From 1994 to 2002, he served as the director of TNO, Nutrition and Food Research Inst. Zeist, The Netherlands. 1987, Dr. Van Bladeren became deputy head and in 1991 head of the Department of Biological Toxicology of this institute.

After spending 1981 – 1984 at the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, he worked as associate professor at the University of Wageningen from 1984 to 1987. Dr. van Bladeren is the author of over 250 scientific papers.

Ben van Ommen

TNO - The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands)

Ben van Ommen is Principal Scientist at TNO (the Dutch organisation for Applied Scientific Research). His research applies systems biology to metabolic health and metabolic disease, focusing on understanding all relevant processes involved in maintaining optimal health and causing specific disease sub-phenotypes, developing new biomarker concepts and personalized health treatment strategies. The applications of this basic research is two-fold.

Firstly, the research focuses on innovative methods in human intervention studies to demonstrate the health effects of diets, dietary ingredients, functional foods in healthy subjects. This partly exploits multi-omics strategies, but more importantly, explores the quantification of stress response reactions to dietary challenges to quantify the health benefits.

Secondly, the results allow the implementation of integrated solutions to maintain and regain optimal metabolic personal health. These solutions start with dietary interventions based on personalized health quantification, and extend to include all relevant aspects to empower the individual citizen / consumer / patient to make the right and sustainable lifestyle choices. The aim of his research is to ultimately reshape healthcare in the area of lifestyle related diseases into a lifestyle based healthcare and economy.


Thursday, March 22

10:45am - 11:30am

Nutrition of the future

Nutrition is a major determinant for our health and disease, and this relationship is both very simple (“Not too much, mostly plants, varied”) and very complex, as a multitude of molecular dynamic processes interact to make the best of it. Our health is based on a complex network of interactions between pathways, mechanisms, processes and organs. Many of these processes have to function in a continuously changing environment (diet, infections, stress, temperature, exercise, etc.) and thus strive to maintain internal homeostasis by adapting to these changes (“systems flexibility”). Disease onset occurs when and where these adaptive processes fail.  Diet plays both a positive and negative role here. Many nutrients serve specifically to optimize these “flexibility processes”.  Prolonged caloric excess and an unbalanced diet (“hidden hunger”) cause loss of flexibility and long term adaptation processes with negative health consequences. As this has become commonplace, we have become used to a healthcare economy where more then half of the costs are related to our lifestyle.

Scientifically, this can soon be reversed, as we will be able to design specific and personalized nutritional advice for many health goals and disease states, becoming  “precision nutrition – precision medicine” combinations. I will elaborate on the concepts, mechanisms, quantification methods and intervention options, demonstrating how public health nutrition can evolve  into a meaningful precision science and reality, both in daily life and in healthcare.

Yet, nutrition is part of daily life, its habits and pleasures, and should not become a “prescription” activity or business. Can we build a future where all of the above becomes reality without compromising our daily quality of life, i.e. using our food as our medicine without entering into food as medication? I’m not sure but I’ll present some interesting emerging concepts  and technologies that may shape this future, for all life stages and lifestyle related health aspects.

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The #BFBH2016 conference was a great success! The conference gathered more than 100 experts from 15 nationalities. #Microbiota #health

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