Full4Health logoFull4Health ('Understanding food-gut-brain mechanisms across the lifespan in the regulation of hunger and satiety for health') brings together 19 multidisciplinary academic and industry collaborators from across Europe to investigate mechanisms of hunger, satiety and feeding behaviour, and how these change across the life course, effects of dietary components and food structure on these processes, and their possible exploitation in addressing obesity, chronic disease and under-nutrition.

Full4Health is being coordinated from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Our Partners
University of Aberdeen (UK)

Rowett Institutes of Nutrition and Health - University of AberdeenLead contact: Professor Julian Mercer

Email: j.mercer@abdn.ac.uk
Web:www.abdn.ac.uk/rowett

The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (RINH) is part of the College of Life Sciences and Medicine at the University of Aberdeen. The obesity and metabolic health research group at the RINH comprises around 40 scientists, 13 of whom are Principal Investigators, and has a 'molecules to man' approach to the study of the effect of diet on obesity and metabolic health. RINH has a Human Nutrition Unit equipped for blood sampling, infusion, energetics (calorimetry, DLW etc), body composition (Bod Pod, DEXA etc), and feeding/dietary selection trials. It has a metabolic kitchen with experienced staff used to catering for studies ranging from long-term residential to single visit breakfast or buffet meal interventions. The Genomics Unit (established by Dr. Barrett) contains sequencing, RTPCR, microarray, laser capture microdissection, and in situ hybridization facilities.

Other team members are based in the University Biomedical Imaging Centre and have expertise in fMRI scanning (www.abdn.ac.uk/ims/imaging). This Centre has a long history of conducting neuroimaging research in both children (through research on autism) and the elderly (focus on Alzheimers Disease).

RINH is the coordinating Centre for the project:

Project Manager: Dr Gabi Wagner g.wagner@abdn.ac.uk


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Gabi Wagner, Julian Mercer and Sue Bird
Gabi Wagner, Julian Mercer and Sue Bird

Prof Julian G Mercer is the Head of the Division of Obesity and Metabolic Health at the RINH, with 30 years of research experience, including 20 years of project management in obesity and body weight research. A member of the RINH Executive, he is author of >100 original research publications. Current research interest in diet-induced obesity, dietary choices and brain energy balance/reward circuitry.

Dr Perry Barrett is a Molecular Biologist, and the Leader of the Molecular Endocrinology Group. He has extensive experience of applying molecular techniques to the elucidation of mechanisms underlying feeding behaviour and body weight regulation, and to the discovery of novel CNS regulatory structures and molecular pathways.

Dr Alexandra M Johnstone is a Human Nutritionist, in the Metabolic Health Group, and has extensive experience of a range of human intervention trials assessing appetite, satiety, dietary preference, weight loss and metabolic health.

Dr Sue Bird has a background in nutrition research, but for over 20 years has worked in communications for a range of organisations including industry, levy boards and research institutes. She is a member of the University of Aberdeen communications team, with special responsibility for stakeholder relations for the Scottish Government-funded research programme at RINH. Sue is leading the dissemination workpackage for the Project.

Dr Gabi Wagner is a Neurobiologist with a special interest in biological timing and has worked for the University of Aberdeen since 2004. For over 20 years she has been communicating science and has over 10 years of research and teaching experience. Gabi will be a central point of contact for all partners in the FULL4HEALTH project and will help to implement the work plan on the basis of the project goals.

Harokopio University - Athens (GR)

Harokopio University logoLead contact Dr Yannis Manios

Email: manios@hua.gr
Web:www.hua.gr/en/

The Harokopio University in Athens, Greece consists of four departments. One of these departments is the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, which offers high standards of graduate and postgraduate education covering all aspects of human nutrition and clinical nutrition science.

Within this department, Dr Yannis Manios heads the Nutritional Assessment, Health Promotion and Counselling research group. This group has considerable experience in studying the prevalence and interactions among behavioural, demographic and physiological indices leading to the development of obesity and chronic disease risk factors in children and adolescents, and developing and implementing intervention programmes aiming to prevent these major health issues.

The group also offers its services and expertise to governmental and non-governmental agencies on issues related to the development and implementation of nutrition policies.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Yannis Manios (MS, PhD); Assistant Professor in Nutritional Assessment, Health Promotion and Counselling. He will be the leader of the group's activities. He has ample experience in coordinating and conducting epidemiological surveys, intervention and behavioural studies, and clinical studies in infants, children and adults.

Vassiliki Costarelli (MS, PhD); Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Her research interest lies in eating and physical activity behaviours in different age groups.

Meropi Kontogianni (PhD); Lecturer in Clinical Nutrition, experienced in dietary patterns.

Evangelia Grammatikaki (MS, PhD candidate); dietician- public health nutritionist. She has experience in assessment of dietary intake and behavioural interventions. Her research interest lies in determinants of food choices and development of eating behaviours.

Katerina Kondaki (MS, PhD candidate): public health nutritionist.

Georgia Kourlaba (MS, PhD): biostatistician specialized in nutritional epidemiology.

George Moschonis (MS, PhD candidate): dietician- clinical nutritionist. Experienced in clinical trials.

Odysseas Androutsos (MS, PhD candidate): dietician-nutritionist, experienced in clinical interventions.

University of Leeds (UK)

University of Leeds logoLead contact: Dr Graham Finlayson

Email: G.S.Finlayson@leeds.ac.uk
Web: www.leeds.ac.uk

The Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds was ranked 11th among 76 Psychology Departments in the UK 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, which reported "particular distinction ... in the area of psychobiology".

The Biopsychology Group, working in the Human Appetite Research Unit (HARU) has a major interest in mechanisms of human appetite control and is a recognised leader in the field. The research programme is designed to advance understanding of the expression of appetite and to help combat disorders of appetite and body weight.

