Academy Fellows

Our Academy Fellows are scientific or policy professionals at various stages of their career with a research interest in the field of cancer prevention and survival through food, nutrition, physical activity or body fatness

Read their profiles below to find out more about their experience of the Fellowship, as well as their career history.

Updates from our Fellows Alumni

Academy Fellows are invited to send us their career updates – including achievements, conferences attended, or any other activities – to or via the Fellows Alumni Linkedin group.

Profiles of our Fellows Alumni

2019 Fellows
2016 Fellows
2014 Fellows
2012 Fellows
2011 Fellows
2010 Fellows
2009 Fellows

2019 Fellows

Annaleen Koole

PhD student

Maastricht University, Netherlands 

“I am looking forward to participating in the Masterclass Nutrition and Cancer. It will be a great opportunity for me to gain new insight into the relation between nutritional factors and cancer, and to meet with fellow scientists working in this research field. I am very grateful for WCRF for providing the fellowship.”

Annaleen Koole is currently working as a PhD student at the Department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She is involved in the Energy for Life after ColoRectal cancer (EnCoRe) study, an observational study that focuses on longitudinal associations between lifestyle determinants and quality of life outcomes in colorectal cancer survivors. Annaleen completed her MSc in Global Health in 2014 and then started working as a research dietitian on the EnCoRe study, in which she was involved in data collection and data processing. Two years later, in 2016, she took the opportunity to take her work a step further and started her PhD within the EnCoRe study.

Annaleen’s PhD project is focused on nutritional factors such as dietary supplement use and the intake of specific vitamins and their association with fatigue and depression in colorectal cancer survivors.

Selected publications

Georgios Saltaouras

Doctoral Researcher 

Oxford Brookes University, UK

Georgios is a doctoral researcher at Oxford Brookes University, UK, funded by a Nigel Groome Scholarship. His research project is using a mixed-methods design to explore dietary habits, nutritional awareness and experiences of nutrition support in patients diagnosed with a pelvic cancer (rectal, bladder, male and female reproductive organs). Findings from this project will feed into an ongoing initiative, the National Institute of Health Research Nutrition and Cancer Infrastructure Collaboration, which aims to bring nutrition and cancer research together to improve cancer care in the UK. To date, Georgios has presented his work at two conferences, the Nutrition Society Winter conference in 2017 and British Psycho-Oncology Society annual conference in 2018.

Georgios obtained an MSc in Nutrition and Metabolic Health from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 2013 and a BSc in Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences from Harokopio University, Greece in 2010. Between his MSc and PhD studies, Georgios worked as a postgraduate research assistant at the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health. This involved conducting studies investigating the role of different foods on metabolic markers, including glycaemic and insulinaemic response.

Georgios is an Associate Registered Nutritionist (Registrant Number 10275, Association for Nutrition) and has a strong research background in nutrition and dietetics. Throughout his educational and professional career, he has worked on nutrition projects related to gut health, bone health, glucose metabolism and currently in cancer survivorship. Georgios’ interests focus on nutrition, lifestyle, cancer, public health and research methods.

Selected publications

Inarie Jacobs

Registered dietitian 

Bambisana Hospital, South Africa

After obtaining a BSc in dietetics in 2016, Inarie continued her education with an MSc in dietetics at the North-West University in South Africa from 2017 to 2018. The aim of her MSc dissertation was to investigate diet, physical activity and body size in relation to breast cancer risk in black South African women. This study was part of the South African Breast Cancer (SABC) study conducted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer. She presented her MSc work at the National Nutritional Congress in South Africa in September 2018. 

She is currently working as a registered dietitian at Bambisana Hospital in South Africa for her community service year. This is a compulsory year for all medical and allied health graduates in South Africa. She would like to continue in the field of cancer and nutrition after her community service year, particularly in South Africa where research on cancer and nutrition is lacking.

Selected publications

Melissa Orenduff

PhD student

University of North Carolina, US

Melissa is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is focused on the association of obesity and cancer and the impact of dietary energy balance modulation, particularly caloric restriction and exercise, on prevention, progression, and management of the disease.  

In 2017, she was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship for the University of North Carolina Lineberger’s Cancer Control and Education Program. Her PhD thesis is on the tumour-suppressive role of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) in pancreatic cancer. IGFBP7 is modulated by dietary energy balance (caloric restriction, obesity, and exercise) and may be a potential intervention target for preventing pancreatic cancer. An exciting component of this research is that the human findings will be replicated in calorically restricted murine and nonhuman primate models.  

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science and Public Health in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, awarded in 2004. While earning her undergraduate degree, she began working at Duke University Medical Center as a research co-ordinator on several clinical research projects investigating the impact of caloric restriction and protein supplementation in older adults. Since 2012 she has served as Managing Editor for the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Selected publications 

Prudence Carr

Post-doctoral Researcher

German Cancer Research Center, Germany

Dr Carr is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. Her research interest lies primarily in nutrition and health, with a strong focus on nutritional epidemiology of cancer. Her current research explores the impact of diet and lifestyle factors on cancer prevention, particularly colorectal cancer, using data from the DACHS study (Colorectal cancer: chances for prevention through screening), one of the largest and most comprehensive epidemiological studies on colorectal cancer worldwide. 

