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UOA 12B - Allied Health Professions and Studies: Nutritional Sciences
King's College London
RA5a: Research environment and esteem
Unit of Assessment 12B RA5
The nutritional sciences are concerned with understanding the effects of food on the body in both health and disease. King’s College London (KCL) has long had an international reputation in the nutritional sciences. In the RAE 2001, Nutrition received a 5 rating under Subjects Allied to Medicine; all 12 staff returned were members of the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics. In 2002, the Nutritional Sciences Division was formed with purely a research mission. This allowed PIs with teaching responsibilities in different teaching Departments to be collocated with scientists with a similar research focus. From this reorganisation, the Division gained Bomford, Ciclitira, McKie and Simpson from the School of Medicine, and Bury, Ellis and Hogstrand from the now defunct Division of Life Sciences. The Division has undergone substantial expansion and now consists of 19 principal investigators. It operates in a multidisciplinary environment and has active collaborations with other Divisions in the KCL Health Schools (notably Cardiovascular Sciences, Endocrinology and Reproductive Health and the Pharmaceutical Sciences). The Division also has vigorous interactions with other academic institutions in the UK and overseas as well as with government agencies and industry and its research informs governmental policy with regard to food and health both in the UK and overseas.
1. Research students and research studentships
The number of students registered for doctoral degrees has increased substantially since the last RAE. A total of 47 research degree awards (47 PhD, 2 MPhil) were made during the assessment period. Most students are fully funded with the majority being funded by charities, governments (UK and overseas) and industry. Seven students received research council studentships (BBSRC case 2, MRC 3, NERC 2). College funded studentships, along with the research council funded studentships, are advertised both internally and externally and a rigorous selection procedure is employed to ensure that only the best students are recruited. The international reputation of KCL in Nutrition has also led to a significant number of international students funded by their governments undertaking doctoral degrees within the Division. The Division currently hosts 29 full-time (years 1-3) and 7 part-time (years 1-5) doctoral students. Completion rates within 4 years are now in excess of 70% for full-time students. With the recent expansion of staff numbers, the number of doctoral students continues to expand (18 new students enrolling in 2006/07), with a commitment to increasing doctoral training of dieticians.
2. Research Income
KCL is in the top group of universities for research earnings with income from grants and contracts of more than £113m (2006-07), to which the Nutritional Sciences Division makes a significant contribution. Over the assessment period, research expenditure has grown to over £12m but lags behind the value of new awards which total £15.1m, approximately £800K per member of staff returned. These awards include 19 research council project grants (10 BBSRC, 7 MRC, 2 NERC) totalling £3.5m in value. About a quarter of the research income is derived from medical charities (e.g. Wellcome and British Heart Foundation). The Division has been particularly successful in attracting new funding from the Food Standards Agency (£3m in value) under the Diet and Cardiovascular Health Programme and the Diet and Low Income Survey and from the EU, as well as from the US National Institute of Health, which are competitive sources of funding. In addition to these awards, successful SRIF-1 bids supported analytical facilities for a Mass Spectrometry Centre (£1.5m) and a Genomics Centre (£892k) in the Franklins-Wilkins Building. Following the success in the last RAE, a new post was created in 2003 and following the Division’s growing success in attracting substantial research awards, the College Strategic Investment Initiative funded the appointment of 3 additional staff in the Division in 2005. The full impact of these appointments has yet to be realised in terms of new grant income. The Division’s successful expansion played a major part in attracting £4.5m funding (September 2006) from Tate & Lyle for a Chair and senior lectureship (to be appointed), equipment and a contribution towards the establishment of a Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at St Thomas’ Hospital. A successful bid for a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, under the atherosclerosis theme, will provide core funding for the CRF for 5 years.
3. Research Structure
Our research activity spans the molecular basis of nutrition, which is primarily concerned with mechanisms, through to public health nutrition, which comprises dietary surveys, nutritional epidemiology, dietary intervention trials and programmes designed to improve population health. Staff are affiliated with one of three research groups: Diet and Cardiovascular Health; Iron and Zinc Metabolism; Diet and Gastrointestinal Health. These groups share cross-cutting themes of nutritional assessment, nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, and dietary intervention trials. Much of the research is interdisciplinary. There are strong interactions between the research groups as demonstrated by the authorship of publications and interactions exist with researchers outside the Division, both within KCL and external to the institution in the UK and overseas (e.g. Europe, North America, Australia, Japan).
a) Diet and Cardiovascular Health Group
Professor Tom Sanders (Head of Division, Group Lead); Dr Sarah Berry (Early Career Researcher); Dr Wendy Hall (Early Career Researcher); Dr Sandra O’Dell and Dr Helen Wiseman.