The HARU has 8 dedicated experimental cubicles capable of monitoring food intake behaviours and their psychological correlates with precision and sensitivity. The laboratory kitchen caters for all aspects of food development and preparation from micronutrient manipulations to total daily energy intake. The biochemistry room is fully equipped and staffed for venepuncture, cannulation and the preparation and storage of plasma for hormonal assay. We are experienced in measuring resting metabolism, body composition, substrate oxidation and maximal aerobic fitness.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Graham Finlayson is a biopsychologist with interests in the interaction of hedonic and homeostatic systems that underpin human eating behaviour. He is experienced in monitoring behavioural issues concerned with appetite control, including hedonic processes driving food choice and food preference.

John Blundell is director of the Human Appetite Research Unit and has over 15 years experience of managing large scale research projects in the area of psychobiology of appetite control, energy balance, physical activity, nutrition and drugs as a Principle Investigator.

Phillipa Caudwell is an exercise physiologist interested in the effects of exercise on appetite and energy balance. She is experienced in managing long term physical activity interventions, monitoring energy expenditure and metabolism.

Catherine Gibbons is an exercise physiologist with a Masters in Sports Nutrition. Her PhD concerns the effects of exercise on the role gastrointestinal hormones play in eating behaviour and energy balance.

Mark Hopkins is an exercise physiologist interested in the effects of exercise on appetite control and energy balance. His PhD concerns the role that substrate metabolism plays in the control of appetite and food intake.

Marion Hetherington is the Biological Psychology Research leader at Institute of Psychological Sciences with specific interests in appetite regulation across the lifespan. She is known for her work on short term influences on food intake, and has more recently investigated gene-environment interactions in the development of childhood obesity.

University of Utrecht, Netherlands (NL)

Image Sciences Institute and University Medical Centre Utrecht logosLead contacts:

Professor Roger Adan

Email:r.a.h.adan@umcutrecht.nl

Dr Paul Smeets

Email:paul@isi.uu.nl
Web:www.umcutrecht.nl
Web:www.isi.uu.nl

Two independent research groups at the UMCU (namely the Image Sciences Institute (Paul Smeets) and the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (Roger Adan) will contribute to the project.  

The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) is one of the largest and most distinguished academic hospitals in The Netherlands. All Dutch UMCs score high in terms of the quantity and quality of their international scientific publications, however, among them, UMC Utrecht is second in terms of quantity of published papers and first in terms of citation score. Its research is focussed on 7 spearheads, which include Neuroscience, Biomedical Image Sciences, Biomedical Genetics, and Clinical Epidemiology.

The Imaging Division of UMC Utrecht houses around 120 researchers, more than half of whom are PhD students. This division is the backbone of the Image Sciences Institute (ISI) and of the associated Research School for Biomedical Image Sciences (ImagO). The scientific mission of the Division is to stimulate and perform fundamental and application-oriented research in the field of biomedical imaging.

The Imaging Division of UMC Utrecht participates in many national and international projects, e.g. the EUREKA (ITEA2) project, Care4Me.

At the UMC Utrecht there is a strong expertise with regard to functional neuroimaging, including functional MRI (fMRI) design and data analysis, and the application of functional neuroimaging in the clinic. UMC Utrecht has excellent (neuro)imaging facilities which include two high field (3 Tesla) MRI scanners and an ultra-high field (7 Tesla) MRI scanner.

Within ISI there is specific expertise with regard to neuroimaging of food-induced brain responses. Other relevant in-house expertise includes performing neuroimaging in children and in the elderly. ISI is a member of the URGE group, which is a multidisciplinary research group, existing in the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (RMI, UMC Utrecht), the Rintveld Centre for Eating Disorders (Altrecht, Zeist), and the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP, London, UK). URGE aims to unravel the aetiology of eating disorders. Local collaborations of ISI and RMI include those with the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, an epidemiological UMC Utrecht research institute that has several large cross-sectional cohorts with longitudinal data on nutrition and other cardiovascular risk factors.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof Max A Viergever is Head of the Department of Medical Imaging at UMC Utrecht, Professor of Physics and Professor of Computer Science at the same university. Since 1996 he has been Scientific Director of ISI, Director of the Research School ImagO and Manager Education and Research of the Imaging Division of UMC Utrecht. He is (co)author of >450 refereed scientific articles (abstracts excluded) and has served as supervisor of >90 PhD theses and >120 MSc theses. His research interests comprise all aspects of medical imaging.

Dr Paul A.M. Smeets is a Neuroscientist with a background in Biology. He focuses on the neural processes that govern food intake behaviour, in particular the effects of food stimuli on the human brain. He uses functional neuroimaging in conjunction with endocrine and psychological measures in order to unravel the neural processes relevant for hunger and satiety, which ultimately lead to the decision to eat.


Second UMCU research group:

Prof Roger Adan is section head of “Neurobiology of behavior” at the department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology of the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, one of the research institutes hosted by UMCU.

The section “Neurobiology of behavior” has 4 staff members and encompass around 25 scientists, of which around 7 are post-doctoral researchers and 14 PhD students. Main focus of research is in the areas of feeding and reward biology. The strength of the section lies in its multidisciplinary character, in its embedding in the UMCU genomics centre and its proximity to the clinic.

The section itself is excellently equipped for analysis of rodent behaviour. For metabolic phenotyping of rodents, a system for automated analysis of feeding behavior and energy expenditure is available. In vivo electrophysiology has recently been introduced into this lab in close collaboration with Dr A.B. Mulder (VuMC, Amsterdam), an expert in in vivo electrophysiology. More than 50 Skinner boxes are available for studying addictive behaviours.

The section has a core facility to generate viral vectors that in combination with stereotactic delivery enables the scientist to locally interfere with gene expression in the CNS. Molecular and cell biology (cloning, in situ hybridization, molecular pharmacology, signal transduction etc), in vivo electrophysiology, genetics and neuroanatomy (immunocytochemistry) are core technologies available to all projects of the section.