In 2017, she was awarded her PhD in epidemiology from Heidelberg University, Germany. In her dissertation Dr Carr focused on meat consumption and its effects on risk and prognosis of colorectal neoplasms. Based on this work, her team published a well-received systematic review and meta-analysis summarising the evidence on subtypes of meat (i.e. beef, pork, veal, poultry) to elaborate which types of meat specifically increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This work contributed to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s evaluation from 2015 which classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans and red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans. 

Prior to her PhD, she completed a BSc at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2008, and an MSc of Dietetics at Deakin University, Australia in 2012. She is also an Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD).  

Selected publications

Stella Breininger

PhD student

Newcastle University 

After graduating with a BSc in Food and Human Nutrition from Newcastle University, Stella received a scholarship funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to undertake research training within the MRC-funded Centre for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, directed by Professor Sir Doug Turnbull. This scholarship enabled her to undertake an MRes in Medical Research and to carry out research towards her PhD (completion expected in September 2019) on “Effect of Adiposity on Biomarkers for Colorectal Cancer Risk”.

As part of her PhD, Stella is investigating the effects of obesity, weight loss and ageing on biomarkers of colorectal cancer risk in ageing human colonocytes. She is also interested in how additional lifestyle factors, such as physical activity and smoking, modulate these biomarkers. 

Stella is currently using colorectal mucosal biopsies and data from the longitudinal Biomarkers Of Risk In Colorectal Cancer (BORICC) follow-up study, known as BFU, to investigate the effects of ageing and obesity on mitochondrial biomarkers and microRNA expression. She is optimistic that her research will provide an insight into the mechanisms through which adverse lifestyle factors and ageing increase cancer risk in the human colon.

Selected publication

  • Effects of obesity and weight loss on mitochondrial structure and function and implications for colorectal cancer risk (link to follow)

2016 Fellows

Dr Lin Yang

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Medical University of Vienna

"This rigorous course has been a fantastic experience for me. The course covered key aspects of nutritional epidemiology research throughout the continuums from basic science to policy implementation. We also got exposed to a series of advanced topics in the field. Most importantly, all the lectures and hand-on practices were delivered by top scientists who are also great teachers which has made the learning process very much enjoyable.

"My appreciation to the WCRF fellowship goes beyond the opportunity to attend this course, it also facilities and encourages me to keep up my work in cancer prevention and survivorship in Austria and worldwide."

Lin Yang is an assistant professor of Epidemiology in Medical University of Vienna since 2016. Prior to Vienna, she received her PhD degree in Epidemiology with a focus on physical activity and public health, and natural experiments in active transport research from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2012. Between 2013 and 2015, she undertook postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, USA) in the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) center, investigating the role of physical activity and obesity in cancer survivorship.

Lin has a multidisciplinary background including kinesiology, statistics and epidemiology. Her primary research interests relate to interventions targeting obesity and physical activity for cancer prevention and survivorship care.

Her current research includes identifying the impact of physical activity on bone health in overweight/obese postmenopausal breast cancer survivors using bone turnover markers and bone mineral density scores; refining methods in patient-reported measure for prostate cancer survivors post-radical prostatectomy; and developing Tai Chi intervention trials adapted to cancer survivors at the Vienna General Hospital.

Selected publications

Dr Marco Matejcic

Post-doctoral Fellow

International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC)

"This course is one of the best I have ever attended, and is addressed to early career researchers who want to understand and learn the basic statistical approaches and methodologies in epidemiological studies. With the afternoon practical section and the detailed tutorials, they make sure that what you learn in this course will be part of your background expertise forever."

Marco obtained a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town in collaboration with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). He carried out genetic association studies in oesophageal cancer using data from the multi-ethnic population of South Africa. He also contributed to sequencing analyses to identify potential mutations associated with colorectal carcinoma in the Kazakhstan population.

In 2014, Marco was awarded with a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at IARC. Using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, he investigated the association between biomarkers of B vitamins, genetic polymorphisms and the risk of breast cancer. Marco also collaborated with the Epigenetics Group at IARC to investigate the association between biomarkers of folate and DNA methylation patterns in the breast cancer EPIC study. He is currently investigating potential interactions between biomarkers of fatty acids and SCD-1 gene polymorphisms on the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Selected publications

Harinakshi Sanikini


French National Institute of Health

"I am very glad and privileged to obtain the fellowship to pursue the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology. Pursuing this course helped me to gain knowledge on various topics such as dietary assessment methods, statistical methodologies, and measurement errors related to nutritional exposures, which I could apply for my present and future research work. It was an excellent course with lectures by most of the renowned professors in nutritional epidemiology."

Harinakshi completed her PhD at French National Institute of Health (INSERM), Centre for Research Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), France. Her research interest is in chronic disease epidemiology, with a particular focus on diet, nutritional, and lifestyle and hormonal factors.

Harinakshi’s PhD dissertation work focused on “coffee consumption, body mass index in relation to lung cancer”. She has presented her PhD research work at the European Lung Cancer Conference, April 2015, Geneva, and at the European Congress of Epidemiology, June 2015, Maastricht. Harinakshi has received a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from Osmania University (India) in 2009, and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Health from Wageningen University (The Netherlands) in 2013. She received a doctoral degree from University of Paris-Scaly (France) in October 2016.

Selected publications

Dr Kathryn Beck

Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Massey University, New Zealand

"Attending the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology was a career highlight. The course extended my knowledge and has provided me with the tools to answer complex nutrition questions both in New Zealand and internationally. The course content covered many of the questions that arise when analysing data here in New Zealand. It was great to meet and network with participants from all over the world working in the area of nutritional epidemiology."