Dietary intake is a major determinant of population risk of cardiovascular disease. Research at King’s is concerned with the influence of diet on risk factors associated with the development of the disease. The group, funded by the Food Standards Agency, BBSRC, EU, Wellcome, BHF and industry has long-standing expertise in dietary lipids and antioxidants (particularly flavonoids) and has made significant contribution to understanding the effects of different fatty acids with regard to cardiovascular risk. The research involves measuring changes in response to diet of plasma lipoproteins, haemostatic and inflammatory markers, blood pressure, arterial stiffness and endothelial function. The group has an international reputation in research on dietary lipids particularly on omega-3 fatty acids and the postprandial effects of lipids on haemostatic function. The group has conducted some of the largest community based dietary intervention trials which address key public health questions regarding dietary lipids. Current research is focusing on diet composition/obesity/genetics influence features of the metabolic syndrome which affects a significant proportion of the UK population and confers substantial risk of cardiovascular disease especially among persons of South Asian origin. Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe a condition associated with insulin resistance and visceral fat accumulation which are accompanied by raised blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype (low HDL cholesterol, small dense LDL) and perturbed haemostatic function.
Research on dietary lipids has had a significant impact on policy set and advice given by the Food Standards Agency to the general public and has influenced dietary advice given by international bodies such as WHO/FAO particularly with regard to trans and n-3 fatty acids. Research by the group has shown favourable effects resulting from a decreased fat intake on procoagulant activity and endothelial function. The group comprehensively evaluated the effects of a diet high in oleic or trans fatty acids versus a diet with a high carbohydrate/low fat content. This study confirmed the adverse effects of trans fatty acids on the lipid profile but showed that trans fatty acids were no worse than oleic acid with regard to effects on procoagulant and fibrinolytic activities with both performing worse in this respect that the high carbohydrate/low fat diet. Sanders & Berry (appointed 2006) were the first to demonstrate that altering the triglyceride structure of stearic acid rich fats influences postprandial lipaemia and factor VII activation. This work has demonstrated that stearic acid is not thrombogenic as previously claimed and may be a safer alternative to trans fatty acids in hardened fats. The OPTILIP study which was a 6-month dietary intervention study in 258 older men and women led by Sanders (FSA project N2015) demonstrated that only long-chain n-3 fatty acids and not linolenic acid influenced cardiovascular risk. Sanders has also pioneered human studies evaluating sustainable sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) derived from marine algae on cardiovascular risk factors. This demonstrated that small amounts of DHA elevated LDL cholesterol independent of apoE genotype but had favourable effects on vascular function.
A key scientific and public health question is whether reducing intakes of saturated fats via low fat, high carbohydrate diets, or by moderate fat diets in which saturated fats are substituted with monounsaturated fats, have differential effects on risk factors for the metabolic syndrome and whether this effect is influenced by the glycaemic index of the diet. The group led by Sanders is participating in the largest study of its kind to address this question (the FSA RISCK project £2.7m). Over 600 subjects have been recruited to this 6-month multicentre (Reading, Imperial, Surrey, Cambridge, King’s) dietary intervention study and measurements of insulin sensitivity, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, vascular and haemostatic risk factors have been undertaken. Sanders & Chowienczyck (Cardiovascular Division) are determining the effects of the diets on endothelial function in a subsidiary BBSRC funded study.