The UMCU has excellent imaging facilities that include a high resolution 7 Tesla scanner for fMRI studies.  Local collaborations offer extensive possibilities for increasing the activities of Full4Health; these include (1) access to eating disorder patients recruited from the Rintveld clinic, (2) excellent imaging facilities at UMCU, (3) the Julius Centre, an epidemiological UMCU research institute which has several cohorts with longitudinal data on smoking, alcohol intake and nutrition.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Roger Adan, PhD, Professor of Molecular Pharmacology since 2002. Almost 20 years experience in research, and has a research group for 15 years. He has around 100 publications in Peer Reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker at many International Congresses. His field of research concerns the molecular and neural circuits that underlie feeding behavior.

Geert Ramakers PhD. Assistant professor, research area: electrophysiology, has > 40 publications in Peer Reviewed journals

Post doctoral researchers:

Geoffrey van der Plasse PhD, Research area: in vivo electrophysiology of reward behaviours. Role: assist in in vivo electrophysiology studies

Olivier van Beekum PhD, Research area: viral vector molecular biology. Role: assist in molecular biological work generating AAV vectors necessary to the project

NUTRIM, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands (NL)

Maastricht University logoLead contact: Prof. dr. Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga

Email: M.Westerterp@HB.unimaas.nl
Web:www.nutrim.unimaas.nl

NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism of Maastricht University Medical centre + (MUMC+) initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focussing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. The school participates in the Graduate School VLAG (Food Technology, Agrobiotechnology, Nutrition and Health Sciences), accredited by the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is a partner in TI Food and Nutrition and participates in TI-Pharma and the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine. These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.

The nutrition research focuses particularly on research questions concerning the effects of nutrition, nutritional components, and nutritional behaviour on the health of man. In this, clinical nutrition research is an important spearhead. The Maastricht clinical nutrition research is rightfully among the national and international research leaders. The multidisciplinary nature of the research also results in research with a social-scientific and an epidemiological character. Examples of induced research are research into eating and drinking habits and into the significance of certain nutrients, foods, and nutritional patterns. Focus is on various health-related dietary habits of healthy people across the lifespan. In line with (inter)national health policy priorities, the research mainly focuses on macronutrient intake, fruit and vegetable intake, and behaviours related to overweight and obesity.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof. dr. M.S. Westerterp-Plantenga is a Professor of Food Intake Regulation in Humans. Her research includes long-term projects on food intake regulation related to energy metabolism in the context of obesity treatment and weight maintenance. Topics herein are subject specific prevention and treatment, the role of thermogenic ingredients, the role of different proteins, and the role of stress and food reward. Moreover, food intake regulation and energy metabolism is studied under conditions such as exercise, high altitude, and different ambient temperatures. She was a member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UM, responsible for the Research portfolio, and is member of the Editorial Boards of Physiology and Behavior, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the International Journal of Obesity. Since 2004 she has been a project leader at the Leading Technological Institute of Food and Nutrition. She has published about 150 publications in international peer reviewed journals (H-factor=30), and authored and edited several books in this field.

Dr. Rick Hursel is a Human Biologist, and has experience in conducting human intervention trials concerning bioactive ingredients, focusing on the energy balance aspects satiety, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, body composition and gut microflora in humans.

Dr. Sofie Lemmens is a Human Biologist, and has experience with homeostatic and non-homeostatic food intake regulation research. She performed studies on the rewarding value of food intake, under stress vs rest conditions, in visceral overweight vs normal weight subjects. For assessment of ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ she developed a novel computer-based technology.

Eveline Martens, PhD student, MSc in Biomedical Health Sciences, specialization: Bioregulation and Health.

University of Cambridge (UK)

University of Cambridge logoLead contact: Dr Giles Yeo

Email: gshy2@cam.ac.uk
Web: www.cam.ac.uk

Two independent research groups at UCAM (Institute of Metabolic Science (Giles Yeo) and Institute for Medical Research (Fiona Gribble) will contribute to the project. Both are part of the same legal entity:

The Metabolic Research Laboratories (MRL) are part of the Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS) within the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine. The MRL undertakes basic and translational research relevant to the understanding, prevention and treatment of diabetes, obesity and other related endocrine and metabolic disorders.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Professor Stephen O'Rahilly is Head of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Director of the MRL and Director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Obesity and Related Metabolic diseases (MRC CORD). His group focuses on the study of patients with extreme phenotypes to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying severe obesity and insulin resistance.

Dr Giles Yeo is a Senior Research Associate and Director of Genomics and Transcriptomics in both the MRL and MRC CORD. His group uses genomics and transcriptomics techniques to study molecules and pathways in the hypothalamus that control food intake and body-weight. In more than 10 years working together, Prof O'Rahilly and Dr Yeo together with their close colleague, Dr Sadaf Farooqi, have identified five of the eight known monogenic causes of severe human obesity and helped establish the critical role of the leptin-melanocortin pathway in the control of food intake and bodyweight. More recently, Prof O'Rahilly and Dr Yeo have been using human genetics, rodent models and protein biochemistry to study the role of FTO, the first and most robust obesity 'polygene', in the control of energy homeostasis.

Other staff members involved

  • Anthony Coll - Senior Clinical Lecturer
  • Loraine Tung - Research Associate
  • Brian Lam - Research Associate
  • Pawan Gulati - Research Associate
  • Marcella Ma - Research Assistant
  • Marcella Cheung - PhD Student

Second UCAM research group

Drs Gribble and Reimann have a joint research laboratory in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR). CIMR provides extensive core facilities that include flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, cell culture, bioinformatics and quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Equipment in the Gribble/Reimann laboratory includes 5 dedicated electrophysiology and fluorescence imaging rigs, including facilities for dynamic FRET and TIRF microscopy.

Five further post-docs and 2 PhD students in the Gribble/Reimann group will provide additional support and training to these projects. Clinical research is possible in the Clinical Research Facility, which is funded as part of the NIHR Biomedical Centre. This includes funding for supporting nursing staff to assist with clinical studies. The NIHR Biomedical Centre also includes a fully staffed Core Biochemical Assay Laboratory, providing low cost specialist metabolic assays such as gut peptides and insulin. MRC CORD provides fully staffed facilities for transcriptomic analysis and murine metabolic phenotyping.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Dr Fiona Gribble is a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science and an Honorary Consultant in Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders, with 17 years of experience in basic and clinical research in the fields of diabetes in gut peptides. She is author of >60 original research articles, reviews and book chapters. Current interests are in the mechanisms of secretion and action of GLP-1 and related gut peptides.