Dr Kathryn Beck is a senior lecturer in human nutrition and dietetics, and associate team leader in human nutrition at Massey University in New Zealand. She is a New Zealand registered dietician with 15 years of experience in clinical, community, health promotion and academic settings. 

Kathryn is principal investigator on several studies including an investigation of dietary patterns, socio-demographic factors and anthropometric characteristics using data from the New Zealand adult nutrition survey. She has supervised 10 MSc students to completion and currently supervises 13 PhD and MSc students covering a range of topics. Kathryn teaches in the areas of nutrition assessment, sports nutrition, communications in dietetic practice, and statistical analysis. Her research interests include the development and validation of tools to assess dietary intake, dietary patterns and associations with chronic disease, and determinants of and solutions to iron deficiency in a range of populations. 

Kathryn received a Bachelor of Physical Education and a BSc (Human Nutrition) from the University of Otago in 1998 and 1999 respectively. She completed her MSc in Human Nutrition at Massey University in 2008 using stable isotopes to investigate iron absorption in young women. Her PhD investigated dietary causes, consequences and solutions to iron deficiency in young women and was completed in 2013.

Selected publications

2014 Fellows

Dr José Breedveld-PetersDr José Breedveld-Peters

Post-doctoral Researcher/Dietician

Maastricht University, Netherlands

Biography & research interests

Dr Breedveld-Peters is a post-doctoral Fellow on a nutritional epidemiology project at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. The project is an extension of the Energy for Life after ColoRectal cancer (EnCoRe) study, a prospective cohort study of colorectal cancer survivors to investigate relationships between lifestyle factors, in particular diet and physical activity, and health-related quality of life in this population. Dr Breedveld-Peters is working on extending the EnCoRe study to other regional hospitals in Limburg, as well as analysing data and writing papers on self-reported dietary habits, supplement intake, medical consumption and societal participation, and their relation to health-related quality of life. Her research interests focus on the field of nutrition as well as health and in the implementation of change in daily health care practice.

She previously worked as a research dietician at Maastricht University, the Netherlands (2000-07), and also has 16 years’ experience working as a dietician in the paramedical field.

Dr Breedveld-Peters obtained her PhD from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, in 2012, where she worked on a process evaluation of a nutritional intervention for hip facture patients, within a multicentre randomised controlled trial.

Selected publications

Dr Hannah LewisDr Hannah Lewis

Research Associate

University of Cambridge, UK 

Dr Hannah Lewis is a Research Associate at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge (UK), working on projects investigating gastrointestinal hormone secretion. Her research interests lie primarily in nutrition and health, with a strong focus on epidemiological and intervention studies.

She has presented her doctoral research at the European Congress on Obesity in 2012 and 2013; the Annual Meeting for the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour, 2013; and the International Congress on Obesity, 2014. She was invited to present at the Rank Prize Funds Symposium of Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes, 2011, and at the symposium of Gut Hormones and Obesity, 2014.

Dr Lewis received a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Bath (UK) in 2006, and an MSc in Nutrition from King’s College London (UK) in 2007. She was awarded a Medical Research Council studentship, and carried out her doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge (UK), receiving her PhD in 2013. Her PhD thesis was on food portion size and implications for appetite control and obesity, taking a multidisciplinary approach, with a public health focus and a strong mechanistic basis.

Selected Publications

Dr Kris Yuet Wan Lok Dr Kris Yuet Wan Lok 

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Biography & research interests

Dr Lok holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Her research interests focus primarily on maternal and child health, as well as infant feeding. Her ongoing projects include investigating the impact of cessation of complimentary infant formula in public hospitals on the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding. Dr Lok was recently awarded funding to study the short and long term outcomes of breast milk and formula feeding among preterm infants.

She previously held a Research Associate position at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2007-2013) where she worked on various studies investigating the role of nutrition in relation to chronic diseases. Dr Lok is also a registered dietician in the UK, and worked as a research dietician at the University of Southampton, UK (2006 – 2007).

Selected publications

Dr Nonsikelelo MatheDr Nonsikelelo Mathe

Research Associate (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) 
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography & research interests

Dr Mathe is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes, University of Alberta (Canada). Her research is on chronic disease epidemiology, with a particular focus on diabetes. In addition, she is a collaborator on the World Health Organization Africa’s Study on Physical Activity and Dietary Assessment Methods (AS-PADAM) study.

Previously, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Nutritional Epidemiology at the Department of Medicine, University of Alberta (Canada).

Her main research interest is on the role of diet as a mediator between diabetes and progression of diabetes, including the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer (particularly liver cancer). Additionally, she is interested in the growing trends and prevalence of chronic disease in African countries.

Dr Mathe’s key achievements so far include receiving an Overseas Research Student award which partially funded her PhD; achieving 2nd prize (senior category) for an oral presentation at the Alberta Diabetes Institute Research day, and 2nd prize for post-doctoral fellow presentations at the Department of Medicine annual research day.

Dr Mathe completed her PhD, entitled Adiposity and cardiovascular disease risk factors: A comparison between ethnicities, at Brunel University (UK) in 2011. Additionally she holds a BSc (Hons) in Exercise and Health Sciences from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, UK.

