Dr. Britt Burton Freeman
2022 Heart and Health Aging Session Chair
Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health’s (IFSH) Center for Nutrition Research and Associate Professor in Food Science and Nutrition and Biomedical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She also holds a research nutritionist appointment in the department of Nutrition at UC Davis and is affiliated with the Institute for Translational Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Burton-Freeman’s current research interests are in mitigating disease processes through dietary approaches focused on bioactive components of foods. Specific disease targets are cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Current work focuses on physiological effects and mechanistic underpinnings of polyphenols and novel carbohydrates, including their pharmaco-kinetic and -dynamic relationships in human biology to impact health status. The influence of food matrix, processing, host/microbiome characteristics and interactions are also being addressed.
As the Director for the Center for Nutrition Research at IIT/IFSH in conjunction with the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, she leads a nutrition and health initiative with food industry partners and government collaborators to provide critical science that supports policy, dietary recommendations and comprehensive innovative solutions linking nutrition and food safety to improve the health and quality of life of Americans. Recent work has focused on fiber definitions for labeling and perceptions/responses to key terms associated with health in low income populations.
Dr. Burton-Freeman is actively involved in multiple professional societies dedicated to health and disease abatement including the American Society for Nutrition, the Obesity Society, the American Chemical Society and the Institute of Food Technologist. Dr. Freeman publishes in various top Journals and is co Editor-in-Chief of Nutrition and Healthy Aging.
Dr. Burton-Freeman holds a BS in Dietetics from the California State University, Chico, a MS and PhD in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of California, Davis. Dr. Burton-Freeman has held professional appointments in academia and the biotechnology industry leading research programs and teams to deliver on basic and clinical science objectives.
Dr. Yves Desjardins
2019 Presentation Title – The Tannin Fractions of Polyphenol Berry Extracts Regulate Glycemia through a Modulation of the Gut Microbiota and an Improvement of Gut Barriers Function
Yves Desjardins is full professor at the Plant Science department and he is affiliated with the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University, Québec Canada. He was recently appointed Dianafood-NSERC Industrial Chair on prebiotic effects of fruits and vegetables (PhenoBio). Trained in plant physiology, he is conducting research on phytochemistry and functionality of bioactive compounds from plants. He is PI or collaborator on many major preclinical and clinical studies on type-2 diabetes, cognitive decline, low-grade inflammation, urinary tract infection, skin diseases, and oral infections. Over the years, he has accompanied many horticultural and food processing companies in the development and the validation of the health benefits of horticultural commodities (e.g. Glucophenol, Neurophenol).
At the international scene, he is recognized for his innovative research program on health effects of fruits and vegetables. He was the Chair first International Symposium on Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables in Québec City (FAVHEALTH 2005) and the OECD Symposium – “Emerging Topics in Health Effects Fruit and Vegetables” in Lisbon, Portugal (2010). He was nominated in 2005 as Chair of the ISHS Commission Fruit and Vegetable and Health a position he occupied until 2010 after being elected on the Board of ISHS. He organized in 2016 the International Strawberry Symposium (750 participants), which made a large place to health effects of this fruit. Recently (October 2017), he also organized the leading International Congress on Polyphenols and Health (www.ICPH2017-Québec.org) (>350 world renowned participants). His leadership in the field is recognized worldwide; he has been invited on numerous occasions to give keynote lectures at international meetings over the last few years (>20). He is involved in many international research projects in France, Mexico, Italy, and Belgium. Dr. Desjardins has written more than 120 publications (Normalized H-index of 23.5) and has trained many graduate students at the Master (29), at the Ph. D. (10) and the Postdoctoral level (12) since the beginning of his career. He sat on numerous master and Ph.D. thesis review (more than 67) and has participated as an examiner on more than 21 Ph.D. thesis evaluation committee in Canada and internationally. Since 2013, he filed 3 patents.
Dr. Colin Kay
2019 Presentation Title – Characterizing the Berry Metabolome: Insights & Examples from Bilberry, Blueberry and Strawberry Interventions
Dr. Colin Kay is an associate professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at the North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Research Institute. Dr Kay’s research is centered on establishing the metabolism of dietary phytochemicals and the potential impact this has on their biological activity. His research core is focused on the development of quantitative metabolomic MS/MS methodologies for establishing microbial-derived biosignatures of dietary phytochemical consumption.
Dr. David Vauzour
2019 Presentation Title – Impact of Berry Polyphenols on the Gut-Brain Axis
Dr. David Vauzour received his PhD from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montpellier (France) in 2004. His research over the last 14 years, based at the University of Reading (2005-2011), and at the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, UK (2011- present) has focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the positive correlation between the consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables and a decreased risk of (neuro)degenerative disorders and to develop novel dietary strategies to delay brain ageing, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease, including stroke and vascular dementia. In this context, his initial work provided considerable insights into the potential for natural products to promote human vascular function, decrease (neuro)inflammation, enhance memory, learning and neuro-cognitive performances and to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In particular, his major contribution has been to show that phytochemicals and in particular flavonoids exert such diverse biological effects through their modulation of intracellular signalling pathways (MAP kinase, PI3 kinase/Akt and Keap-1/Nrf2), biomarkers of cellular plasticity and resilience to exogenous stimuli. His recent interests concern how food bioactives modulate ApoE genotype-induced cardiovascular risk and neurodegenerative disorders and their underlying mechanisms. To date Dr Vauzour has published over 80 peer reviewed articles and currently serves as the Associate Editor for the journals “Nutrition and Healthy Aging” and Antioxidants. In addition, he is a member of the editorial board of “Nature Scientific Reports (Neuroscience)” and “Peer J (Pharmacology)” and is currently the co-the Chair of the ILSI Europe “Nutrition and Mental Performance Task Force”.
