Expert consultation to accelerate advances in nutrition science
News / Published: 2 May 2018
Wellcome and the World Health Organization (WHO) are holding an expert meeting this autumn to bring together leading scientists and promising early-career researchers to galvanise nutrition science.
The meeting, at Wellcome’s London office from 15-17 October, aims to:
- generate innovative research ideas with the potential to yield new health interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults
- stimulate interdisciplinary exploration and foster collaborative approaches
- inspire younger researchers to pursue careers in nutrition science
- draw public attention to the importance of nutrition and how research improves health.
Poor nutrition has major health and economic impact
Wherever we live, at whatever age, good nutrition is the foundation of health.
Patterns of malnutrition are changing. While the number of children who are underweight and stunted is decreasing in some countries, the number of children and adults who are overweight and obese is increasing in virtually every region. This will have major health and economic consequences for generations to come.
Many countries are facing a double burden of under- and overnutrition, with huge implications for policy and resources. Malnutrition affects the ability to learn and earn, and has lifelong ramifications. Throughout life, poor nutrition increases susceptibility to disease and reduces our ability to recover from illness and respond to treatment.
And as people live longer, maintaining good nutrition in later life is a challenge for health providers and individuals alike.
Transforming nutrition science for better health
To tackle these health issues and to invigorate nutrition science, Wellcome and the WHO plan to gather around 60 invited experts who are world-leading scientists from a range of disciplines, plus selected early-career researchers.
We want to stimulate innovative, multifaceted discussions, bring new technologies to old problems and foster multidisciplinary collaboration to break down scientific silos.
The meeting, ‘Transforming Nutrition Science for Better Health’, will focus on two areas:
- resilience and recovery of lean tissue (specifically muscle)
- the influence of the microbiome.
It will bring together researchers in basic sciences, and clinical and population health research who are at the cutting edge of thinking about both under- and over-nutrition, and who focus on different life stages.
The aim is to create an opportunity for participants to learn from and challenge one another to stimulate innovative thinking.
We want everyone’s views and there will be an opportunity for the wider research and policy communities to contribute to the discussions.
Wanted: early-career researchers to help shape the future of nutrition science
We have a small number of fully funded places for early-career researchers to join our expert consultation on nutrition science.
Whether you’ve just finished your PhD, or been inspired by your postdoc, if you have a passion for and different perspective on nutrition science then we want you to join our consultation. We're looking for people who can creatively communicate their insights with a diverse global group.
You can work in any field relevant to nutrition and health from fruit flies to food systems. We’re looking for your expert opinion, which may be broader than the focus of this particular meeting.
How to apply
Send us a blog (maximum 600 words, not including links) or a vlog (maximum 3 minutes) that outlines:
- a health area where you believe nutrition science could be transformative
- why this area is important
- how you would approach addressing this problem
- your research background and where you are now.
You can be working in any research area but you must have a PhD and be motivated about nutrition
Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 June.
This is the start of a conversation that we hope will have ripple effects for years to come, stimulating collaborative approaches on a range of issues where nutrition science has the potential to improve health for all.
Some of the experts who are already taking part include:
We hope that by coming together as a broad research community, we can catalyse a transformation in nutrition science to benefit people’s health worldwide.
- United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition
- Global Nutrition Report
- Review of Nutrition and Human Health
- Double burden of malnutrition