Dr Madalina Neacsu

Dr Madalina Neacsu
Dipl Eng, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 438760
The University of Aberdeen Gut Health Theme, Rowett Institute,
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, Scotland,

External Memberships and Affiliations

Member of “The Royal Society of Chemistry”


Research Overview


It is challenging to achieve a balance between nutritional and sustainability demands in a healthy human diet. As strategic approach into addressing this challenge, my research aims to establish novel crops as best candidates for food security and for a healthy sustainable diet. My work comprises in:


  • Identification of novel crops, suitable to grow in Scotland, which can provide sustainable sources of nutrients and establishing their nutritional and phytochemical profile. Currently, my work involves crops like: buckwheat, hemp, fava bean, quinoa, chia, etc.
  • Assessment of their nutritional and health impact on humans through continuously running acute and chronic human dietary intervention studies, acquiring crucial information on their key bioactives bioavailability and metabolism.
  • Understanding the bioavailability, metabolism and bioactivity of their key bioactive components. To obtain a clear picture of the fate of key crop bioactive components after human consumption, my research focuses on determination the form and concentration of their metabolites produced once they are absorbed in humans. This allows the ex vivo assessment of their bioactivity at nutritionally relevant concentrations and forms. Information critical for designing future human dietary interventions and in the selection of potential biomarkers of efficacy. I am constantly developing methods of synthesis, measuring and isolating of biomolecules from diets and their metabolites from human biological samples.
  • Translation of the biological activity and nutritional value of the crops and their key bioactive components, into specialised food formulations, functional food ingredients and sustainable diets. These specialised formulations and diets have the potential to prevent and/or maintain the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular pathologies, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. My expertise is in the design of biological active formulations, mainly plant based which can be implemented in foods and nutraceuticals. This can support claims for a range of diverse health promoting products.





ERASMUS+ Interinstitutional Agreement between University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj Napoca, Romania and The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, UK.

This grant facilitates the mobility  and exchange of postgraduates research students and staff for specific complementary projects and lecturing.

Research Funding and Grants

Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme – 2016-2021
Novel Crops (Productive and Sustainable Land Management and Rural Economies)

CAPES Brazil - 2015-2018
Reformulation with sustainable and healthy food ingredients

BBSRC – Global Challenges – 2017-2020 
Moringa; delivering nutrition and economic value to the people of Malawi. (Led by Dr. Wendy R. Russell)


Teaching Responsibilities

MSc Clinical Nutrition (PU 5537): Functional foods for disease prevention

On Line Msc Course (PU5541): Development and Coordination of Clinical Nutrition for Disease Prevention (together with Dr Vassilios Raikos)



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