Selected publications

Dr Alexia MurphyDr Alexia Murphy 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Queensland, Australia

Biography & research interests

Dr Alexia Murphy is a Research Fellow and Theme Leader at the Queensland Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, and Scientist-in-Charge of the Body Composition Laboratory, the University of Queensland, Australia. Dr Murphy was awarded a Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute Early Career Fellowship in 2013. The Fellowship focuses on childhood cancer survivors, developing a paediatric oncology nutrition screening tool, evaluating nutrition interventions in children with cancer and examining the link between nutritional status and clinical outcomes in childhood cancer.

She co-founded the International Paediatric Oncology Nutrition Group in 2010 with over 100 members from 29 countries; this interest group is for health professionals and researchers involved in the nutrition related care and research of children with cancer. Dr Murphy was appointed Co-Chair of this group in 2013 and has a significant leadership role in the current activities, including collaborative research projects, developing education resources and organising a monthly education and discussion meeting to improve the uptake of evidence based research in managing nutrition care in children with cancer.

Dr Murphy received her PhD in Pediatric Nutrition at The University of Queensland in 2010. She has written two invited book chapters, published 21 original research papers, authored 37 conference abstracts and presented her research at numerous international conferences.

Selected publications

Jillian WateJillian Wate

Research Fellow
Pacific Research Centre for Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases, Fiji

Biography & research interests

Jillian Wate is a Research Fellow with the Pacific Research Centre for Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases (C-POND), Fiji. In her current role, she is leading efforts to develop Pacific Island relevant monitoring tools for assessing the food environment as part of a regional collaboration to undertake more effective monitoring of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Jillian received her PhD in 2014, which focused on adolescents’ diets in Fiji and the drivers of their behaviours. This study employed a mixed method on dietary patterns of adolescents and relationship with weight status (BMI) cross-sectionally and predictors of dietary change over time. Additionally, Jillian’s PhD has identified sociocultural influences on dietary patterns of adolescents. The results of her doctoral research resulted in recommendations for effective social marketing to motivate adolescents to change to healthy dietary patterns. She plans to expand her research skills in the area of nutritional epidemiology to address the substantial burdens of obesity and NCDs in the Pacific region.

Jillian completed a BSc in Food Science and Human Nutrition and MSc in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii. She has also worked as a Public Health Nutritionist in the Solomon Islands for over 10 years.

Selected publications

2012 Fellows

Dr Sandra CrispimDr Sandra Crispim

Adjunct Professor, Nutrition Department
Federal University of Paraná (Brazil)

I found the International Course on Nutritional Epidemiology very useful. It was great to learn more about various topics in nutritional epidemiology; I think that they covered a lot without being superficial. Furthermore, the course brought together many elements that I was missing in my education in nutritional epidemiology, especially by combining the lectures with practicals. That is what I look for in a course because I think it is much more efficient when you have the chance to practice what you just learned."

Biography & research interests

Dr Crispim is a registered Brazilian Nutritionist currently working as an Adjunct Professor at the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.  She is also a postdoctoral fellow at the University of São Paulo, where she received a returning grant (Young Talent Researcher) from a Brazilian programme called 'Science without borders'. Previously she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013) at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France. As part of the Dietary Exposure Assessment Group, she worked on the evaluation and standardization dietary assessment methods in Europe and in Latin America. In 2011, she was selected for the European Nutrition Leadership Programme (ENLP).  

Dr Crispim’s PhD thesis was particularly focused on the assessment of measurement error and dietary exposure assessments collected with 24-h dietary recalls in European populations.

Dr Sandra Crispim was awarded a Travel Bursary by World Cancer Research Fund International offered exclusively to our Academy Fellows to attend the International Congress on Nutrition in Granada, Spain. She wrote a blog 'Financial crisis impacts nutrition', which was a hot topic presented at the congress. Comments from her blog also featured in an article discussing the link between cancer and the worsening economy. 

Selected publications

Dr Yunxia LuDr Yunxia Lu

Epidemiologist & Assistant Professor
Karolinska Insitutet (KI), Sweden

"I am so honoured to gain the fellowship and join this course. It was a well-organised course, which covered a large range of nutritional epidemiological knowledge. I enjoyed the lectures, which gave me opportunities to practise the advanced statistical methodologies specifically for nutritional epidemiology.

"Most of the lecturers are world-famous in the field of nutritional epidemiology and gave us an extensive overall view of nutritional epidemiology, including its impact on research, health policy, media and the public.

"Importantly, I met researchers with common interests in nutritional epidemiology from different countries. We shared our knowledge and discussed the research and collaborations. It was really a wonderful experience for my research in nutritional epidemiology." 

Biography & research interests

Dr Lu is an epidemiologist who collaborates extensively with clinicians, other epidemiologists and biostatisticians. She is also actively involved in teaching and mentoring graduate students. She has been an Assistant Professor at Karolinska Insitutet (KI), Sweden, since October 2009. Previously, In 2004-2005, she was a visiting scholar at Karolinska Insitutet (KI), Sweden for nine months, funded by the Swedish Institute. Soon after, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at KI for six months. In 2008, she joined KI again with a focus on epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr Lu has a research interest mainly in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, with emphases of using methodologies of nutritional epidemiology, clinical epidemiology and pharmaco-epidemiology.

Dr Lu received her medical bachelor from the Medical University of West China (now Si Chuan University), a master and a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics from the Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China.

