FACULTY


Dr Simon Dyall, University of Roehampton
Prof. Tom Brenna, University of Texas
Prof. Susan Carlson, Kansas University
Prof. Philip Calder, Southampton University
Mr Peter Clough, Cobden Research Ltd
Prof. Stephen Cunnane, University of Sherbrooke

Dr Jesmond Dalli, Queen Mary University of London
Prof. Adina Michael-Titus, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Francisco Molina-Holgado, University of Roehampton
Prof. Clemens von Schacky, Munich University & Omegametrix

Faculty Bios follow and will be posted as received.


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Dr Simon Dyall
University of Roehampton

Dr Simon Dyall is Senior Lecturer and Course Convener for the MSc in Clinical Neuroscience. Simon read Biochemistry at Sussex University, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience and Neurosurgery, Queen Mary University of London, investigating the neuroprotective roles of omega-3 fatty acids. Since this time he has lectured and conducted research at a number of different institutions.

In addition to being an elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) Simon is a member of numerous scientific societies and professional bodies and has been a reviewer for the BBSRC, MRC, US Army Medical Research, and other funders. He is on the Editorial Board of Lipids in Health and Disease and regularly reviews for many scientific journals. He is also Honorary Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary University of London. In 2013 Simon was awarded the “Best Research Supervisor” in the University of Roehampton Student Led Teaching Awards.

Simon’s lab investigates the neuroprotective properties of bioactive lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, across the lifespan and after neurotrauma. The studies in development and ageing have looked at a variety of key indices including, glutamatergic system, cannabinoid signalling, retinoid signalling, (neuro)inflammation, oxidative stress and neurogenesis. These studies have helped elucidate some specific mechanisms of action which may underlie their beneficial effects. The work on neurotrauma has investigated spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury, and traumatic brain injury. Important therapeutic effects have been found, and there is considerable potential for translation to the clinic.

Current projects include, exploring the potential of phospholipid precursors in traumatic brain injury, the role of omega-3 fatty acids and lipid mediators in perinatal health, and the therapeutic effects of omega-3 fatty acids on physical ability and cognition in the older adult. 

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TOM BRENNA
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Tom Brenna joined The University of Texas at Austin in 2017 as a professor of pediatrics, human nutrition and chemistry in the Dell Medical School and the College of Natural Sciences. He served for 28 years as a professor of human nutrition, food science and chemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he is currently professor emeritus. He served as a member of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Panel for the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. He was president of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and was a member of the WHO/FAO Expert Consultancy on Fats and Fatty Acids (2011). Brenna’s research focuses on fats and oils and fatty acids. His group’s basic research into the chemical, biochemical, metabolic, genetic and ecological aspects of fatty acids has had a decisive influence on modern knowledge of these key nutrients.

Upon graduation from Downstate Medical College in New York, Allen Lieberman served nine years on active duty in the United States Army. He completed his pediatric residency in El Paso, Texas, followed by an allergy and immunology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. During this period, he studied at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Philip Calder
Southampton University

Philip Calder is Professor of Nutritional Immunology within the School of Human Development and Health of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton in the UK. For over 30 years he has conducted research on the metabolism and functionality of fatty acids with an emphasis on the roles of omega-3 fatty acids in immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. He has received several awards for his work including the Sir David Cuthbertson Medal (1995), the Belgian Danone Institute Chair (2004), the Nutricia International Award (2007), the ESPEN Cuthbertson Lecture (2008), the Muriel Bell Award (2009), the Louisiana State University Chancellor’s Award in Neuroscience and Medicine (2011), the Normann Medal from the German Society for Fat Science (2012), the Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Oil Chemists’ Society (2015), the British Association for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition’s Pennington Lecture (2015), the British Nutrition Foundation Prize (2015), the Danone International Prize for Nutrition (2016) and the DSM Lifetime Achievement Award in Nutritional Sciences (2017). He has served on many committees of professional societies and was for three years President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2009-2012). In 2016 he completed a three-year term as Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and started a three-year term as President of the Nutrition Society. Professor Calder was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition from 2006 to 2013 and he is currently an Associate Editor of Clinical Science, Journal of Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, Lipids, and Nutrition Research. He is a member of the several other Editorial Boards of journals in the nutrition, clinical science and lipidology fields. He is listed as a Highly Cited Researcher.

