Funding Partners & Collaborators
Dr Federica Prinelli, National Research Council
Dr Prinelli has a long-standing experience in the conceptualization and implementation of observational and intervention studies (using eHealth technologies) across the lifespan. Her research activity is mainly focused on the understanding of the clinical, socio-demographical, and behavioural determinants of complex diseases, especially metabolic, respiratory, and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr Prinelli is particularly interested in exploring the mechanisms through which lifestyles may influence health, disease risk and longevity, with a special focus on the impact of nutrition on gut microbiota and brain ageing. In her research, she integrates traditional epidemiological methods with advanced neuroimaging and -omics techniques. She has hands-on experience in the study design and research protocol definition; understanding of ethical guidelines and definition of standard operative procedures; full autonomy in collecting, monitoring and managing data, and proved skills in statistical data analysis. She also acquired specific expertise in designing and conducting internet-based surveys.
Prof Giuseppe Sergi, University of Padova
I am a MD with specializations in Geriatric Medicine and in Nutritional Sciences, PhD in Experimental and Clinical Sciences, and Associate Professor. I have thirty years of experience in Geriatric Medicine, with a consolidated expertise on the clinical management of complex older patients and a special focus on osteoporosis and energy metabolism disorders. I have been research leader of several research projects focusing in particular to the following aspects of the aging process: body composition changes and assessment methods; nutrition and energy metabolism; musculoskeletal diseases, such as sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis; dementia; and multidisciplinary approach to the geriatric patient. I am currently Principal Investigator of a National funded project focused on the gender differences in the impact of cardiovascular, osteoarticular and neurological diseases on health-related outcomes in the older population.
Prof Lorraine Brennan, University College Dublin
I am a full professor and a PI in the UCD Institute of Food & Health and Conway institute. I lead a nutritional metabolomics group that are at the forefront of the application of metabolomics in nutrition research and the development of Personalized nutrition. I was awarded an ERC consolidator grant in the field for discovery work and currently am involved in two European Consortiums- Improve and Promed-cog. My group was one the first groups to report the link between metabolomic profiles and food intake and paved the way for the development of metabolomic based biomarkers of food intake. We also develop strategies for delivering personalised nutrition.
More recently, we published an important paper demonstrating the potential of urinary based biomarkers to determine intake of certain foods- using calibration curves developed in a feeding study which enabled the estimation of intake in a cross-section population based study.
I served as Director of the European Nutrigenomics Organization for 5 years and led a number of important initiatives such as the development of an Early Career Network and expansion of membership of the organization. Recently, I was appointed to the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Standing Committee on Evidence Synthesis and Communications in Diet and Chronic Disease Relationships.
Prof Lisette de Groot, Wageningen University
Prof Lisette de Groot, PhD is Professor in ‘Nutrition and Aging, with due attention for older adults’ at the Wageningen University (WU). She was trained in nutrition, physiology and epidemiology and is one of the founders of the Research line on Nutrition and ageing at WU. By now she has gained over thirty years of research experience in the field of nutrition and health of elderly people, both in epidemiology and in intervention studies in old age. Her research aims to identify dietary strategies that optimize nutritional health status to slow down or reverse stages preceding aging related pathologies (cognitive decline, sarcopenia, osteoporosis) as to preserve functional health and quality of life. She was in the lead of one of the first European multicenter studies on Nutrition, health and survival (SENECA, started in 1988), to uncover healthful dietary patterns and nutritional concerns later in life. These concerns have driven subsequent interventions studies involving older adults (from healthy to care dependent), expanding the research on nutrition, health and performance from epidemiology to biology and public health. By now she has (co-)authored some 400 original, peer-reviewed research and review articles. Next to her membership of a number of international and national expert, editorial and review panels [IAG/IANA, NICHD, Active Aging, ZonMw] she is Associate editor of ‘Advances in Nutrition’ and ‘Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism’.
Prof Dorothee Volkert, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Dorothee Volkert, PhD, holds the Professorship of Clinical Nutrition in Older People at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, , Institute for Biomedicine of Aging in Nuremberg, Germany, since 2009. She is a nutrition scientist and received her Ph.D. from the Geriatric Hospital Bethanien, University of Heidelberg and University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart in 1991. In 2001 she became Associate Professor at the Department of Nutrition Science, University of Bonn, and from 2005-2009 she was Head of the Department for Scientific Information in the Medical Nutrition Industry.
