Dr VIREN RANAWANA

Dr VIREN RANAWANA
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Research Fellow

Overview

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 438764
Fax
fax +44(0) 1224 438 699
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Metabolic Health Group,
Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health,
Foresterhill,
Aberdeen, Scotland AB25 2ZD, UK

Biography

Academic and related background

 

  • PhD Human Nutrition,Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.  2008-2011

     Thesis: Factors affecting the glycaemic response- physical state and particle size

     Supervised by Prof C. Jeya. K. Henry

 

  • MSc Applied Human Nutrition (Distinction and best student), Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. 2006-2007

      Dissertation- Glycaemic index of commonly consumed rice and rice products in the UK

 

  • BSc (Special) Food Science and Technology (2:1), Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka. 1999-2004

 

  • I am also a trained chef having undergone formal training at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (1998-99), and have worked at hotels and restaurants in the UK and Sri Lanka

 

Research experience

  • Research Fellow. Natural Products Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, UK. 2014-Present
  • Research Fellow, Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences, Singapore. 2011-2014
  • Research Assistant, Functional Food Centre, Oxford Brookes University, UK. 2011
Research

Research Interests

Chronic non-communicable disease (NCD) incidence is rapidly escalating around the world and is the largest contributor to global mortality and morbidity. It is now well recognised that diet forms a cornerstone in the prevention and management of NCDs, and is perhaps the most effective, economical and sustainable approach for improving the health status of a population.  Having trained in both nutrition and food science my research interests lie in the food science-nutrition interface and focuses on the impact of food, its composition, preparation and processing on human nutrition and health. I am particularly interested in looking at how modern foods and diets could be modified to optimise their health and nutritional effects in humans.    

The structural and compositional configuration of a food significantly determines its effects on health and nutrition. My work largely investigates how these two aspects could be managed to optimise the metabolic response to food. As a human Nutritionist specialising in intervention studies my work largely involves the execution of randomised controlled trials aimed at elucidating the health effects of foods in humans. Specifically, my research has focused on studying the clinical effects of food macronutrient composition and quality on energy regulation and disease metabolism, factors affecting the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to foods, clinical evaluation of functional foods, satiety effects of foods and food constituents, and factors influencing satiety and food intake.

Current Research

Working with Professor Garry Duthie in the Natural Products Group my present work centres on the nutritional and health effects of plant compounds in humans. My research specifically focuses on;

  • Investigating the bioavailability of plant nutrients in humans, and methods of improving it
  • Reformulating processed foods to improve their nutritional and physico-chemical properties
  • Development of novel and reformulated foods aimed at managing and reducing chronic diseases, and their clinical evaluation 
  • Assessing the nutritional potential of plant-based food and crop by-products
  • Studying the potential of using plant products as natural antioxidant in compound foods, and assessing their efficacy during storage and gastro-intestinal digestion of the latter

Research Grants

Interface Food and Drink, Feasibility Grant 10k

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Co-Coordinator MSc Human Nutrition Programme- University of Aberdeen
  • Course coordinator for the Clinical Nutrition Specialism- MSc Human Nutrition course (University of Aberdeen)

 

Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • Nutrition Society, Scottish Section- Committee member
  • Proceedings of the Nutrition Society- Editorial Board

Admin Responsibilities

  • Member of the Rowett Human Studies Management committee
  • Member Rowett Research Ethics Committee
Publications

Publications 

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