Dr Frank Reimann is a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Basic Science, with >15 years of experience in research in biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. He has generated a number of transgenic mouse models for the study of enteroendocrine cells, including the fluorescently labelled K and L-cell models to be used in this project. His current interests include the secretion and action of GIP and other appetite and incretin-related gut peptides.

Dr Adrian Park is the Director of Obesity Services and a Consultant in Clinical Biochemistry, with >15 years research experience in the field of obesity and gut hormones.

The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg (SE)

University of Gothenburg logoLead contact: Professor Suzanne Dickson

Email: Suzanne.Dickson@neuro.gu.se

Professor John-Olov Jansson

Email: joj@neuro.gu.se
Web: www.sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/

Two independent research groups at the UGOT, Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, led by Suzanne Dickson and John-Olov Jansson, respectively will contribute to the project.

Suzanne L Dickson BSc PhD, Professor of Physiology/Neuroendocrinology; 20 years experience in research. Prior to her current appointment she held a tenured position as Senior Lecturer in the Dept Physiology at the University of Cambridge. She has around 70 publications in Peer Reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker at many International Congresses.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Suzanne L Dickson BSc PhD, Professor of Physiology/Neuroendocrinology; 20 years experience in research. Prior to her current appointment she held a tenured position as Senior Lecturer in the Dept Physiology at the University of Cambridge. She has around 50 publications in Peer Reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker at many International Congresses.

Senior post doctoral researchers:

Karolina Skibicka PhD, Research area: role of the hindbrain in appetitive behaviour and feeding. Role: Principle scientist engaged in all tasks in WP10 and WP15. These include glucoprivation and appetitive behaviour.

Emil Egecioglu PhD, Research area: neurobiology of food reward. Role: to undertake many of the experiments of food intake, including CNS delivery of hormones.

Dr Mayte Alaverz will undertake neuroanatomical and miscroscopy work associated with the project. Caroline Hansson, a graduate student will prepare tissue for molecular analysis (to be done by UCAM).

The research group also benefits from an in house electrophysiologist, David Haage PhD.


Jansson UGOT research group

Professor John-Olov Jansson MD, PhD Prof Jansson is primarily interested in how immune factors such as cytokines affect hunger and body fat levels. These effects of immune factors are exerted in the brain, at the level of the hypothalamus and possibly also the brainstem.

The first publications to convincingly show that an endogenous immune regulator can affect energy balance at the level of the brain was the finding by Wallenius et al (Nature Medicine 2002; 400 citations by March 2011 according to Web of Science) that knockout of the gene coding for the cytokine IL-6 causes mature onset obesity in healthy mice without overt inflammation. Similar findings were later reported by Jansson´s group and others for several immune factors such as IL-1 IL-18, GM-CSF, NFkB, JNK, and TNFα.

There is now a growing body of evidence that the hunger-regulating regions of the brain are influenced from the gut, for instance by food composition and gut microbiota.

A key collaboration for this project is with Dr Fredrik Bäckhed, a young scientist who is setting up a germ-free mouse facility in Gothenburg after spending a successful postdoc period in Jeff Gordon´s lab in St Louis, USA. A number of core facilities at the Sahlgrenska Academy will be used in the project, e.g. bio-imaging, genomics, and confocal microscopy. There is also ongoing collaboration with several immunologists at UGOT.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

John-Olov Jansson, MD, PhD, Professor of Physiology/Neuroendocrinology; with 30 years experience of research and 5 years of clinical medicine.

Senior post doctoral researchers:

Louise Strandberg PhD, Research area: interaction between immune system, body fat mass and nutrients. Role: to undertake many of the experiments on the effects of food composition on central immune factors, including cytokines, as well as other immune functions.

Erik Schéle, MSc, Ph D student will undertake neuroanatomical and microscope work as well as measurements of gene expression in the hypothalamus and brainstem associated with the project.

Hanna Asklund MSc, will together with Erik Schéle perform  neuroanatomical work in different parts of the hypothalamus.

Sara Svahn, MSc, MD-PhD  student that will participate in the studies of how food composition affects immune factors.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology logoLead contact: Professor Duan Chen

Email: duan.chen@ntnu.no
Web: www.ntnu.edu

NTNU is a centre for science and technology education and research in Norway. It is the second-largest national university, consisting of 53 departments, seven faculties, and 4800 employees. 2600 of which are in research positions. NTNU participated in more than 150 projects in the European Commission's 5th, 6th, and 7th Framework Programmes.

Professor Duan Chen has two research laboratories that are located at a joint laboratory centre of NTNU and St. Olav's University Hospital, and at the animal facility of the Faculty of Medicine, NTNU. His laboratories are equipped with a comprehensive laboratory animal monitoring system (CLAMS) for rats and mice, and state-of-the-art equipment for microsurgery, microinjection, histology (including immunohistochemistry and tissue microarray), biochemistry and molecular biology. His research group has a free or low costing access to common research facilities and services provided at the centre, including national platforms for functional genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy and atom force microscopy. All animal studies are carried out in specific pathogen free conditions.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof. Duan Chen (MD, PhD) is Principal Investigator of Experimental Surgery Research Group at NTNU, and has been a full professor since 1999 at the Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, NTNU. He is author or co-author of 99 original research articles and 29 invited reviews in peer-reviewed international journals and book chapters, mainly in the field of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Bård Kulseng (MD, PhD) is the Head of Obesity Centre at St. Olavs University Hospital at Trondheim, with 25 years of research and clinical experience in Endocrinology and Obesity.

Dr. Chun-Mei Zhao (PhD) is a Histologist with 20 years experience of GI endocrine cells.

