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

Our mission is, (1) to conduct world-leading nutrition research which spans from fundamental mechanistic studies to large pragmatic trials in healthy participants and ‘at risk’ groups, and (2) to effectively educate our MBBS, PA and PGR students in the understanding of nutrition in health and disease-risk reduction. Through both mechanisms we will help deliver the government Ageing Grand Challenge goal of increasing healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035.

We investigate the impact of key dietary components and dietary patterns on health and risk of major age-related chronic diseases, in particular cardio-metabolic health, musculoskeletal health, cognitive health and dementia, micronutrient status and prostate cancer. A unique aspect of our research is our integrated approach. Using a combination of cell and animal models, carefully phenotyped population based cohorts (EPIC Norfolk and Potsdam, Twins UK, UK Biobank etc.) and intervention trials in healthy and patient groups, food bioactive absorption and metabolism, their impact on risk biomarkers and incident disease, and physiological and molecular mechanisms of action are investrigated. We also have an interest in Mediterranean style dietary patterns, gut health and genomics and lipidomics.

In the 2014 REF exercise, 89% of the UEA nutrition submission’s research was rated as world leading/internationally excellent and our research publications were rated 6th in the UK (Sub-panel 6). It is anticipated that we are in a position to even better this score in the REF 2021 exercise. To do so, in addition to our strong portfolio of outputs, and the required impact cases, we need to ensure we are internally cohesive, externally responsive and relevant, and have an ambitious research environment going forward, including industrial partnerships.   

key areas of research key areas of research

  • Flavonoids and their metabolites, and cardio-metabolic and cognitive health
  • n-3 fatty acids, metabolism and cognition
  • Gut-liver-brain axis and the role of the microbiota
  • Micronutrient status, health and malnutrition e.g. iron and vitamin D
  • Dietary fibres and glucose metabolism
  • Nutrient-gene interactions and personalised nutrition

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, Lecturer in Nutritional Biochemistry
Anne Marie Minihane, Professor of Nutrigenetics
Michael Muller, Professor of Nutrigenomics
Dr David Vauzour, Senior Research Fellow

Research Associates, PhD students and visiting scientists:

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

Secondary affiliation

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