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SUSAN CARLSON
kansas university medical center

Susan Carlson, PhD, received her bachelor's in home-economics at Washington State University in 1969 and her doctorate in nutrition (minors in biochemistry and physiology) from Iowa State University in 1975. She had NICHD postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Wisconsin in the Dept. of Pathology (1975–1977) and at the University of South Florida in the Dept. of Pediatrics (1978–1979). A faculty member in several medical school departments of pediatrics, mainly in divisions of newborn medicine from 1979–1997, Carlson rose through the ranks to professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Biochemistry at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. Her major research interest was on the effects of fatty acids that compose a large percent of brain membranes and found in human milk but not in vegetable oils typically used in the production of U.S. infant formulas. Carlson moved to the University of Missouri Kansas City in 1997 and to the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1999. While at these institutions, she has continued intervention studies of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) supplementation of infants and branched out into studies of DHA supplemented pregnant women. The latter studies have been done in collaboration with the research team led by John Colombo, PhD, at the University of Kansas through the Maternal and Child Nutrition and Development Laboratory. Carlson and Colombo have been active in large clinical trials studying infant DHA supplementation and DHA administered to women entering their second trimester of pregnancy. The goal of these trials is to evaluate the effect of DHA provided pre and postnatally on visual development and behavior of infants, toddlers and, eventually, preschoolers. Her work having been recognized nationally and internationally, Carlson receives numerous invitations to conferences. In 2002, DHA and AA were added to U.S. infant formulas. In Nov. 2002, she was made an honorary member of the American Dietetic Association in recognition for her pioneering work in identifying DHA as a conditionally essential nutrient for developing infants. Carlson received the 2008 March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award for outstanding achievement in the field of maternal-fetal nutrition at the American Public Health Association meeting in San Diego, October 2008. Since 2002, Carlson has taken an active role in the education of U.S. pediatricians, obstetricians, nurses and dietitians about the roles of DHA in maternal and infant health. As part of her role, she has been involved nationally and internationally in evaluating the quality of evidence and establishing best practice guidelines for intake of DHA by infants and pregnant women.

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PETER CLOUGH
COBDEN RESEARCH LIMITED

Cobden Research Ltd. was formed as an independent technical consultancy company in 2013 by Peter Clough to allow him to make his expertise in speciality oils such as fish oil, evening primrose oil and borage oil available to a wider audience of nutritional, healthfood and pharmaceutical companies.

Peter has a wealth of experience in the field of nutritional supplements (and in particular the omega-3 and omega-6 oils) obtained from over 30 years involvement covering all technical aspects of the business and he is considered to be a leading authority on the production and use of essential fatty acids in human nutrition.

Be it raw material supply, new product development, quality control, clinical trials, regulatory affairs or technical marketing, Peter Clough, acting as your consultant through Cobden Research, can offer informed, impartial advice, project management or detailed investigative reports.

Peter Clough's unrivalled links with the commercial sector, academia, and research institutions along with his in-depth knowledge of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids enables Cobden Research to access the expertise and market intelligence required to successfully meet a wide variety of client specific needs and requirements.

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Prof. Stephen Cunnane
University of Sherbrooke

Dr. Cunnane studies the implications of deteriorating brain fuel metabolism during aging for aging-associated cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. His team was the first to conduct PET studies of brain ketone and glucose uptake. He is developing keto-neurotherapeutic strategies to slow down Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Cunnane has published over 300 research papers and five books, two of which highlight the key role of ketones in human brain evolution. He was elected to the French National Academy of Medicine in 2009. In 2016, he was honored as one of the founding Fellows of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL). In 2017, he received the Chevreul Medal from the French Society for the Study of Lipids for outstanding research on omega-3 fatty acids and ketones.

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Dr Jesmond Dalli
Queen Mary University of London

Jesmond Dalli is a Reader in Molecular Pharmacology at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and Queen Mary College. He is also a Sir Henry Dale Fellow and the director of the Lipid Mediator Unit at the William Harvey Research Institute. He received a B.Sc (Hons) in chemistry and biology and an M.Sc in biology from the University of Malta. He then read for and completed a PhD at the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London with Prof. Mauro Perretti. Dr Dalli then moved to Prof. Charles N. Serhan’s laboratory at Harvard Medical school and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he held the position of Instructor. He was also the co-director with Prof. Serhan of two NIH funded lipid mediator metabololipidomics cores. He published over 80 peer-reviewed publications including publications in Nature Medicine, Immunity and Science Translation Medicine. 