Dr. Carl-Jørgen Arum (MD) is a Senior Consultant Surgeon at St. Olavs University Hospital at Trondheim.

University of Edinburgh (UK)

The University of Edinburgh logoJoint Lead contacts: Professor Gareth Leng

Email: gareth.leng@ed.ac.uk
Web Page: Professor Gareth Leng

Professor Mike Shipson

Email: Mike.Shipston@ed.ac.uk
Web Page: Professor Mike Shipson

Gareth Leng is Professor of Experimental Physiology and Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (CMVM). Mike Shipston is Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre of Integrative Physiology, the largest of four research Centres within the School. Profs Leng and Shipston will jointly direct the Full4Health research programme at the University of Edinburgh.

The scientific remit of the Centre for Integrative Physiology (CIP) is to investigate key physiological mechanisms by determining the role of gene products in the integrated function of cells, organs and whole organisms. Investigators exploit appropriate model systems and focus on activities directly facilitating the understanding of human and mammalian physiology, development and disease. CIP investigators span the areas of genomics, proteomics, imaging, whole animal physiology and informatics. Their expertise embraces the cardiovascular, renal, reproductive, endocrine, nervous and immune systems and span a range of model organisms.

In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the University of Edinburgh was confirmed as the leading research University in Scotland and one of the top five in the UK. The CMVM scored highly, particularly in Neuroscience (90 academic staff including Profs Leng and Shipston were included in the RAE Neuroscience submission). In 2009, research awards to CMVM exceeded £140M.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof Gareth Leng uses a multidisciplinary approach, including electrophysiology, molecular neuroanatomy, behavioural and functional studies, and computational modelling to understand the role of neural networks in the hypothalamus.  His interests centre on the physiology of appetite and obesity.

Prof Mike Shipston uses electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques to examine post-transcriptional mechanisms of ion channel regulation and the impact of these mechanisms on the dynamic control of cellular excitability and systems level function.

Dr John Menzies is a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Integrative Physiology.  He interested in the control of feeding and sexual behaviours by the hypothalamus, particularly the roles of neuropeptides like ghrelin, αMSH and oxytocin

Dr Nancy Sabatier holds a personal fellowship from Medical Research Scotland to study the role of the ventromedial hypothalamus and its responsiveness to peptides involved in appetite regulation.

Prof Mike Ludwig is Professor of Neurophysiology.  He uses in vivo and in vitro approaches to understand the fundamental mechanisms of central dendritic peptide release in the hypothalamus and olfactory system and their role in feeding, social and sexual behaviours.

University of Lille 2, Inserm, France (FR)

University of Lille 2 logoLead Contact: Dr Sebastien Bouret

Email: sebastien.bouret@inserm.fr
Web: www.crjpa.lille.inserm.fr

The research group is affiliated with the Jean-Pierre Aubert Research Center (JPARC). This Research Center is affiliated with the Medical School of Lille (Université Lille 2, UL2) and Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research). More than 150 scientists and clinicians are involved in over 5 research teams in two main areas of research: Neuroscience (the PI's laboratory) and Cancer.

The mission of the JPARC is to foster an environment of scientific excellence where biomedical research will lead to discoveries involving the molecular, cellular and clinical understanding of childhood and adult diseases. Institutional seminars are organized on a regular basis. The JPARC is well equipped for all aspects of the proposed studies.

The PI's laboratory is equipped with dissecting microscopes, chemical hoods, and a fully equipped tissue culture room with BSL2 hood. The laboratory is also equipped with high-end fluorescent microscopes and devices for histological processing. Sufficient space for housing mice for the proposed studies is available in a state-of-the-art, pathogen free, animal facility in the Inserm building.

Equipment for body composition (DEXA), hormone assay (Luminex multiplex system), small rodent imaging (7 Tesla MRI) studies and for carrying out surgical procedures in rodents (rats and mice) are also available.

Free access is also provided to shared equipment (ultracentrifuges, DNA sequencing, real-time PCR). A state-of-the-art Zeiss LSM 710 confocal microscope is also available to the PI's laboratory in the imaging core facility of the JPARC.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Dr. Sebastien Bouret is a Neurobiologist with a strong background in developmental neuroendocrinology. He is also a leading expert in the field of metabolic programming and the developmental neurobiology of obesity. The major focus of Dr. Bouret's laboratory is to study the development of brain circuits that regulate appetite and energy balance. He is also interested in studying the influence of perinatal factors, such as hormones and nutrition, in the development of these critical pathways. He has published many articles, reviews, and book chapters in the field of developmental programming of obesity and has been invited to lecture internationally.

Dr. Vincent Prevot has received training in Neuroendocrinology from a number of excellent Institutions. He is well published and has considerable expertise in central actions of peripheral hormones, including a strong background in hormonal influences on CNS plasticity.

Encap Drug Delivery, UK

Encap drug delivery logoLead contact: Dr. Paul Higgins

Email: PHiggins@encapdrugdelivery.com
Web: www.encapdrugdelivery.com

ENCAP was established in 1989 to exploit an emerging new oral drug delivery technology - liquid and semi-solid filling of two-piece hard capsules (LFHCs). The company has grown organically and steadily over the years and is now recognised as the world leader in this field. ENCAP comprises around 50 employees, 5 of whom are formulation scientists, 7 are analytical chemists, 6 are quality control, 4 are quality assurance and 12 are production staff. To date over 20 licensed products have been manufactured. In addition to the mnufacturing business, ENCAP has established a well respected Development Services organization.

The company is widely acknowledged as the world leader in this area and provides clients with fully integrated analytical and formulation development services and clinical trial manufacturing. The company has a wide range of expertise including Analytical, Formulation, and Process Engineering and Manufacturing skills. ENCAP covers all aspects of QC and analytical testing and have recently opened a new microbiological testing lab.

ENCAP has the capability to develop analytical methods and routinely carry out testing to US and European pharmacopeal standard. We can also structure a stability program tailored to each product, carry out all necessary tests and provide fully qualified reports. ENCAP operates to cGMP, holds an MHRA Licence for Investigational Medicinal Products (IMP's) and is able to meet the stringent quality requirements set by the world's most demanding regulatory bodies.