Selected publications

Dr Caitlin MasonDr Caitlin Mason

Research Scientist
University of Washington, Washington, USA

"I believe this training will help me adopt the most rigorous scientific methods to my ongoing and future analyses, including how to best quantify exposure(s) and handle complex interactions with other lifestyle behaviours. I hope that enhancing my skills in this area will allow me to incorporate relevant information from nutritional science into the development, delivery and assessment of lifestyle interventions, and elucidate a more complete understanding of how nutritional factors are related to cancer prevention and successful survivorship."

Biography & research interests

Dr Mason is currently a Research Scientist at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington conducting dissemination and implementation research to improve the uptake of evidence-based interventions to reduce cancer. Previously she was a postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Anne McTiernan in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Her research interests focus primarily on understanding the mechanisms that link nutrition, exercise, body composition to cancer prevention and control.

She received her MSc (2005) and PhD (2009) in physical activity epidemiology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

Selected publications

Dr Christina PollardDr Christina Pollard

Research Fellow, School of Public Health
Curtin University, Australia

"I am highly motivated to participate in the course to increase my nutritional epidemiology skills for use in translating and applying research into policy and practice for my advisory role as a policy maker for the Western Australian Health Department... This course will assist me to make the most of this research opportunity and assist as me to develop my nutrition epidemiology skills for interpreting results for application to policy."

Biography & research interests

Dr Pollard is a research Fellow at the School of Public Health at Curtin University, Australia. Previously she was co-convenor of the Public Health Association of Australia’s Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group working with members to stir the advocacy pot to improve public health through better nutrition. She was awarded a five year Healthway Research into Practice Grant entitled “Food Law, Policy and Communications To Improve Public Health”. This ambitious project will undertake trend analysis of three large nutrition-related government datasets and develop priority driven research agenda for public health nutrition in Australia.

She is best known for managing the development of Australia's 'Go for 2&5' fruit and vegetable social marketing campaign.

Dr Pollard received her PhD (2009) and MSc in public health (1993) from Curtin University, Australia.

Selected publications

Dr Gerda PotDr Gerda Pot

Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences
King’s College London, UK

"Doing this course would be a great opportunity to further enhance my knowledge and understanding of nutritional epidemiology, which I can apply to my analyses in both MRC Human Nutrition Research (HNR) and the Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival (CNC)."

Biography & research interests

Dr Gerda Pot was appointed as full-time Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London in February 2013. She continues her research on dietary and meal patterns in relation to cardio-metabolic diseases and cancer and took up teaching on Diet and Cancer as well Food Habits.

From 2009 to early 2013, Dr Pot was an Investigator Scientist at MRC Human Nutrition Research (HNR) in Cambridge, UK, where she worked on dietary surveys and methodologies. She was also involved in collaboration with the Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival (CNC) in Cambridge taking part in the workgroup studying dietary patterns and cancer risk.

She completed her PhD degree in Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University, the Netherlands in 2009 where she also obtained both her BSc and MSc degrees in Nutrition and Health. Her PhD thesis was on the effects of fish consumption on colorectal cancer risk studied through conducting a RCT, which was part of the EU project SEAFOODplus.

Selected publications

Ms Eline van RoekelDr Eline van Roekel

Postdoctoral Researcher
Maastricht University, the Netherlands

"I wanted to attend the course to learn more about the strengths and limitations of data collection and analysis in nutritional epidemiological research, to increase my skills in interpretation and discussion of nutritional epidemiology and to learn more about the translation of nutritional epidemiological findings to practice and the communication of these results to the general public."

Biography & research interests

Dr van Roekel is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She is a postdoctoral researcher within the EnCoRe study project that investigates how lifestyle influences quality of life of colorectal cancer survivors, and the underlying biological mechanisms. Currently, she is working on a new World Cancer Research Fund funded project aiming to unravel the biological mechanisms underlying the development of persistent fatigue after colorectal cancer, and how these are influenced by levels of sedentary behaviour and physical activity. In September 2015, Dr van Roekel undertook a 4-week work visit to the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, where she learned about the application of metabolomics within epidemiological research. Subsequently, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the Continuous Update Project mechanisms framework feasibility study after which she continued her research within the EnCoRe study project.

She completed her PhD within the department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University, during which she was involved in setting up the EnCoRe study and investigated associations of physical activity and sedentary behavior with quality of life after colorectal cancer. She conducted part of this work during a 2-month work visit to the University of Queensland in Australia in 2014, where she analyzed accelerometer-derived patterns of sedentary behavior in relation to quality of life outcomes in colorectal cancer survivors included in the EnCoRe study. During her PhD, she was a PhD representative within the GROW – School of Oncology and Developmental Biology at Maastricht University.

Next to her published papers, Dr van Roekel is also author on several abstracts on the EnCoRe study, which have been presented at high impact international conferences including our joint Conference with World Obesity Federation “Obesity, Physical Activity and Cancer in London”. She received a poster prize at the annual WEON Epidemiology conference in the Netherlands (2014), where she presented findings on adherence to the Dutch physical activity guideline and health-related quality of life in long-term colorectal cancer survivors within the EnCoRe study.

She completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Epidemiology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. During her MSc, she undertook a 7-month internship at Birmingham University, UK, assessing the influence of smoking on clinical characteristics of bladder cancer at diagnosis.

Selected publications

2011 Fellows

Dr Daniel CommaneDr Daniel Commane

University of Reading, UK

"My motivation for taking this course was to deepen my understanding of, and skill set in, nutritional epidemiology. It served as an excellent networking opportunity and has helped me to refine longer term research planning."