Sanders & Berry have recently completed a randomized controlled trial of increasing intakes of fruit and vegetables on vascular function (The FSA DRFRUITNVEG project). The study was designed to test whether increasing fruit and vegetable intake from the UK average of 3 portions a day to the recommended level (5 portions a day) or higher (approximately 10 portions a day) lowers blood pressure among 48 subjects with high normal blood pressure or elevated blood pressure. The study also compared the effects of an increased intake of potassium provided as a supplement using a crossover design. The final report has been submitted to the Food Standards Agency and publications are in progress. The group has also been investigating the effects of flavonoids and isoflavones. Wiseman and Sanders have conducted dietary intervention studies to assess the bioavailability isoflavones from diet and their effects on cardiovascular risk. Wiseman has also demonstrated effects of isoflavones on cognitive function. Sanders and Chowienczyk were the first to demonstrate that genistein but not daidzein has a similar effect to oestradiol on forearm blood flow that appears to be mediated by a nitric oxide (Circulation. 2001 Jan 16;103(2):258-62). The appointment of Hall and O’Dell in 2005 will strengthen the group. Hall has published extensively on isoflavones and cardiovascular risk and has expertise in dietary lipids/carbohydrates in relation to metabolic syndrome. O’Dell, who has expertise in molecular genetics, has identified genes in the leptin and insulin signalling pathways that may modulate risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
A major new project (£1.2m) funded by the FSA will further investigate the influence of long chain n-3 on vascular function. Research on diet x genetic interactions will be expanded. Advantage will be taken of existing collaborations with the St Thomas twins register (Spector, Genetics and Molecular Medicine Division). Further investigations of the effects on vascular function and insulin sensitivity of phytochemicals, food structure and types of carbohydrate (including novel forms of carbohydrate) and fat will be undertaken. In collaboration with Poston (Reproduction and Endocrinology Division), funding is being sought to examine the extent to which maternal obesity programmes metabolic syndrome in the offspring.
b) Iron and Zinc Metabolism Group.
Professor Andrew Mckie (Group Lead); Dr Adrian Bomford; Dr Nicolas Bury; Professor Christer Hogstrand; Dr Paul Sharp; Dr Robert Simpson; Dr Alice Warley.
The group, primarily funded by MRC, BBSRC, NERC, the EU and Industry (Unilever), is concerned with identifying divalent mineral transporters and other metal homeostatic proteins and understanding how they are regulated in health and disease, particularly in the context of anaemia and haemochromatosis. The group has collaborators in the Pharmaceutical Science Division (KCL) and in several national and international institutes, including the Royal Free Hospital (UCL), Cardiff University, Berkley and University of Miami. The minerals primarily in focus of this group, iron and zinc, have much in common in terms of uptake and regulation.
This group is world-leading in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of iron uptake and homeostasis in humans and other vertebrates. Simpson, McKie, Warley and Bomford have had major successes in discovering and characterising genes encoding proteins involved in iron transport (Dcytb) (Science 2001 Mar 2;291(5509):1755-9) and in heme transport (HCP1) (Cell. 2005 Sep 9;122(5):789-801). These advances have been achieved by using a range of molecular and cellular techniques including subtractive gene cloning strategies, microarrays, Xenopus oocyte microinjection and confocal microscopy. Transgenic and knock-out mice (Dcytb and hepcidin) for the iron genes are also being used to elucidate the pathways controlling iron homeostasis. The discovery of these genes merited editorials in Cell and the New England Journal of Medicine and the papers have been highly cited. Hogstrand and Bury have developed a model to study metal ion transport properties in the fish gill and apply genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics to build interaction pathways for iron and zinc regulation. Important discoveries have included several new metal transporters, interaction between zinc and calcium homeostasis, the role of zinc-signalling in the antioxidant response, and the involvement of corticosteroid receptors (CR) in trace-metal homeostasis. Bury, using fish as a model, identified an aberrant form of the iron importer, DMT1, which helps the understanding of the function of this transporter in humans. The evolution of CR and their functions is also studied in detail by Bury, who recently showed that 11-deoxycorticosterone is the ancestral CR ligand. Sharp, recruited in 2004, is interested in the regulation of intestinal iron absorption by both dietary (e.g. iron, zinc and copper) and systemic factors (e.g. pro-inflammatory cytokines and hepcidin). He has shown that zinc can influence iron uptake by modulating expression of DMT1 and that hepcidin interacts directly with the intestinal epithelium to inhibit intestinal iron transport through downregulation of DMT1.