Furthermore, ENCAP were inspected by the FDA in March 2008 and in November 2008 their Oakbank Park facility was deemed acceptable by the FDA, based on the finished drug product that ENCAP were inspected for.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Dr. Victor Young is the Head of Formulation and Development, with 25 years of pharmaceutical experience, including 20 years of encapsulation at ENCAP. He has undertaken various roles at ENCAP, including Quality Control Manager, Production Manager and Formulation Development Manager, and is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MSRC), with a PhD in Chemistry.

Alyn McNaughton is the Head of Analytical Development, supervising validation and stability teams at ENCAP. He has a MSc in pharmaceutical analysis and over 16 years of analytical chemistry and pharmaceutical development experience. He has over 10 years of analytical method transfer, development and stability testing within liquid-fill technologies at ENCAP.

Kenneth Milne is the Head of Quality Control at ENCAP. He has 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry in various analytical roles such as pre-formulation, analytical method validation and transfer, stability testing and Quality Control.

Joe Darling is the Quality Assurance Manager, supervising QA officers and validation teams at ENCAP. The main responsibilities of the QA team are carrying out audits, control of GMP documentation and approval of protocols, reports, and stability data. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and holds a BSc in Applied Chemistry. He has 22 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry including 6 years at ENCAP, and recently qualified as a QP (Qualified Person) for commercial and investigative medicinal products (IMPs) for capsule products.

University of Koln, Germany

Universitat zu KolnLead contact: Professor Jens Bruning

Email: ai023@uni-koeln.de
Web: www.pressoffice.uni-koeln.de/university.html

The laboratory of Prof. Brüning is located in the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne (Department for Mouse Genetics and Metabolism). The Institute for Genetics has a strong history in mouse genetics, particularly in the development of novel techniques for conditional mutagenesis. The Institute for Genetics has established the Center for Mouse Genetics (CMG), which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for the generation and maintenance of genetically modified mice. The transgenic service facility within the CMG is staffed with experienced personnel trained to perform the most advanced techniques for the manipulation of the mouse genome going far beyond those of standard mutagenesis.

In addition, the most advanced technology for metabolic characterization of mice, including complete assessment of energy homeostasis in mice as well as the availability of euglycemic, hyperinsulinemic clamps in mice for complete in vivo profiling of glucose metabolism in mutant mice is available. In the frame of the state-funded Excellence Cluster CECAD Cologne (Coordinator: Jens C. Brüning), several platforms have been established, among them a Mouse Phenotyping Platform providing equipment for behavior tests and phenomaster. Besides an existing NMR analyzer, a mouse CT is being purchased in the beginning of 2010.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof. Jens C. Brüning, MD, is Head of the Department for Mouse Genetics and Metabolism and coordinator of the state-funded Excellence Cluster CECAD Cologne. Prof. Brüning has an almost 15 year experience in the generation and characterization of mouse models with targeted disruption of insulin and leptin signaling components. More recently, his research has focused on the regulation of energy homeostasis through neuronal leptin, insulin receptors and cytokines. Research in his lab is currently funded by grants from DFG, BMBF, EU, and the Land NRW.

Bengt Belgardt, PhD, is highly experienced in analyses of energy homeostasis in the mouse and of signaling of various hormones in the brain.

Hella Brönneke, PhD, is head of the Mouse Phenotyping Platform within CECAD. She will provide support for the project in phenotypic investigation.

Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

University of Copenhagen logoLead contact: Professor Jens Holst

Email: holst@mfi.ku.dk
Web: healthsciences.ku.dk

UCPH is a large University with 30,000 students founded in the 15th century. The Faculty of Health Sciences is the home of several education departments, including medicine. Specially supported research centres include a Centre for Diabetes and Obesity research to which the Holst group belongs.

The group is part of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at UCPH. It includes a Professor in Endocrinology, Associate and Assistant Professors and PhD students, post-docs, students and technicians.

The group has >25 years of expertise in obesity and diabetes, and gastrointestinal hormones, and has contributed about 1000 scientific papers on these topics. Among the most important achievements were the discovery of the structure, and the insulinotropic and appetite-regulating properties of the incretin hormone, GLP-1, the demonstration of the degradation of this hormone by the enzyme, DPP-4, and the demonstration that enhancement of the anti-diabetic actions of GLP-1 could be obtained with DPP-4 inhibitors.

Further studies are leading to the use of GLP-1 analogues for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Professor Jens Juul Holst, MD, PhD. Head of the group, Vice Chairman of the Department.
Expertise in metabolic endocrinology, pancreatic hormones, gut hormones, neural regulation of metabolism, gastrointestinal endocrinology. Leading expert in incretin hormones and their role in the development and treatment of diabetes and obesity. Expert in development of new animal and human experimental models for elucidation of the function of pancreatic and intestinal regulatory peptides. Expert in development of assays for the quantification of GI peptides.

Associate Professor Carolyn Deacon, PhD. Expertise in the metabolism of regulatory peptides, including pioneering research into the metabolism of the incretin hormones. Expertise in enzymology, in vivo pharmacology, peptide biology, and assay development.

Danone Research, The Netherlands

Danone Research logoLead contact: Klaske van Norren

Email: Klaske.vannorren@danone.com
Web: www.danone.com

DANONE develops, tests and validates hypotheses resulting in scientific insights, principles and concepts that can be transformed into safe and responsible specialised nutritional products for the most vulnerable groups in our society; babies, toddlers, patients and the elderly. DANONE comprises over 200 scientists (most of whom possess a PhD degree).

These scientists operate in two dedicated research centres in The Netherlands and in Germany. DANONE pioneers the scientific understanding of the relationship between food and health, thus enabling design of nutritional products based on scientific insights and consumer needs. While internal expertise is a critical aspect of our research drive, we also work in close collaboration with leading international centres for nutritional research.