Biography & research interests

Dr Commane is a lecturer in Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, where he supervises PhD and MSc students on projects exploring diet - gene interactions in relation to biomarkers of bowel cancer risk and also in elucidating dietary influences on gastro-intestinal barrier function.

Dr Commane’s post-doctoral work was conducted at the University of Newcastle, where he coordinated the BORICC study that set out to develop diet related biomarkers of bowel cancer risk. He is also a registered nutritionist with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists.

For his PhD, Dr Commane explored the potential anti-carcinogenic activities of pro and prebiotics at the University of Ulster, UK (2004). He developed his teaching skills at the University of Chester, UK, where he contributed to the Nutrition and Dietetics programmes between 2009 and 2010.

Selected publications

Ms Renate Heine-BröringMs Renate Heine-Bröring

Lecturer, Nutrition and Dietetics
Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands

"My aim is to further develop myself as an epidemiologist after my PhD, preferably in the field of cancer prevention and control. I was searching for an advanced course to extend my current knowledge and provide insight into the analysis and interpretation of results in the field of nutritional epidemiology, and its impact on public health."

Biography & research interests

Ms Bröring is a dietician by training, and is currently a lecturer Nutrition and Dietetics at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. She undertook her PhD on the 'Colecteral cancer project’ - a project examining diet, dietary supplements and body fatness in colorectal tumour development, progression and survival at Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Her PhD is supervised by Professor Ellen Kampman and supported by World Cancer Research Fund Netherlands (Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds). Her work involves analysis and interpretation of data from on-going cohort studies on colorectal cancer survivors, sporadic colorectal adenoma patients and Lynch Syndrome patients.

Ms Bröring has an MSc in Nutrition and Epidemiology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands that included an internship in cancer prevention at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA.

Selected publications

Dr Elima Jedy-AgbaDr Elima Jedy-Agba

Fogarty Coordinator
Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria

"I have learned more about epidemiology with reference to the field of nutritional research and the course inspired me to apply this knowledge during my PhD."

Biography & research interests

Dr Jedy-Agba is the Fogarty Coordinator at the Office of Research, Strategic Information and Training, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, where she coordinates the National Cancer Registry Program recently initiated by the Institute. Her special interests are in cancer registration, epidemiology and research into HIV associated malignancies.

She is certified in Cancer Registration and Cancer Epidemiology by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and has facilitated at several cancer registration workshops in Nigeria, organised by the Institute of Human Virology in collaboration with IARC and the Federal Ministry of Health.

She obtained her M.B.B.CH (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree from the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria and has subsequently attained an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.

Selected publications

Dr Salome A. RebelloDr Salome A. Rebello

Post doctoral Research associate
National University of Singapore, Singapore

"I was excited to learn about the course from colleagues, some of whom had taken it in previous years. It enabled me to meet some of the leading thinkers in the field, benefit from their experiences in understanding best practices, and learn how to approach analytical challenges."

Biography & research interests

Dr Rebello is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore. She is part of an initiative that uses a cross-disciplinary multi-sectoral approach in understanding the increasing prevalence of obesity and Type-2 diabetes in Asia.

She is also engaged in departmental efforts to refine dietary capture tools and to update the local dietary database with regards to important chemopreventive nutrients including folate and vitamin-D. She is interested in understanding the relationship between dietary exposures and chronic disease prevention in Asian populations.

Dr Rebello obtained a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA (2009) that focused on the metabolism of soy isoflavonoids and its role in prostate cancer prevention in men at higher risk of developing the disease. She was awarded the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2007-2008) to support her research work and a graduate student teaching award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture for her work as a Teaching Assistant (2005).

Selected publications

Dr Dominique SchererDr Dominique Scherer

Postdoctoral Fellow
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Preventive Oncology, Germany

"I am very motivated to learn more about the methods that are being used to assess the impact of nutrition on public health and greatly appreciated taking part in the 3rd International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology."

Biography & research interests

Dr Scherer is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Preventive Oncology at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg, Germany. She is involved in a number of projects that aim to identify genetic as well as environmental risk factors that predispose individuals to colorectal cancer, or influence survival or therapy response in colorectal cancer patients.

Previously she held postdoctoral positions in the USA and Germany. At Stanford University in the USA, she analysed lymphoblastoid cell lines to identify genetic variants that associate with inter-individual differences in drug response. While at the Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, Würzburg, she worked on the identification of genetic and genomic markers, which associate with risk of melanoma or with survival and therapy response in melanoma patients.

Her PhD work was awarded with summa cum laude by the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2009) and was on the role of polymorphisms in pigmentation related and DNA repair genes in basal cell carcinoma of the skin and melanoma.

Selected publications

Mr Tony Ka Chun YungMr Tony Ka Chun Yung

Senior Lecturer
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

"It was a fruitful experience having learned from so many world-class experts in nutritional epidemiology. The course truly broadened my vision in the methodological aspect of cancer research. It provided in-depth and practical information for those researchers who lack relevant experience.

"I am grateful to WCRF for providing me a chance to learn from the experts and strongly recommend researchers of nutritional epidemiology to attend such a valuable course."

Biography & research interests

Dr Yung is a senior lecturer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests focus on dietary behaviours of vulnerable populations and has worked on a study supported by World Cancer Research Fund UK, which investigated whether changes in food and supplements consumption before and after diagnosis affected the quality of life in breast cancer survivors.