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DR. Maria Valdivia Garcia
UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON

Dr. Maria Valdivia-Garcia holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and a MSc in Analytical Chemistry. She has extensive experience in development and validation of chromatographic and mass spectrometry analytical methods in diverse biological samples in the areas of Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cardiovascular and Obesity which have been widely published. Maria currently works as Data Curator for LIPIDMAPS and is responsible for populating the lipid structure database with new natural lipids found in the literature. Over the past year Maria has introduced over 1000 new lipids to LIPIDMAPS and worked on untargeted analysis of platelets under different conditions and its impact on the lipidome. This role has allowed her to further develop the skills obtained during her doctoral training, in the fields of Cheminformatics, Database Management and Statistical Analysis.

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Professor Adina T. MICHAEL-TITUS
Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London

Adina Michael-Titus was awarded a Doctorat en Sciences in 1988, after studies in Rouen and Paris on inhibitors of opioid peptide-degrading enzymes. In 1990 she was appointed at Queen Mary University of London, where she was subsequently awarded the title of Professor of Neuroscience in 2010. In addition to her academic activity, she also spent a period of work as head of research in drug discovery, in the pharmaceutical industry. She is the Lead of the Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma and  Programme Director of the MSc in Neuroscience and Translational Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, focused on the training of the next generation of scientists and physicians involved in clinical translation in neuroscience. A large component of her present translational research is focused on strategies for neuroprotection and neurorepair in spinal cord injury and brain injury, and the elucidation of the links between neurotrauma and neurodegeneration. The studies published by her group in the last decade illustrate the significant potential of a particular type of neuroactive lipids, the omega-3 fatty acids, in the treatment of acute neurological injury.

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Dr Francisco Molina-Holgado
University of Roehampton

Following a PhD studying neuroimmune interactions in glial cells (PhD supervisor: Prof. Carmen Guaza), I gained funding from a Wellcome Trust International Travelling Research Fellowship at Prof. Nancy Rothwell's laboratory (University of Manchester) to further develop studies of mechanisms of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in neurodegeneration. As a Wellcome Trust fellow I developed studies on neuron-glia interactions on neuroinflammation, showing that one of the earliest protective neuroimmune responses to inflammation was the mobilization and production of prostaglandin E2 and to a lesser extent IL-6 release. These studies were further developed and expanded with funding obtained from MRC and BBSRC grants.

Over the last 10 years I have worked extensively identifying and understanding the mechanisms and mediators of the neuro-protective actions of endocannabinoids in the brain. I was the first person to identify neuro-protective cytokines as downstream effectors in CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor pathways. Since joining Wolfson-CARD (KCL) in August 2004, I have made a number of important findings in the field of neural stem cell biology. Funded by a Wellcome Trust Value in People (VIP) Award, I have identified the connection between FGF receptor/endocannabinoid signalling and a neuroimmune network in neurones and neural stem cells. In addition I have described for the first time the presence of functional CB2 cannabinoid receptors on neural stem cells. Moreover, our team was the first to describe CB1 cannabinoid receptors in ependymocytes. Most recently, I have shown that neural stem cell self-renewal is controlled by a bi-directional cross-talk between the endocannabinoid system and the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signalling pathway.

Through these studies, I have helped develop the hypothesis that neuroimmune networks, via endocannabinoid system signalling, have important effects that influence neural stem cell renewal and fate and this concept is beginning to be widely recognised internationally.

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Prof. Clemens von Schacky
Munich University

Prof. Dr. med. Clemens von Schacky, FESC, (Internist / Cardiologist) has been leading the unit of Preventive Cardiology at the Ludwig Maximilians-University of Munich for more than 20 years. Using methods from molecular biology to randomized clinical trials, topics such as omega-3 fatty acids, aspirin, ACE-inhibitors, diabetes and others were investigated, which resulted in 108 peer-reviewed publications (according to medline). Among other committees, he works for German Cardiac Society on the German guidelines on Cardiovascular Prevention, and is member of the Board of Directors of ISSFAL, the International Society For the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. Together with WS Harris, he invented and defined the Omega-3 Index, a standardized method for erythrocyte fatty acid analysis, now brand marked “HS-Omega-3 Index®”. The HS-Omega-3 Index is considered a new and fruitful approach in the field of omega-3 fatty acids. This is substantiated by 157 publications in international journals, and more than 50 currently ongoing research projects with premier research partners, mainly in the areas of cardiovascular medicine and brain function. CvS founded and owns a laboratory, Omegametrix in Martinsried, Germany, which measures the HS-Omega-3 Index and other parameters for research projects and for clinical routine.