We are currently engaged in research projects and clinical trials with more than 200 universities, hospitals and specialised institutes across the globe, with the singular objective of developing safe, efficacious nutrition-based solutions to benefit the development, recovery and health of our consumers.

Our research pipeline is sharply focused against high leverage programs. Core research competencies such as immunology, nutrient metabolism and gut biology are being leveraged across opportunities in Baby Nutrition and Medical Nutrition.

Our multi-disciplinary research approach coupled with a strong external research network and the integrated way of working within our Divisions has the potential to extend DANONE's leadership position in the specialised nutrition industry.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Dr Klaske van Norren (employed both at DANONE and WUR) is the project leader for WP17 and the DANONE contact person for WP1. She graduated cum laude for both phases of the study of Medical Biology (Utrecht University). She obtained her PhD at the Nijmegen University and at DANONE has gained more than 10 years experience in research on clinical nutrition for surgical, oncology and HIV patients. She recently joined the group of Prof Dr R Witkamp at WUR, an employment alongside her job at DANONE. She has more than 20 papers and 14 patents. Many papers were in high impact factor journals. (EMBO J , Nucleic Acids Res , Am J Clin Nutr, Clin Chem and 3 papers in Br J Cancer). She presented her work at international conferences, with more than 30 abstracts, e.g. in 2009 she presented 4 orals and 1 poster.

Dr Mirian Lansink works as a senior scientist at DANONE. She graduated cum laude for both phases of the study of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leiden. She did her PhD research at the TNO Institute for Nutrition and Health in Leiden (cell / molecular biology in the cardiovascular area), before taking up a position as scientist at DANONE, responsible for in vitro research for clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements (wound healing, osteoporosis, cholesterol, blood pressure and obesity). She is involved in the development of clinical nutrition in the area of diabetes and obesity. Her works ranges from concept, development through to design of clinical research. She published 17 papers and has 7 patents.

Dr Johan de Vogel-van den Bosch is a scientist employed in the Disease Targeted Nutrition category of DANONE with a strong interest in the effects of nutrients on health. He has extensive experience in mechanistic animal nutrition intervention studies to study large intestine integrity, whole body insulin sensitivity, and molecular markers of muscle and liver insulin sensitivity.

Dr Ardy van Helvoort is director for Disease Targeted Nutrition Research at DANONE, leading a research group of experimental biologists, concept and product developers, and clinical trial scientists to design, develop, and substantiate scientific evidence on nutritional products that support patients suffering from diseases like cancer, HIV, COPD, renal failure, and diabetes. After his PhD (Utrecht University and Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London), he continued his work on multidrug transporters at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Today, he has published more than 45 peer reviewed papers and abstracts, and is the author of several international patent applications.

University of Wageningen, The Netherlands

University of Wageningen logoLead contact: Prof Dr Renger Witkamp

Email: Renger.witkamp@wur.nl
Web: www.wageningenuniversity.nl/UK/about/

Wageningen University is part of Wageningen University and Research Centre. The University provides education and generates knowledge in the field of life sciences and natural resources. The Division of Human Nutrition hosts approximately 450 students, including more than 60 PhD students. There are five chair groups within the division which have joined their expertise and facilities in order to provide an integrated approach in nutrition education and research.

The Division of Human Nutrition has alliances with several institutes inside and outside the Netherlands, including several EU-funded projects. The chair of Nutrition and Pharmacology (Prof Renger F. Witkamp) focuses at the effects of bioactive substances, in particular lipids, in nutrition and the relation between medicines and food from a scientific and clinical perspective.

The group has access to state-of-the-art facilities to perform molecular, preclinical and clinical research in these fields.


Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Dr Klaske van Norren (employed both at DANONE and at WUR). She graduated cum laude for both phases of the study of Medical Biology (Utrecht University). She obtained her PhD at the Nijmegen University and at DANONE has gained more than 10 years experience in research on clinical nutrition for surgical, oncology and HIV patients. She recently joined the group of Prof Dr R Witkamp at the WUR, an employment alongside her job at DANONE. This enables Dr van Norren to combine and exploit her know-how on clinical nutrition with the extensive know-how on nutrition, nutrigenomics, and hunger and satiety as present in the nutrition delta in Wageningen of which WUR is the key player. She has more than 20 papers and 14 patents. Many papers were in high impact factor journals. (EMBO J, Nucleic Acids Res, Am J Clin Nutr, Clin Chem and 3 papers in Br J Cancer). She presented her work at international conferences in more than 30 abstracts, e.g. in 2009 she presented 4 orals and 1 poster.

Prof Dr Renger Witkamp was appointed as Professor of the newly established chair position in Nutrition and Pharmacology in 2006. Since then he has been steadily expanding the research group. This group is working in the Food-Pharma interface by applying pharmacological concepts to nutrition and vice versa. His main research focuses on lipid-derived actives acting via the endocannabinoid system in relation to appetite regulation, obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Within a few years the group has developed into a pioneering team on the role of the endocannabinoid system in relation to nutrition. Recently, a series of novel nutrition-derived endocannabinoids were discovered by the group. Prof Witkamp is also part-time (0.4) employed by TNO, the Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research, where he is scientific coordinator of the nutrition and health program. Recent other activities include a membership of the EFSA (DATEX) Working Group on the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides, and the directorship of the European Nutrition Leadership Program. He is (co-) author of more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters.

Dr J Meijerink works as an assistant professor in the group of Prof Dr R Witkamp. Within the group she is responsible for the recently established research line focussing on bio-active lipid ECs with anti-inflammatory properties. She has a broad background in neurobiology, physiology and identification of bioactive components. She gained international experience during a Marie Curie fellowship performing imaging in the brain.

External Advisory Group

Professor Jonathan Arch

Prof. Jonathan ArchDean of Science, University of Buckingham, and Deputy Director of Metabolic Research, Clore Laboratory.