Future research on iron will elucidate the role of hepcidin, duodenal cytochrome b and ascorbate reductases in iron regulation, funded by BBSRC, MRC and EU grants. Investigators in this group are currently employing transcriptomic techniques to define mechanisms of methyl-mercury effects on the developing brain as well as dietary factors that influence methyl-mercury toxicity. They have commenced a BBSRC funded project to elucidate the evolution of the corticosteroid receptor in mineral homeostasis. Translational research is also being undertaken to develop novel sources of iron for the treatment of the anaemia of chronic disease and the role of vitamin C in iron absorption. Through collaboration with The Sanger Centre, eight lines of zebrafish are currently being generated, each with targeted mutations in one of eight zinc transporters. These animals will be used to provide further understanding of zinc regulation and involvement of zinc in biological processes.
c) Diet and Gastrointestinal Health Group.
Staff: Professor Victor Preedy (Group Lead); Professor Paul Ciclitira; Ms Christine Baldwin (Early Career Researcher); Dr Peter Ellis; Professor Peter Emery; Dr Maria Pufulete; Dr Jeremy Sanderson; Dr Kevin Whelan (Early Career Researcher).
This is a newly formed group, primarily funded by the medical charities, BBSRC, EU and Industry, which investigates the interaction between diet and the gastrointestinal tract, incorporating the clinical basis of bowel disease, nutrient accessibility and availability and proteomic studies of tissue injury, particularly in relation to alcohol and surgery. A major focus of this group is the interaction between genetics and inflammatory bowel disease. A developing area is the effect of nutrients on epigenetic events in relation to colorectal cancer. Methodological developments are also an important focus of attention, for example in the identification of patients at risk and in the field of proteomics. The group has collaborations within KCL (Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine) and externally (Wellcome Sanger Institute, Imperial College and European collaborators, both industrial and academic), fostering an interdisciplinary approach to research.
Ciclitirahas published extensively on the genetics of coeliac disease, the development of screening assays for the condition, measurement of gluten in foods and the characterisation of coeliac disease triggering peptides. An important discovery has been that glutenins are toxic to coeliac sufferers. This finding has implications for production of food suitable for coeliacs. The group is also involved, as part of an EU funded project, in using GM technology to develop novel cereals which do not exacerbate the disease. The group is also examining the role of gut microbiota in relation to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and pouchitis and, using molecular biology techniques, has reported an imbalance in bacterial species which may trigger inflammatory responses. Sanderson was part of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium published in both Nature and Nature Genetics that identified key genes and gene mutations involved in Crohn’s disease. Warley (Iron & Zinc Metabolism Group) provides for support for this research in terms of electron microscopy and imaging. The group is exploring the effect of altering gut microbiota on IBD and pouchitis. This work is aided by Ellis’ expertise in the effects of carbohydrates and food structure on digestion and metabolism and effects on gut microbiota. His work on the dissolution kinetics, rheological properties and the structure of plant tissue, especially the cell wall, helps predict nutrient and phytochemical bioavailability. Whelan and Baldwin are dieticians who were appointed to strengthen translational research in patients with gastrointestinal disease. Whelan demonstrated that fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) increase dendritic cell activity and reduce disease activity in patients with Crohn’s disease.
Emeryand Preedy are developing proteomic techniques to assess the turnover of individual proteins during injury and tissue repair. They are also applying proteomic techniques to identify post-transitionally modified proteins, especially those caused by aldehyde adducts which have relevance to gastrointestinal disease. Pufulete and Emery have shown that folate and vitamin B12 can influence the extent to which DNA is methylated. This may have important regulatory effects on gastrointestinal cells. They have established that hypomethylation of DNA is associated with colorectal cancer and adenoma and that folic acid increases DNA methylation in patients with colorectal cancer.
Further work on developing assays for coeliac disease triggering peptides in foods will be undertaken so that these can be applied to foods labelled as suitable for coeliacs. An EU funded project aims to produce a hand held device for blood screening for coeliac disease, based on a combination of serology and human genotyping. This should provide a simple “chip” system for large scale screening for this condition. Future work within the group will further investigate the role of gut microbiota in IBD and will also entail randomised control trials of pre/probiotics in patients with IBD and pouchitis. The effectiveness of nutrition support in patients with gastrointestinal disease will continue to be evaluated. Further work will be conducted using proteomic techniques to predict risk of sepsis and to determine the turnover of individual proteins during injury and repair. A BBSRC funded project will further investigate the role of hypomethylation in colorectal carcinogenesis, specifically looking at methylation status of CpG islands in key regulatory genes.