Her research is focused on nutritional problems of older persons in all health care settings and related interventions. She served as coordinator and first-author of the ESPEN Guidelines for Clinical Nutrition and Hydration in Geriatrics” and was/is involved in leading positions in several national and international research projcets (e.g. enable, APPETITE, MaNuEL, nutritionDay in nursing homes).
Dr Marianna Noale, National Research Council
Researcher, Statistician, MSc in Statistics and Demography. >15 years of experience within EU and National-funded epidemiological and observational studies, with responsibility for study design and statistical analyses. The main fields of interest are related to chronic diseases in advanced age, functional disability, cognitive decline, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and osteoporosis. Experience in the estimation of Disability-Free Life Expectancy, Dementia-Free Life Expectancy and Disability Adjusted Life Years.
Dr Caterina Trevisan, University of Padova
I am a MD with a specialization in Gerontology and Geriatrics, with a PhD in Clinical and Experimental Sciences at the University of Padua (Italy). Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Ferrara (Italy). As a Geriatrician, I have developed skills in the clinical management of older patients with acute and chronic disorders, both in the hospital and community settings. In addition, during my educational and professional path, I have devoted increasing efforts to the research field by collaborating in the coordination and conduction of observational or intervention studies, and by conducting studies on aging epidemiology, from the design to the data analysis and interpretation. My main areas of interest are, in particular: frailty, multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and accidental falls in older age. I am collaborating with national and international research centers, and I have well-consolidated capacities for problem-solving and teamwork, as well as resourcefulness.
My primary goal is to promote and make possible the conduction of studies that can develop strategies to improve the clinical management of older patients, with possible benefits for patients, their caregivers and healthcare providers. The production of high-quality data through well-designed studies will facilitate the achievement of this goal and will offer concrete and useful contributions to the scientific community.
Dr Silvia Conti, National Research Council
Dr Conti is a Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Health Professions of Technical Sciences at the University of Milan (Italy). She’s been working since February 2020 as a research assistant for the “The NutBrain Study” (Exploring the Relationship Between Nutrition, gUT Microbiota, and BRain AgINg in Community-dwelling Seniors), an ongoing population-based cohort study performed in Northern Italy. She’s actively involved in participants' recruitment, on-site visits, dietary data and anthropometric measures collection.
During her internship and work experience, Dr Conti acquired specific skills in community nutrition and nutritional epidemiology: hands-on experience in dietary assessment tools administration, evaluation of nutritional status (including body composition), command in using food composition database (CRA-NUT, IEO, USDA), dietary data analysis, and interpretation of the results.
Her research interest is to evaluate how diet is associated with the slowdown of age-related cognitive decline leading to dementia and how chronic diseases can be prevented with a healthy diet and regular physical activity
Prof Stefania Maggi, National Research Council
Research Director, Geriatrician and Epidemiologist, with significant experience in coordinating EU and National-funded epidemiological studies. Coordinator of the Aging Branch group at CNR-IN (Padua).
Member of the Board of Directors of different Scientific Societies (European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases-ESCEO, Consortium for Research on Aging “Luigi Amaducci”; American Federation for Aging Research, former President of the EuGMS (2016-2017).
She is member of the Committee of Scientific Advisors of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). Editor in Chief "Aging, Clinical and Experimental Research" (Springer); Associate Editor, “European Geriatric Medicine” (Springer); Editorial consultant of: Age and Aging, Annali Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Series Editor: Practical Issues in Geriatrics (Springer).
Currently leading the ITB Epidemiology Unit at the National Research Council
Expertise: Protocols and study designs for randomized controlled trials and cohort studies with active or passive follow-up, planning and management of research activities, Ethical Committees issues. Methodology of research and advanced techniques of statistical descriptive, inferential, multivariable analyses: survival, regression, correlation, factorial and data-reduction analyses, risk scores, ROC analyses, performances of risk prediction models. Epidemiological population-based studies, integrating secondary data from Health Information Systems. Writing and reviewing of scientific projects and papers. Systematic review of scientific literature and meta-analyses. Design, development and implementation of software and databases for research purposes. Teaching: courses in methodology of research, techniques of statistical analyses, relational databases.
Main fields of biomedical research: neurodegenerative diseases and dementias, with main focus on the inverse relationship of occurrence between Alzheimer's disease and cancer; metabolic disorders; infectious diseases.