Jon Arch is the Dean of Science at the University of Buckingham, UK, and the Deputy Director of Metabolic Research of its Clore Laboratory. The Clore Laboratory conducts non-clinical research into diabetes and obesity, much in collaboration with industry. The main focus of its own research is on the influence of maternal nutrition on susceptibility of offspring to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Jon joined Beecham Pharmaceuticals in 1974, where he played a major role in the discovery of β3-adrenoceptor agonists and their receptors. He was also involved in early work on orexins and uncoupling protein-3. He moved to the Clore Laboratory in 2001, where in addition to perinatal programming, he has published on β-adrenoceptors in skeletal muscle, 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1, diacylglycerol acyltransferase-1 and short chain fatty acid receptors. The regulation of energy expenditure and the effects of drugs on thermogenesis remain his major interest.

Jon has consulted for various venture capital and pharmaceutical companies and was a member of the governing body of the Rowett Research Institute.

Contact: jon.arch@buckingham.ac.uk


Mr John Bowis

Mr John BowisA former UK Health Minister and Member of the European Parliament, has agreed to help us with public health, policy, stakeholder and Commission issues

Contact: johnbowis@aol.com


Prof. Bernd Fischer, Halle, Germany

Prof. Bernd FischerDr. agr. (PhD in Animal Science, Bonn University) Dr. med. (MD, RWTH Aachen University) Chairman in Anatomy and Reproductive Biology, and Head of Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg Faculty of Medicine, Halle (Saale), Germany (www.medizin.uni-halle.de/iaz)

Expert in early embryo development, in metabolic and endocrine regulation of embryo development and early pregnancy. Special interests (1) prenatal programming of adult metabolic diseases, (2) disruption of embryo development and pregnancy by environmental endocrine disruptors. Prof. Fischer also performs ethical reviews for EU Framework Programmes.

Contact: bernd.fischer@medizin.uni-halle.de


Prof. Dr. Alessandro Laviano

Prof. Dr. Alessandro LavianoAlessandro Laviano, MD, is associate professor of Internal Medicine at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He works at the Clinical Nutrition Unit of the Sapienza University Hospital in Rome, Italy and is also an advisor to medical nutrition companies.

Dr. Laviano also holds a position of Visiting Research Assistant Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA. He is an Expert Reviewer for the Framework Programs of the European Commission, Bruxelles. In the period 1994-1995, Dr. Laviano worked as a research fellow in the Surgical Metabolism laboratory at the Department of Surgery, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, NY, USA. In 1998 he joined the Faculty of the Medical School at Sapienza University and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007.

Dr. Laviano’s main research interests are: regulation of food intake under physiological and pathological conditions, disease-associated anorexia and cachexia, hyperphagia and obesity, impact and treatment of hospital malnutrition. He has a particular interest in the role of brain activity in the pathogenesis of cancer anorexia and cachexia, and the potential benefit deriving from the integration of a pharmacologic and nutritional approach to cancer patients

Dr. Laviano is the current chairman of the Educational and Clinical Practice Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN). He is also member of the Editorial Board of several international peer-reviewed journals, including British Journal of Nutrition, Current Nutrition and Food Science, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, The Open Nutrition Journal. In the period 2005-2009, he served as European Co-Editor of Nutrition. He is currently Associate Editor of Clinical Nutrition, First Editor of British Journal of Nutrition, and Associate Editor of Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. Dr. Laviano’s studies have been funded by private and public institutions, including the Italian Ministry of Scientific Research. He has a total of more than 130 publications across international peer reviewed journals. Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Contact: alessandro.laviano@uniroma1.it

Links to associated projects or organisations

FP7 Funded Projects

Nudge-It - The aims of Nudge-It are to better understand decision-making in food choice, to build predictive models of food choice with strong explanatory power, and to contribute to an evidence base for improved public health policy.

SATIN (SATiety INnovation) – this research project is dedicated to identify which ingredients and processing methods of several food components (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) and categories (bread, fish, dairy etc.) accelerate satiation, suppress appetite and extend satiety until hunger appears again. Satiety-enhancing foods can help with energy intake and weight control.

Neurofast - this multidisciplinary project will explore the neurobiology of addiction and eating behaviour

Toybox-study - a European multi-country study to develop an obesity prevention programme specifically for pre-school children

Lipididiet - the European LipiDiDiet project addresses the Impact of Nutritional Lipids on Neuronal and Cognitive Performance in Aging, Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular Dementia.

FAHRE - Food And Health Research in Europe

Eurochip-obesity - This consortium brings together world leaders specializing in brain control of food-intake, gut hormones and human genetics in order to focus on understanding how the gut hormones communicate with the brain.

EU Platform - EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Habeat - determining factors and critical periods in food Habit formation and breaking in Early childhood: a multidisciplinary approach


Associations & Stakeholders:

National Obesity Observatory - provides a single point of contact for wide-ranging authoritative information on data, evaluation and evidence related to weight status and its determinants.

International Obesity Task Force is a research-based think tank of international obesity experts.

The Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) - organization committed to advancing scientific research on food and fluid intake and its associated biological, psychological and social processes.

Digestive Disease Week - takes place May 19-22 in San Diego. Member registration opens Jan. 4 (nonmembers, Jan. 11).

European Health Forum Gastein - creating a better future for health in Europe

European Parliament

KnowledgeScotland - an online resource for policymakers and Government stakeholders that is focused in the food, health, environment and rural sectors.

FoodDrinkEurope - represents the European food and drink industry

British science association - the UK's nationwide, open membership organisation, which provides opportunities for people of all ages to learn about, discuss and challenge the sciences and their implications

British Society for Neuroendocrinology - promotes research into the interplay between the endocrine and nervous systems that control so many important body processes.

The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) - a nonprofit, worldwide organization whose mission is to provide science that improves public health and well-being.

Joint programming Initiatives (JPI) - a concept introduced by the European Commission in July 2008 and is one of five initiatives aimed at implementing the European Research Area (ERA).

EASO - The European Association for the Study of obesity (EASO) aims to promote research into obesity, facilitate contact between individuals and organisations, and promote action that tackles the epidemic of obesity.