Mechanisms and practices for promoting research, sustaining and developing a research culture, and building capacity
The Nutritional Sciences Division was established in 2002 and has a purely research mission; teaching is organised by separate teaching departments (i.e. Departments of Nutrition & Dietetics, Biochemistry, Physiology) and each PI within the division is also a member of the most appropriate teaching department. This matrix allows each PI to contribute most effectively to both research and teaching, and overcomes the financial and organisational barriers to collaboration characteristic of traditional discipline-based departments. The balance between research and teaching is agreed annually between Heads of Division and Department for each PI.
The Division is managed by the Head of Division (Sanders) who reports to the School Management Board and the Health Schools Research Committee, which spans the five Health Schools (Biomedical and Health Sciences, Dentistry, Institute of Psychiatry, Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery) and meets monthly. The Head of Division is supported by a personal assistant, a research administrator and a resource manager, and is advised by an Executive Committee. The Division organises a series of research seminars and Divisional meetings are held every three months. Early career staff are mentored and other staff have regular appraisals so that training needs are identified. Early career appointments are provided with a start up fund for research and given help to apply for research funding. They are also encouraged to take on the supervision of PhD students in partnership with an experienced staff member. The Division actively informs staff about research opportunities through its web pages and liaison with Kings Business.
The College has a policy on Good Practice in Research and the Research Division has its own handbook on good research practice for guidance. The College has been at the forefront of medical ethics and the law and is fortunate to have a well constituted College Research Ethics Committee that overseas research undertaken within the College or overseas and ensures that appropriate LREC and MREC approval is obtained.
The College has a well-developed infrastructure in place for the support and monitoring of its postgraduate research students. This is in order to ensure that students are able to make the most of their time at the College, depending on their particular needs and that they are able to submit within the appropriate timeframe. This is enshrined in the College Code of Practice for research degrees, which sets out the minimum requirements in areas such as recruitment, monitoring of progress and induction and the development of appropriate research and other skills.
Postgraduate study is at the heart of the College and King’s is increasingly sensitive to the unique needs of the postgraduate community. The College has established a Graduate School for its postgraduate students, demonstrating its commitment to high quality postgraduate education. Established in September 2005, it provides a supportive network across the College, strengthening its focus on graduate needs and enhancing the experience of graduate students at King’s, for example by means of a range of opportunities for the development of core skills.
The College requires that all its staff who supervise students are appropriately trained and briefed, and offers a range of courses on supervisor training that are tailored to the needs of the different disciplines within the College. To this end, it has also produced a handbook for supervisors, which combines all the regulatory and policy information that supervisors require with guidance on good practice in supervision. This is circulated to all academic staff on a regular basis.
The Division is based in the Franklin-Wilkins Building but also has access to clinical facilities in St Thomas’ Hospital. Laboratories within the Franklin-Wilkins Building are modern and well equipped with basic equipment such as centrifuges, spectrophotometers, safety cabinets, fume hoods, a supply of distilled dionised water on tap and -80C storage facilities. The Division also has specialised equipment for cell counting (5-channel FACS), confocal microscope imaging, cell culture and a host of analytical equipment including HPLC, GC, GC/MS, GC/MS/NCI and an ILAB 650 chemistry analyser. Members of the Division are frequent users of the Mass spectrometry Centre and the Genomics Centre within the Franklin-Wilkins Building. The Mass Spectrometry Centre offers access to LC-MS, LC-MS/MS, LC-MS/MS/MS, MALDI-TOF, SELDI-TOF and isotope ratio mass spectrometers. Sanders, Preedy and Hogstrand are members of the Mass Spectrometry Steering Committee. The Genomics Centre is equipped for high throughput sequencing with a SNP analysis (Pyrosequencer), real-time PCR and gene expression (Affymetrix and custom arrays). Preedy is Director of the Centre, while Sanders is Chair of its Steering Committee. Hogstrand, McKie and O’Dell are also members of the Steering Committee. Microscopy has been centralised in New Hunts House, managed by Warley, and offers comprehensive electron microscopy services. The Biological Service Unit has facilities for normal and transgenic animals as well as an aquarium system for fish and Xenopus. Statistical support is provided by a full-time statistician and bioinformatics support by a full-time bioinformatics office in the Franklin-Wilkins Building. The Franklin-Wilkins Building is well equipped with Public Access Workstations and all PhD students have access to a computer. Wireless internet is available throughout the building. The Division is also able to have analyses undertaken at CPA accredited laboratories at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and at King’s College Hospital.
