Nutrition Speakers Creating and Applying an Effective and Integrated Policy

Jordan Abdi: Chairperson - Polygeia

Jordan is a medical student at Imperial College London, having graduated from the same institution with a Neuroscience degree. He is a co-founder of the London Forum for Science and Policy, a think tank that aims to acts a translator between academics and policymakers. He has a broad interest in public health, and has presented work on air pollution, obesity and drug misuse at international conferences. In 2015 Jordan was a keynote speaker at a conference in the European Parliament on the role of school education in modifying dietary and drug behaviours.

Jordan’s interests are in global health, public policy, and sustainable development. He is currently London Branch Editor at Polygeia where he leads 4 research teams with international collaborators.

Fred Bergmans Co-founder of Carezzo Nutrition - an innovator in protein enriched food & drinks for cure & care.

Fred is marketing director of the start-up Carezzo Nutrition which introduced a new concept of enriched food and drinks to beat malnutrition. The company introduced the concept in 2015 in the Dutch market and won the Accenture Innovation Award 2015 for Fair Food. The concept of enriched food and drinks is developed with Wageningen University and implemented by one third of Dutch hospitals within the first year.

Fred is former Corporate Marketing Director and head of product development centre of Perfetti-Van Melle, well-known for its global brand Mentos in confectionery. With over 30 years of experience in international marketing and product innovation in FMCG Food (Nutricia, Heineken, Mars, Peijnenburg, Mondelez) Fred has build a track record in integrating market and techno perspectives for successful new product development and market introduction.

Dr Milka Sokolović Head of Food and Health Science in EUFIC, the European Food Information Council.

Holding a degree in Biology from the University of Belgrade and a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, she spent much of her career in Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, investigating the intermediary metabolism of starvation and obesity, using systems biology approach.

In 2013, she moved from conducting to communicating science, firmly believing that it is facts, not opinions, that should pave a way to better health. Now in Brussels, she oversees the departments of Nutrition & Health and Food Safety of EUFIC, in providing clear, accurate, practical information based on sound science, to both general public and health professionals.

Frank H. de Man, LL.M., Ph.D.: is secretary general of the European Nutrition for Health Alliance, London, UK (2006- )

Frank is responsible for Governance and Finance @ EATRIS, European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2011- ).

He is a master in law, Law School, University of Amsterdam and holds a Ph.D. in health care management, Medical Faculty of Groningen University, The Netherlands. From 1983 – 1994 he worked at the NL Ministry of Health as Deputy Head of International Affairs, permanent representative for health at the European Union in Brussels and attaché for health at the NL Embassy, Washington DC, USA. Since 1994 he worked as a management consultant in the US and Europe.

He was the visiting-lecturer in health care management at the Medical Faculty, Leiden University Medical Center, Wharton Business School, Philidelphia and George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Dr. Elisabeth Govers: President of the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Dietitians on Obesity (KDOO) and the chair of the ESDN Obesity of EFAD (the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians). Author of the chapter on Dietary management of the Dutch multidisciplinary guideline on obesity; a guideline on insulin resistance and other publications.

Gerda Feunekes (1965) is leading the Netherlands Nutrition Centre. After receiving a MSc in Nutrition in 1989, she received her PhD degree from Wageningen University in 1996 for a thesis focussed at food consumption methodology and food choice. She published over forty scientific papers, e.g. on assesing fat and alcohol intake, social aspects of eating behaviour, food labelling, and consumer perceptions related to salt reduction. From 1996 Feunekes worked with Unilever as consumer researcher and from 2008-2014 as a Global Nutrition and Health Director. In this role she led a partnership on salt reduction, with the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS). Since 2014 she is leading the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, which encourages consumers to develop and maintain healthy and sustainable eating habits. The Netherlands Nutrition Centre recently (March 2016) launched an update of the Wheel of Five, the nutrition and health communication model for the Netherlands. The new Wheel of Five is based on the current scientific consensus.

Rutger Schilpzand (1965) As managing director of the secretariat of the Choices International Foundation Rutger promotes collaboration between scientists, food companies, NGOs and health authorities worldwide to implement healthy food actions as based on the Choices principles.

He studied Human Nutrition at Wageningen University and has worked as a freelance science writer, as a campaigner for OxfamNovib and for consumer organisations, and as strategic consultant at Schuttelaar & Partners. He was the initiator of the Clean Clothes Campaign and co-author if the first study on stakeholder dialogue in The Netherlands.