Dr Yung is registered as an accredited practicing dietitian in Australia, as well as a sports dietitian and an accredited nutritionist. Previously he also taught public health nutrition to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Dr Yung studied for a PhD in public health nutrition at the School of Public Health and Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  He also has a MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Sydney, Australia (2002).

Selected publications

2010 Fellows

Dr Will ChanDr Will Chan

Post-Doctoral Fellow
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

"This course (and the Conference) was most rewarding and wonderful experience.

"The WCRF Academy brings together clinicians and scientists worldwide with the passion for combating cancer and chronic diseases. I strongly believe it is only the beginning but not an end to have this course completed. I most enthusiastically look forward to future academy fellow activities and collaborations with the fellows worldwide that I have met in this course."

Biography & research interests

Dr Will Chan is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong. He is currently a co-investigator on a research project at the University of Hong Kong, which aims to develop the world’s leading case-control study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma based in Southern China.

His research interests extend to nutritional epidemiology, cancer, clinical and molecular epidemiology, prevention, and dietary and lifestyle intervention.

In 2006, Will obtained an MSc in Research in Medicine, and holds a MBBS degree.

Selected publications

Dr Helen Coleman (nee Mulholland)Dr Helen Coleman (nee Mulholland)

Lecturer & Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cancer Epidemiology
Queen's University Belfast, UK

"Attending this course was instrumental in my career development in the field of nutrition and cancer epidemiology. The topics covered directly influenced my approach to research study design and analysis, particularly with respect to energy adjustment and nutrient-gene interactions.

"Being a WCRF Fellow allowed me to meet researchers from around the world, many of whom I remain in contact with, and has provided many subsequent opportunities for networking and knowledge acquisition. I cannot praise the course, and WCRF’s continuing support for their alumni fellows, highly enough."

Biography & research interests

Dr Helen Coleman holds a Cancer Research UK Postdoctoral Fellowship; she is working to establish new cohort that will allow her to study the association between tumour markers of vitamin D, related genetic variants and colon cancer progression. She was appointed as a Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2013, where she has developed a module on ‘Cancer Trends around the World’ for undergraduate medicine students. Read her blog on how the WCRF International Fellowship helped further her career.

Previously Dr Coleman undertook a Visiting Research Fellow placement at Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Nashville, USA, in summer 2013 to further develop her expertise in colorectal polyp and cancer research.

She completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (2009), where she won the Best PhD student prize for that year. She carried out epidemiological research looking at dietary glycaemic index, glycaemic load, and carbohydrate intake in the context of cancer risk. She completed a BSc in Human Nutrition with first class honours from the University of Ulster, UK (2006).

Selected publications

Dr Jessica Kiefte-de JongDr Jessica Kiefte-de Jong

Assistant Professor, Global Public Health
Leiden University, the Netherlands

"I have learned more about epidemiology with reference to the field of nutritional research and the course inspired me to apply this knowledge during my PhD."

Biography & research interests

Dr Jong is an assistant professor of Global Public Health at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Previously she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on nutrition and ageing research at the Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Previously she worked as a clinical dietitian at several hospitals in the Netherlands, including Groene Hart Hospital, Gouda and VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

Dr Jong obtained her PhD from the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2012). It focused on early life nutrition, allergies and the gastro-intestinal tract in childhood and was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study from foetal life until young adulthood.

She completed a MSc in Public Health Research from the Wageningen University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she explored the influence of HLA-DR expression and nutritional status on clinical outcome in head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapy, as well as looking at DNA methylation and anti-oxidant therapy in uremic patients.

Selected publications

Dr Fariba KolahdoozDr Fariba Kolahdooz

Assistant Director of Research with the Aboriginal
and Global Health Research Group, University of Alberta, Canada

"I was amazed how much I learnt during the course and gained a lot of up-to-date information and knowledge. I benefited from the course because not only it has provided published insights in the field of nutrition but has substantially strengthened my academic standing, and professional skills."

Biography & research interests

Dr Kolahdooz is Assistant Director of Research with the Aboriginal and Global Health Research Group. Her role involves helping train staff and developing methodology and intervention activities.

She previously worked as a Research Assistant Professor at the Ministry of Health, Iran, where she was responsible for providing scientific advice, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Iran University of Medical Sciences, where she taught, supervised student projects and carried out research.

Prior to her academic career, she worked as a Senior Nutrition Officer for the Nutrition Department at the Ministry of Health in Iran, where she was in charge of designing and implementing public health research projects and national surveys.

Dr Kolahdooz completed a PhD in Nutrition from the School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Her PhD, which was funded by a scholarship from the World Bank, explored the links between dietary factors and ovarian cancer risk.

She also has an MSc in Nutrition from the National Nutrition & Food Technology Institute at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran. She also has an MSc in Nutrition from the National Nutrition & Food Technology Institute at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

Selected publications

Dr Selby NicholsDr Selby Nichols

Lecturer & Head of Department
University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

"I would recommend this course to anyone seriously interested in conducting and evaluating studies of the nutrition related chronic non-communicable diseases.

"On my return, I was able to transfer many of the concepts taught to my classes. I have been able to encourage two students to consider working in cancer epidemiology."