Facilities for conducting research on human subjects are provided on two sites, in the Franklin-Wilkins Building and at St Thomas’ Hospital. The metabolic unit in Franklin-Wilkins building was purpose-built for human feeding studies. At St Thomas’ Hospital research on human subjects has been conducted in the clinical pharmacology suite. This unit is equipped with imaging equipment as well as beds for more invasive measurements. A new St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility is due to open in March 2008 and the Division has played a major role in raising the funding and in the planning of this facility. The St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility will provide a state of the art human research facility with extensive facilities for measuring vascular function, exercise, visual function, body composition and cognitive function.
The Information Services and Systems department provides access to key resources, including 6,402 current journal subscriptions, 5,000 e-journals, SFX linkage from bibliographic resources to full-text, the Community of Science research funding service and IT training for all researchers, including iGrad - a dedicated portfolio of training opportunities for research postgraduates.
4. Staffing policy
Emery, Hogstrand, McKie and Preedy were promoted to personal chairs and the Division is currently seeking to appoint a further chair in Human Nutrition (funded by Tate & Lyle). Over the assessment period, several staff have moved to on to prestigious posts (e.g. Dr Powell took up a post at the MRC-Human Nutrition Research, Dr Nelson took a post as Director of Research at the School Food Trust, Dr Leeds took up a post as Medical Director of Cambridge Nutrition, Dr Judd was appointed to a Chair at the University of Central Lancashire, Dr Evans was appointed to a Chair at Brunel) or retired (Professor Geissler, Professor Staines). These staff have been replaced and additional staff recruited, including 3 staff under the College’s Strategic Research initiative to strengthen the dietary and cardiovascular health group, particularly in the area of diet and metabolic syndrome. Of the 19 staff returned here, 6 have been appointed since 2003, of which 4 meet the definition of early career researchers (Whelan, 2004; Hall, 2005; Berry 2006, Baldwin 2007). Early career appointments are given a light teaching load in the first year, mentored and helped to apply for research funding. They are also encouraged to take on the supervision of PhD students in partnership with an experienced staff member. The full potential of the new staff and the collaborative environment described above will be realised progressively over the next few years.
5. Research Strategy
In the 2001 RAE, our strategy was to build on existing strengths in public health nutrition and to exploit new knowledge on gene polymorphisms to identify diet-gene interactions in order to better predict the response of individuals to dietary modification. We have greatly strengthened our capacity to apply modern molecular biology techniques to nutritional problems. We are currently seeking to make new appointments with expertise in carbohydrates because of their relevance to metabolic syndrome and gastrointestinal health. We have organised our research into three groups, each with a leader so that research can be more effectively managed. Our research plans are regularly reviewed to ensure that research remains focused, productive and competitive. The strategic actions taken since the last RAE are detailed below.
Research on metals has been strengthened by the formation of the Iron and Zinc Metabolism Group under the leadership of Professor McKie with laboratory activities of the group co-located in the Franklin-Wilkins Building. Successful SRIF-1 bids for genomic and mass-spectrometry underpinned this strategy.
Clinical links with gastroenterology at St Thomas’ Hospital and hepatology at King’s College Hospital were strengthened by Ciclitira and Bomford joining the Division, as well as the appointment of Sanderson (a consultant gastroenterologist at St Thomas’) as a 0.5 fte research fellow. This enabled the creation of a strong Diet and Gastrointestinal Health Group. Appointments of Pufulete and Whelan in 2003 and Baldwin in 2007 have further strengthened this group.
