Category Archives: 2019

Dr. Colin Kay

Dr. Colin Kay

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

Dr. David Vauzour

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

Daniele Del Rio, PhD

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.

Mary Ann Lila, PhD

Dr. Mary Ann Lila

Dr. Mary Ann Lila

2022 Berries and the Skin Session Chair

Mary Ann Lila is the inaugural Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus. She holds the David H. Murdock Distinguished Professorship, and is a Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences. Through ground-breaking, transdisciplinary discovery and outreach, her team of faculty at the Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) pioneers a dramatic shift in the way the American public views and uses food crops – not merely as a source of nutrients and flavorful calories, but as a powerful resource for components that protect and enhance human health. Integrated research in metabolomics, biochemistry, pharmacogenomics, molecular breeding, regenerative medicine, translational food science and nutrition and postharvest are aimed at development and promotion of mainstream fruit and vegetable produce with enhanced health benefits, and introduction of new or underappreciated crops and products from various sites throughout the globe, allowing consumers to make proactive, responsible dietary choices that benefit their own, and their families’ health.

Dr. Lila is currently a co-Director of an ambitious public-private Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP) which synergizes the talents of academia and industry. Other current research projects include a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research initiative on ‘Closing the gap in delivery of fruit and vegetable benefits’, USDA-funded initiatives on polyphenol-protein colloids for attenuation of food allergies, on the science behind Alaska’s traditional subsistence lifestyle, and on saffron as a high value culinary and medicinal niche crop, and a Comparative Medicine Institute grant for developing the neonatal pig as a model for human food allergies.

Dr. Lila has been awarded the Paul A. Funk Scholarship Recognition Award (the premier research award in the College of ACES, University of Illinois), the Spitze Professorial Career Excellence Award, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, the University Scholar Award, the Amoco Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction, and the Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Lila has ongoing research projects in Australia, New Zealand, and multiple countries in Europe, the Americas and Africa, and is Vice President of the Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX). In 1999, Dr. Lila won a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to conduct research and outreach in New Zealand, and returns to Australasia at least once/year.

Junior Investigators

2019 BHBS Oral Presenters

We are pleased to announce that the following poster abstracts have been selected for oral presentations:

2019_BHBS_Young_Scientist_Oral_Presentor_Claudia_FavariClaudia Favari, PhD Student at the University of Parma

Presentation | Plasma levels of phenyl-gamma-velerolactones derived from cranberry flavan-3-ols: a dose-reponse study

Claudia is a PhD student in Food Science at the Laboratory of Phytochemicals in Physiology, led by Prof. Daniele Del Rio within the Human Nutrition Unit of the Department of Food and Drugs and of Veterinary Medicine (University of Parma). Her research activity is presently focused on polyphenols and their microbiota-derived metabolites, and on the understanding of their role in human physiology.



Inah Gu, PhD Student at the University of Arkansas

Presentation | Berry phenolics and volatiles inhibit inflammatory cytokines secretion in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells through suppression of NF-κB signaling pathway

Inah is a PhD student in Food Science at University of Arkansas. She received her B.S. degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Pusan National University, South Korea, and her M.S. degree in Food Science from the University of Arkansas. She works with her advisor Dr.Sun-Ok Lee, focusing on how dietary phytochemicals and bioactive components in foods and natural extracts exert human health benefits. Inah’s research aims to identify and fractionate bioactive components in different kind of berries and investigate the effects of berry bioactive compounds in chronic inflammation. She is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, and Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association.



Natalie VandenAkker,  doctoral candidate at the University of Maine

Presentation | Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) consumption restores the impaired acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation in the aorta of the obese Zucker rat, a model of the Metabolic Syndrome

Natalie is a current doctoral candidate in the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine (2017-present), where she researches the role of red raspberries on vascular function and obesity-induced inflammation under the tutelage of Dr. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas. Natalie attended Worcester State University where she graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in chemistry and business and in 2015 received a master’s degree in biotechnology where she researched regenerated parsnip and carrot plants from cultured callus cells. Her professional experience in research began in 2014 at Sanofi-Genzyme a pharmaceutical company as an animal research technician and continued at TetraGenetics as a research associate where she gained experience with Tetrahymena thermophila to produce recombinant proteins. She received the Food Science and Human Nutrition program’s outstanding PhD Graduate Student Award (2018) and has served on the board of the Graduate Student Government at the University of Maine.

Poster Abstract Guidelines

Submissions are no longer being accepted for the 2019 Berry Health Benefits Symposium

berry health benefits 2019 symposium poster session presenter young scientists feature imageAre you a current graduate student or postdoctoral fellow? Hear our call…for submissions! The poster session is open to all academic and industrial researchers regardless of academic rank and/or training.

From October 15th, 2018 through to January 15th, 2019, we will be accepting abstracts for original research relating to the symposium themes of berry biochemical composition, cardiovascular health, metabolism regulation, brain aging and other health properties of berry fruits.  Each abstract will be peer reviewed for content and merit, and notice of selection to share your research findings at BHBS 2019 will be issued by February 15th, 2019.

If you are a current graduate student or postdoctoral fellow you are eligible to apply for the poster and oral presentation competitions.

Abstracts will be accepted for:
Poster Presentation (20+ spots available): The most outstanding poster presented by a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow will receive a $300 award, as decided by the BHBS judging panel. Participants must cover their own travel costs and registration (student rates available).
Oral Presentation (3 spots available): NEW for 2019, 3 applicants will be chosen to give a 10-minute oral presentation (plus 5 minutes for questions) in the session that best fits their research theme. The chosen applicants will need to cover their own travel, lodging and registration costs (student rates available).

– Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can apply for both the poster presentation and the oral presentation using the same abstract. It is possible to be selected for both presentations.
– Only original research relating to the symposium theme of berry biochemical composition, cardiovascular health, metabolism regulation, brain aging, gut health and other health properties of berry fruit will be considered.
– Each abstract will be peer reviewed for scientific content and merit of the research.
– Abstracts should not be submitted if the research represented by the abstract has already been accepted for publication in a journal.
– If you submit an abstract, you must be prepared to discuss essential details of your methods and results.

– Abstracts must be received through electronic submission to the Junior Investigators Abstract Review Committee Chairperson: Dr. Luke Howard –
– Please indicate that you would like your submission considered for:

  • Poster Presentation Only
  • Oral Presentation Only
  • BOTH the Poster and Oral Presentation opportunities

– Photocopies, facsimile, or e-mail copies will not be accepted and will be discarded.
– Abstracts will only be accepted between October 15th, 2018 and January 15th, 2019
– Submitting authors will be notified of acceptance by February 15th, 2019.

To download a PDF of the abstract guidelines, please click here.

To download a PDF of the abstract rubric, please click here.