Biography & research interests

Dr Nichols is a lecturer in Nutrition and the Head of the Department of Agriculture Economics and Extension at the Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of the West Indies, in Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition to his teaching and student thesis supervising duties, Selby carries out his own research on nutrition and public health. His publications cover nutritional and anthropometric assessment, obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases, dietary intervention, adolescent health and body image perception.

He has a PhD in Nutrition from the University of the West Indies, in Jamaica, and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, at University College of London, UK.

Selected publications

Dr Fikru Tesfaye Tullu

Dr Fikru Tesfaye Tullu

Associate Professor
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

"With my teaching experience in nutrition and my recent PhD training in Epidemiology, I believe the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology will enable me to integrate the two fields so as to develop the curriculum and administer the course in Nutritional Epidemiology at the School of Public Health."

Biography & research interests

Dr Tullu is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health of the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. His academic duties include lecturing on Public Health Nutrition, both at postgraduate and undergraduate level, as well as supervising the research of postgraduate students. Dr Tullu also conducts his own applied research on health, and serves as a consultant for the Federal Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the WHO Africa Regional Office (AFRO).

Dr Tullu provided expertise to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to assess the management capacities and performances of funding recipients in Ethiopia. He has also provided consultancy to the Federal Ministry of Health and the WHO Ethiopia Country Office on the development of the National Strategic Framework for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases in Ethiopia.

In addition to his degree in Medicine, he has an MSc in Public Health from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from the Umeå University, Sweden.

Selected publications

2009 Fellows

Dr Bianca Benassi-EvansDr Bianca Benassi-Evans

Post-Doctoral Fellow
CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, Australia

"I thought the [International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology] course was a fabulous introduction to the world of nutrition, epidemiology and public health and it has inspired me to further my experience in this field with formal qualifications."

Biography & research interests

Dr Bianca Benassi-Evans research interests include the Impact of nutrition on genome health, and dietary patterns for weight loss and impact on genome health and colorectal cancer risk.

Selected publications

Dr Genevieve BucklandDr Genevieve Buckland

Nutritional Epidemiologist
Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain

"I left [the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology course] feeling very motivated and inspired with new ideas and improved approaches and techniques to apply in my current work and research within the area of cancer and nutrition."

Biography & research interests

Dr Buckland is a nutritional epidemiologist at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain. Previously a research Fellow at this institution, she has carried out research within the EPIC cohort, from the Barcelona centre that focuses on gastric cancer (Eur-Gast project). She also collaborated on various projects in Interact, including the relationship between type 2 diabetes and the Mediterranean diet (in EPIC Europe and Epic-Spain) and type 2 diabetes and glycaemia index and glycaemia load. Additionally, she collaborated in the Panacea project on the Mediterranean diet and obesity led by Dora Romaguera.

She obtained her PhD on adherence to the Mediterranean diet and risk of chronic diseases, and holds an MSc in Public Health Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London.

Selected publications

Dr Christina DahmDr Christina Dahm

Associate Professor, Department of Public Health
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark

"I found the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology both instructive and enjoyable. It coupled a diverse group of students from all over the world, and with wide-ranging areas of expertise, to a stimulating forum for debate of issues specific to nutritional epidemiology.

"Attendance would not have been possible without the generous support of the WCRF, and I have made friends and contacts here with peers and potential mentors that will be extremely fruitful to my research career in the future."

Biography & research interests

Dr Dahm’s research focuses on nutrition, non-communicable disease and anthropometry. Her work involves the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort in Denmark, as well as the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). She held a 6-month Visiting Scientist position at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston USA, working with the Nurses’ Health Study II on diet and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Selected publications

Dr Tsogzolmaa DorjgochooDr Tsogzolmaa Dorjgochoo

Research Fellow
Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, USA

Biography & research interests

Dr Dorjgochoo's main research interests include risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and breast and reproductive cancers, and their progression or survivorship, life style and dietary factors, as well as oxidative stress and antioxidants (vitamins and polyphenols).

Selected publications

Dr Anne GilsingDr Anne Gilsing

Postdoctoral Fellow
McMaster University, Canada

"The [International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology] course has offered me the opportunity to learn from individuals with expertise in all aspects of nutritional epidemiology. I believe that the Academy had an excellent start by collaborating with the first International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology and I am happy to be part of the WCRF Fellows network."

Biography & research interests

Dr Gilsing is a postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University, Canada where she focuses on nutrition, body composition and healthy ageing. She completed her PhD on the associations between meat consumption, vegetarian- and low meat diets and the risk of cancer in 2014 at Maastricht University, the Netherlands on a project funded by World Cancer Research Fund. Dr Gilsing also worked on the EPIC-Oxford Study during her MPhil, as well as Cancer epidemiology, involving the Netherlands Cohort study on diet and cancer. 

Selected publications


Roselle LeeDr Roselle Lee

Research Associate
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"With the support of the WCRF International Fellowship, I had the privilege to attend the Nutritional Epidemiology Course organised by Imperial College London. It was an incredible experience through learning from key people in the field on how they overcame the methodological challenges or practical limitations in their studies.

"The techniques, and more importantly, the inspirations I gained through the Fellowship, continue to play a valuable role in my current research in women’s health and breast cancer prevention."

Biography & research interests

Dr Lee’s main research interests include the dietary and lifestyle factors on breast cancer prognosis, dietary patterns and health outcomes, intergenerational transfer of dietary patterns, and the roles of media in dietary intakes.

Selected publications