A strategic decision taken in 2005 to strengthen the Diet and Cardiovascular Health Group was particularly in response to the Select Committee Report on Obesity which highlighted the health costs of obesity. The group aims to focus on metabolic syndrome in relation to cardiovascular risk and on the extent to which insulin-resistance and its metabolic consequences (atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype, hypercoagulability and endothelial dysfunction) can be modified by dietary manipulation. The College Strategic Initiative Fund supported a proposal from the Division to strengthen research on metabolic syndrome. The aim is to focus on improving the understanding of the relationship between obesity and metabolic syndrome and the extent to which dietary/pharmacological interventions can mitigate the effects of overweight/obesity on metabolic syndrome. This led to the appointments of O’Dell, Hall and Berry. The award of £4.5m by Tate & Lyle in 2006 to fund a chair and supporting posts, as well establishing the St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility, further strengthens our competitiveness globally. The group will interact with Amiel, Howard and Poston (Division of Reproduction & Endocrinology) on developmental programming, glucose sensing and mechanisms involved in leptin/insulin mediated effects on energy balance/glucose regulation as well as with Chowienczyk (Cardiovascular Division) with regard to measurement of vascular function.
6. Esteem Indicators
Graduates in Nutritional Sciences from King’s College London provide a significant proportion of the nutritional scientists working in the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health, the British Nutrition Foundation, the food industry as well as in research council institutes.
Baldwin (Early Career Researcher)
• Member, Guideline Development Group of NICE for Nutrition Support in Adults Guideline 2004-2006
• Elizabeth Washington Award, British Dietetic Association, (2005)
Berry (Early Career Researcher)
• Selected participant in the European Nutrition Leadership Programme (1 of 4 selected from UK), 2006.
• Member of diet and heart health advisory panel ‘HEART’, 2007 - present.
• State-of Art Invited Speaker 23rd Conference of European Comparative Endocrinologists, Manchester (2006).
• State-of Art Invited Speaker European Society Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (2006) 24th annual meeting - Stress in Systems Biology, Antwerp.
• Council member Society for Experimental Biology.
• Member of the NERC Post-genomic and proteomic thematic theme steering committee.
• Member of Nutrition Committee of the British Society of Gastroenterology
• Member of the European WHO Codex Alimentarius Prolamin Analysis Group.
• Invited presentation: Consensus Development Conference on Coeliac Disease. National Institute of Health, Bethesda USA (2004).
• Organiser and Chair of Novartis Foundation Symposium 285 ‘Acetaldehyde-related pathology: bridging the trans-disciplinary divide’, London (2006).
• Visiting Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, 2007
• Honorary Secretary, Macronutrient Metabolism Group, Nutrition Society, 1999-2003
Hall (Early Career Researcher)
• Selected participant in the European Nutrition Leadership Programme, 2004.
• Member of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel on Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP). June 2006 – present.
• Adjunct Professor, Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, RSMAS, University of Miami (2001-present).
• Senior Scientist, Norwegian Institute for Seafood Research (NIFES), Bergen, Norway (2006-present).
• Roche Foundation for Anaemia Research Prize (2004)
• MRC Career Development Award (2001- 2005).
• Editor, ‘Alcohol Related Pathology’ Volumes 1 – 3 (2004). Academic Press.
• Elected Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists 2001.
• Consultant to WHO on Alcohol Related Pathology
Pufulete (Special Circumstances)
• World Leadership Forum Award for the Science, Engineering & Technology Lecturer of the Year (2004)
• Editorial board member, Nutrition Research Reviews (2007-present)
• Scientific Governor and Trustee of the British Nutrition Foundation
• Member, UK Joint Health Claims Initiative (2003-2007)
• Member, UK Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (1994-2002)
• International Foundation for Nutrition Research and Education, Board Member (1998-2006) and Gold Medial recipient.
• Honorary Secretary, British Society for Gastroenterology (2001-2005).
• British Nutrition Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee member (since 2005)
• Convenor of Gastrointestinal Tract Special Interest Group, The Physiological Society (2006-present)
• Organiser and Host. 19th European Intestinal Transport Group meeting, Guildford, (2004).
• Invited speaker, 16th International Congress on Electron Microscopy, Japan, 2006
• Invited speaker, Microscopy and MicroAnalysis Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, USA, 2007
• International referee and Panel Member for Foundation of Science and Technology, Portugal, Panel Chair (2005, 2007)
• Auditor of EM services for CRUK (2005)
Whelan (Early Career Researcher)
• European Nutrition Leadership Programme Prize for Leadership, 2004.
• Member, British Dietetic Association Research Committee (2004 - present).
• Member, Editorial Board of Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics from March 2007