Daniele Del Rio, PhD
2019 Presentation Title – Phenyl-γ-valerolactones and Phenylvaleric Acids, the Main Colonic Metabolites of Flavan-3-ols: their Relevance in Berry Health Benefits
Daniele is the Head of the University of Parma School of Advanced Studies on Food and Nutrition at the University of Parma, in Italy. He also acts as Scientific Director of the Need For Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme Global Centre for Nutrition & Health, in Cambridge, UK. He serves as Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Taylor & Francis). He is a proud Commendatore (Knight Commander) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and he is proudly growing a team of brilliant scientists.
Dr. Jeevan Prasain
2017 Presentation Title: Cranberry Fruits in Bladder Cancer Prevention
Jeevan K. Prasain, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham. His current research interest includes lipidomics/metabolomics, bioactive dietary natural products in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancers, their metabolisms, and bioavailability assessment using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Joseph Francis, BVSc, MVSc, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Effects of Blueberries in a Preclinical Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Joseph Francis, B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., Ph.D., is a veterinarian by profession. He received his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in animal husbandry in 1991 and Masters in Veterinary Virology & Immunology in 1994 from Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, India. He then came to the United States to pursue his doctoral studies in neuroendocrinology from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas in 1995. After completion of his doctoral research in 1999, he joined Dr. Robert Felder’s lab at the University of Iowa, for a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pathophysiology. He joined the faculty of Louisiana State University as an Assistant Professor in 2003. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. Currently he is a Professor in comparative biomedical sciences department at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His research interest is on understanding the role played by central nervous system cytokine in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular and renal diseases. More recently he has started working on understanding the role played by brain inflammation in post-traumatic stress disorder. He uses pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention including blueberries in his research.
Janet Novotney, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Evidence for Anti-Obesity and Beneficial Glucoregulatory Effects of Berries
Dr. Janet A. Novotny is a Research Physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. Holding degrees in mathematics, nutrition, and biophysics, Novotny combines her areas of expertise to conduct studies on bioavailability, metabolism, and health benefits of dietary components.
Novotny’s research involves several facets of the relationship between diet and health. One aspect of Novotny’s work is the bioavailability, pathways of metabolism, and rates of elimination of phytonutrients and micronutrients. Novotny conducts human intervention studies which combine technologies of staple isotopes, mass spectrometry, and mathematical modeling to assess nutrient absorption and pathways of metabolism. Novotny has published on the pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and molybdenum. Novotny also conducts clinical studies to assess mechanisms by which dietary bioactive components, especially polyphenols, reduce risk of chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Novotny earned a B.S. in mathematics, an M.S. in Nutritional Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Illinois, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Maryland. She is active in the American Society for Nutrition, has served as an Associate Editor for Crop Science, is the Government Liaison for the International Life Sciences Institute Committee on Bioactives, and has edited two books on Mathematical Modeling.
Cristian Del Bò, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Role of Berries and Bioactives in the Modulation of Vascular Function: Evidence from In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Cristian Del Bò, PhD works at the Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, at the University of Milan, Italy. He graduated in Food Science and Human Nutrition and pursued a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Milan. Dr. Del Bo’ has been a research fellow at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition of the University of Maine (Orono, ME). In addition, he conducted an internship at the Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (Boston, MA), and at the Department of Public Health of the University of Copenhagen, (Copenhagen, DK).
Del Bò’s research focuses on the evaluation of the role of berries, in particular, blueberry, in the modulation of markers related to cardiovascular risk. He performed clinical and animal research documenting the impact of blueberry in the modulation of vascular function and of oxidative stress. Moreover, Del Bò carried out several in vitro studies devoted to the understanding of the role of anthocyanins and metabolic products on inflammatory and atherogenic process. Del Bò is member of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and of the Groupe Polyphénols. He is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Luke Howard, PhD
Dr. Howard received his B.S. degree in Horticulture from Purdue University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from the University of Arkansas. He worked as an Analytical Chemist at the Dole Packaged Foods Research and Development Center for two years, and was an Assistant Professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at Texas A&M University for five years. He has served on the faculty in the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas since 1997 (Associate Research Professor 1997-2002, Professor 2002-present).
His research program is focused on extraction and characterization of bioactive compounds in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, with emphasis on berries. Dr. Howard has published over 120 scientific articles and five book chapters and has delivered over 90 presentations at scientific meetings. He is a Professional Member of the American Chemical Society.