Rutger Schilpzand co-founded the Ghana Schoolfeeding Programme that now serves 1,5 million meals daily to Ghanaian school kids based on products grown by local farmers.

Long-term/Chronic Conditions Speakers

Tanja Valentin is Director Government Affairs and Public Policy at Eucomed.

Tanja joined Eucomed in September 2008 as Manager Public Affairs. She has more than 10 years’ experience in governmental affairs in Brussels, working at and with the EU institutions and trade association bodies.

Previously, Tanja had worked for four years for a non-profit organisation, expanding its footprint in Brussels by increasing its network and developing consistent policies. Following this, she joined the European Parliament as the head of office of the Vice-President of the Parliament’s biggest political group. Here she had responsibility for preparing and implementing the Vice-President’s work as Chief Whip as well as drafting and negotiating various legislations on his behalf. These roles helped her understand the essential elements for having your voice heard in Brussels.

Tanja holds an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Cologne in Germany. A German national, she is fluent in English and French.

Tonia Thomas is the Central Training Officer for Polygeia and Chairperson of the Long-term/Chronic Conditions plenary.

At Polygeia, Tonia covers London, Oxford and Cambridge branches of the student-led society which delivers high-quality research on global health issues and policies.

Tonia is currently a third year DPhil student at the University of Oxford, and is undertaking research in cardiovascular science as part of the British Heart Foundation funded Oxbridge Centre of Regenerative Medicine. After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Pharmacology, Tonia has pursued her interest in chronic diseases, whilst paying particular attention to public cardiovascular health. After completing her DPhil, Tonia hopes to further establish her career in global health by gaining policy-driven experience in a European or Global healthcare setting.

Further info about Tonia’s current research interests can be found here:

Jeroen J. Bax: is professor of Cardiology and Director of non-invasive cardiac imaging, at the department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.

He has been working intensively with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and is currently serving as President of the ESC.

He has been Associate Editor of the American College Cardiology, and is currently Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal.

He has co-authored numerous scientific articles, has guided many PhD fellows and his main interests of research include imaging in heart failure, stable coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease and atrial fibrillation.HA).

Prof. Dr. Sehnaz Karadeniz: has been actively involved in the field of diabetes for the past 20 years in a series of medical, scientific and social projects both at national and international levels.

Currently she is a Teaching Faculty at the Ophthalmology Dept. of Medical Faculty of Istanbul Science University and also working as an ophthalmologist at the Ophthalmology Dept. of the Istanbul Florence Nightingale Hospital.

She is the Founding Member and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Turkish Diabetes Foundation (TURKDIAB). She served as the President of the Living with Diabetes Association, a nationwide patients’ organisation, between the years 2004-2007, and as a Board Member between 2008-2014.

Dr. Karadeniz joined the board of International Diabetes Federation European Region (IDF Europe) in 2007, and acts as the Chair of IDF European Region as of Dec. 2015. She is also a Council Member of EASD for the term 2014-2017.

Professor Nico van Meeteren (Amsterdam, 1 December 1959; neuroscientist and physical therapist) is Executive Director and Secretary General of the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences and Health (LSH; branding name: Health~Holland; Bureau: 10 FTE; ±400 M€/Y), after filling the position of Director of TNO’s Innovation Area Healthy for Life from 2008-2014 (18 M€/Y; 106 FTE) and that of associate professor in Utrecht University Medical Center and the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences from 1995 onwards.

Prof. Van Meeteren, as Executive Director of the Top Sector LSH Foundation and Secretary General of the LSH-Governance, builds together with the Top Sector’s governance and with the Ministries of Economic Affairs, that of Education, Culture and Science, and that of Health, Welfare and Sports sustainable national Public Private Partnership programs in de life sciences and health and, accordingly, reorganizes stepwise the Dutch LSH Knowledge and Innovation Infrastructure to enlarge its national and international societal, economic and scientific impact (

On behalf of the Dutch Royal Society of Physiotherapy Van Meeteren holds a chair in Maastricht University form 2013 as professor in Physiotherapy and physical functioning of people with chronic pathologies. Here Prof. Van Meeteren jointly develops with many colleagues prevention and care-concepts for (fragile) patients that help them prevent negative (physical functioning) side effects of major life events, like for instance surgery. As Principal Investigator Prof. Van Meeteren supervises form out of Maastricht inter-institutional and interdisciplinary (inter)national research and development programs, one of which is that concerning the improvement and scientific validation of perioperative care, also known under the name “Better in, Better out”. Better in, Better out has given Prof. Van Meeteren and his teams many awards and grants.

