Activities and ethos of the group Activities and ethos of the group

89% of the Department’s research was rated as world leading/internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) and our research publications were rated 6th in the UK (Sub-panel 6, REF2014). Our interdisciplinary research strategy investigates the impact of key dietary components on major age-related chronic diseases, in particular cardiovascular and metabolic health, and cognitive health and decline, and can be broadly divided into 3 main research themes:

• Flavonoids and other polyphenols;

• Dietary fats;

• Nutrigenetics

A unique aspect of our research is our integrated approach. We use a combination of cell/animal models, carefully phenotyped population based cohorts (Harvard cohorts (Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-Up Study), Framingham, EU/National population based studies) and intervention trials in healthy and patient groups, to investigate food bioactive absorption and metabolism, impact on risk biomarkers and incident disease, and physiological and molecular mechanisms of action. We have a growing interest in the impact of the microbiome and flavonoid metabolism on cardiometabolic health. 

key areas of research key areas of research

  • Flavonoids, their metabolites and cardiometabolic health
  • n-3 fatty acids and the cardiometabolic phenotype
  • Diet and age-related cognitive decline
  • Flavonoids, the microbiome and health
  • Biomarkers of dietary exposure
  • Diet-gene interactions 
  • APOE genotype, health and response to dietary change

researchers researchers

Head of Department:

Anne Marie Minihane, Professor of Nutrigenetics


Dr Peter Curtis, Senior Research Fellow
Sue Fairweather-Tait, Professor in Human Nutrition (Mineral Metabolism)
Gwen Le Gall, ATR, Lecturer in Nutritional Biochemistry
Anne Marie Minihane, ATR, Professor of Nutrigenetics
Michael Muller, ATR, Professor of Nutrigenomics
Dr David Vauzour, Senior Research Fellow

Research Associates, PhD students and visiting scientists:

Dr Nicky Bondonno
Caoimhe Flynn
Rachel Gillings
Dr Amy Jennings
Alice O’Brien
Matthew Pontifex
Laura Haag
Dr Rasha Saleh

Secondary affiliation

Yongping Bao, Reader in Nutrition Biochemistry
Ian Clark, Prof of Musculoskeletal Biology
Jack Dainty, statistician/mathematical modeller
Alastair Forbes, Clinical Professor
William Fraser, Prof of Medicine
Richard Hayhoe, Research Associate
Lee Hooper, Reader in Research Synthesis
Andrew Hart, Clinical Professor
Alexander MacGregor, Prof of Genetic Epidemiology
Helen Murphy, Clinical Professor in Medicine (Diabetes and Antenatal Care)
John Potter, Clinical Professor
Simon Rushbrook, Hepatologist
Inez Schoenmakers, Senior Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Ailsa Welch, Professor in Nutritional Epidemiology
Andrew Wilson, Clinical Professor (Respiratory)

external collaborators external collaborators

  • Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: Dietary flavonoids and cardiometabolic health
  • Harvard Medical School: Moderate alcohol and cardiovascular health (MACH15)- a worldwide clinical study,
  • TUFTS: Dietary flavonoids and cardiometabolic health
  • University of Kiel:APOE genotype and inflammation, POPGEN (flavonoids)
  • Nutrition and Cognition, University of Illinois
  • Lipid metabolism and molecular nutrition, University of Waginingen,

In the UK we have collaborations with colleagues from:
King's College London, University of Cambridge, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, University of Reading

other information other information

Our main research funders are the BBSRC, USDA/USHBC, NIH/NIAAA, EU, Alz Soc ARUK, and several industrial collaborators including Abbott Healthcare and Unilever Best Foods