Prof. Van Meeteren earned his PhD at the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences of the Utrecht University in 1994, where he, as a physiotherapist, investigated the impact of physical activity on experimental locomotor tract pathologies in individual rats.

Mental Health Speakers Building Standards in the face of Increasing Demand

Mohammed Abdelaziz is a deputy director of Polygeia, a global health student-run think tank spanning across Cambridge, Oxford, London, and New York. He holds a BA in Genetics from the University of Cambridge, and is now completing his Medicine degree at the same institute.

He has presented at multiple conference including the British Thoracic Society meeting, and a conference co-hosted by the World Association for Sustainable Development and SudanKnowledge.

He has also previously investigated low-cost initiatives in managing MDR-TB with Polygeia, and is driven in expanding the organisation's reach in public policy.

Katherina Martín Abello is the Chief Digital Product & Innovation Officer in the Center of Innovation at the Trimbos Institute, The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction.

She is an international (TEDx) speaker and project leader of several national and international innovative digital health projects, e.g. the development, evaluation and implementation of an WHO e-health alcohol portal and intervention for Belarus, Brazil, India and Mexico. She graduated in Modern Languages – Business Administration, specialization in Web Marketing (receiving an Honorable Mention) at the Metropolitan University, Venezuela.

She started with a team of pioneer researchers and developers 16 years ago with the development of leading digital health programs in The Netherlands (alcohol, depression, mental fitness, suicide, anxiety, among others) and she has strong experience in user interface (UX), digital innovation, web marketing and persuasive technology.

She is member of the Supervisory Board of the Patients Federation of The Netherlands. Twitter: @katherinamartin LinkedIn:

Patrice Boyer is a past EPA President and current Vice-President of the European Brain Council. He is Professor of Neurosciences and Psychiatry at the University Paris-Diderot (France) and Professor of Psychiatry and post graduate studies (geographical) at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is co-Chairman of the Master and Doctorate courses for neurobiology at the Universities of Paris 5 and Paris 7 and Secretary General of the French Congress of Psychiatry. Prof Boyer used to be previously an advisor for psychiatry in the newly created INSERM thematic institute (ITMO Neurosciences) and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the main foundation for research in psychiatry in France (Fondamental).

Akiko Hart, Acting Director, Mental Health Europe Akiko has worked in a variety of mental health settings in the UK, including acute psychiatric wards, prisons and secure units and the community. Most recently, she has delivered projects based on peer support and co-production in mental health services. She is an experienced manager, trainer and group facilitator, and has extensive experience in fundraising and communications in the NGO sector. She has a MSc in Psychological Research Methods from Birkbeck College, University of London, a Diploma in Psychology, Conversion for Graduates, from the Open University, and a MA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge. She speaks fluent French and Japanese. In addition to her role at Mental Health Europe, she is also the Hearing Voices Project Manager for Mind in Camden in London.

Prof.Dr. Ph.A.E.G. (Philippe) Delespaul is professor for Innovation in Mental Health Care at the University of Maastricht (department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology). He works as a clinical psychologist and supervisor for cognitive behaviour therapy at the Mondriaan Mental Health Trust in Maastricht/Heerlen and is advisor for mental health care innovation in the South Limburg regio of The Netherlands. He is member of the board for CCAF and (F)ACT-Nederland. He worked as a clinician and psychometrician with the experience sampling method and developed the PsyMate™ App to assess psychological well-being in the daily life context. He is one of the initiators of the dutch New Mental Health Movement.

Pim van Gool is professor of neurology at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam. He combines his academic tasks with clinical work in psychogeriatrics and the presidency of the Health Council of The Netherlands.

Based on training in basic neuroscience at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research and on 30+ years of clinical experience, his current scientific work reaches out to prevention of brain disease. His special interests include primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and the interaction between systemic disease and cognitive impairments e.g. in delirium.

He trained at the University of Amsterdam and became a consultant in neurology in 1992. He was a member of the permanent Scientific Advisory Group for Neurology with the European Medicines Agency and currently he serves on the Committees of Management of the Dutch Brain Foundation and the Cambridge Institute of Public Health and on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Weston Brain Institute, Canada. .

Identification and Control of Major Infectious Outbreaks Speakers Are We Prepared?

Inesa Rozenman: is the executive director of Polygeia, a student-run global health think tank, comprising more than 150 members and spanning across 14 universities.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and is currently finishing her PhD at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, Imperial College London. Her research focuses on immune cell biology and the cellular processes leading to the development of cancer and autoimmunity.

Inesa is passionate about global health and science policy, and has recently written on the impact of Brexit on UK’s pharmaceutical industry, presenting the findings at the European Parliament.

Aura Timen: received a medical degree from the Free University (VU) of Amsterdam and has registered as specialist in community medicine (with a sub-specialization in communicable disease control) with the Royal Society of Medicine of the Netherlands (KNMG).

She is Head of the National Coordination Centre for Communicable Disease Control (LCI), which is part of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Aura Timen holds a PhD in outbreak management from the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

She participates in various (international) projects aiming to strengthen the capacity to prepare and respond to epidemics and threats. In November 2012 she became president of the section Infectious Disease Control of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA).

Dr Andrea Ammon, MD, MPH, took over as Acting Director on 1 May 2015 following a decision of ECDC’s Management Board on 26 March 2015 and will continue until a new director takes office.

Andrea joined ECDC as the Head of the Surveillance Unit in 2005. The unit was responsible for developing The European Surveillance System (TESSy), providing training for TESSy users, implementing a long-term surveillance strategy for the European Union (EU), evaluating the Dedicated Surveillance Networks (DSN), performing step-by-step transfer of DSN activities to ECDC, revising the EU case definitions and producing an Annual Epidemiological Report on infectious diseases in the EU.

From April 2011 to April 2015, Andrea Ammon was Deputy to the Director and Head of Unit for Resource Management and Coordination.

Prior to joining the ECDC, Dr Ammon served in several roles at the Robert Koch-Institute, in Berlin, Germany, most recently as Head of Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology. In this capacity, she maintained and further developed the German national surveillance system; coordinated the national outbreak response team for current and emerging infections (including SARS and influenza A[H2N2]); performed emergency planning for influenza; directed the national Field Epidemiology Training Programme; coordinated epidemiological research programmes in infectious diseases and provided scientific advice for government Ministries, Members of Parliament, and the public.

Herman Goossens, MD, is a professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, and director of the Laboratory of Clinical Biology of the University Hospital Antwerp.

He received several honours and awards, including the American APUA (Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics). Herman Goossens published more than 500 full papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the Founder Chair of the Belgian Antibiotic Policy Co-ordination Committee (BAPCOC). He was the Founding Coordinator of the European Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption (ESAC) project (moved to ECDC in July 2011).

He currently coordinates several EC funded projects, such as the Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics (PREPARE), LAB-Net of the Combating Bacterial Resistance in Europe project (COMBACTE) and New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases (ND4ID). He is the founder of the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD). Herman Goossens was elected chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance by his peers. His professional goal is to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research, with a major focus on antibiotic resistance, to enhance the standard of healthcare, public health and professional standards, for the good of the public in large. He is a popular resource person and opinion leader, much sought after by local and international media for views on matters related to public health and infectious diseases.

John Oxford is Emeritus Professor of Virology at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is Founder of Retroscreen Virology Ltd and Oxford Media and Medicine Ltd. He has co-authored two standard texts: ‘Influenza, the Viruses and the Disease with Sir Charles Stuart-Harris and G.C. Schild and most recently ‘Human Virology, a Text for Students of Medicine, Dentistry and Microbiology’ with L. Collier and P. Kellam now in its fourth edition, published by Oxford University Press. Professor Oxford has also published 300 scientific papers. His research interest is the pathogenicity of influenza, in particular the origin and nature of 1918 Spanish Influenza strain, which he combines with conducting clinical trials using new influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs. This research has been featured on Science TV programmes recently in the UK, USA, Germany and Holland.

He was awarded communicator for the year for the influenza pandemic by the Society of Applied Microbiology and top communicator by the Society of Journalists and placed amongst the 1000 most influential Londoners by the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers. He has recently been awarded a D.Sc for his research work on virology and as a science communicator, and elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicia