Closing the Gap
| NUTRIM Symposium 2023


Constance Sommerey
Lecture: Diversity and inclusivity

Constance Sommerey is UM's first Diversity Officer. She has earned a PhD from UM in 2015,and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Diversity and inclusivity also play a big role in her research. As UM's Diversity Officer, her task is to translate ideas about diversity and inclusivity into concrete policy measures with the aim to become a truly inclusive university in which students and staff feel valued for their individual, diverse viewpoints and experiences.

Jessica Gubbels
Lecture: Environment and Behavior: Putting Obesity into Context

Dr. Jessica Sophia Gubbels is an associate professor at the department of Health Promotion. Her research mainly focuses on the (environmental) determinants of nutrition behavior, physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep of young children and their families; as well as the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions targeting these behaviors. Most of her projects focus on the influence of families and parents, and early care and education (ECE) / childcare. She has a special interest in the interaction between determinants of health behavior and integrated health promotion approaches.

Ellen Blaak
Lecture: Metabolic phenotypes in obesity: Implications for precision nutrition strategies

Prof. Ellen Blaak is Professor in Human Biology since 2007 and is Chair of the Department of Human Biology. Her research focuses on the interorgan metabolic cross talk (gut-adipose tissue-muscle metabolism) in the aetiology of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as the impact of nutritional or lifestyle intervention. She is member of the Nutrition committee of the Dutch Health Council and of several advisory board/grant evaluation committees. She is Secretary of the European Association for the Study of Obesity.  

John Penders
Lecture: The Understudied and Vanishing Microbiomes of Traditional Populations

Associate Professor John Penders studied Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Maastricht University and received his Ph.D. on the infant gut microbiota in atopic diseases at the Department of Epidemiology of Maastricht University. After visiting scholarships at the Charité Universitätsmedizin (Berlin, Germany) and Stanford University (USA), he started as an Assistant and later Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology of Maastricht University Medical Centre+. Currently, Penders is the principle investigator of the microbiome research group at this Department and chair of the Euregional Microbiome Center, a collaborative effort between Maastricht University (the Netherlands), Uniklinik RWTH Aachen (Germany) and the University of Liège (Belgium). His group focuses on the role of microbiome in health and disease with a strong focus on longitudinal microbiome profiling within the context of prospective observational and intervention studies.

Janine Felix
Lecture: Generation R - strength in diversit

Dr. Janine Felix is one of the researchers of Generation R, the population study into the growth, development and health of thousands of Rotterdam children growing up. Generation R is part of Erasmus MC. In collaboration with Erasmus MC and parties across the city and a large group of enthusiastic Rotterdammers, Generation R is looking for factors that influence health and development of mothers and their children. The study consists of several cohorts: Generation R (2001-present), Generation R Next (2017-2023) and Generation R Next - Optimal Growing Up (2023-present). The Generation R Study is a prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood in a multi-ethnic urban population. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health from fetal life until young adulthood. Eventually, results forthcoming from the Generation R Study have to contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. Spring 2017 Generation R launched a new cohort study: Generation R Next. An important aim of Generation R Next is to study the health and lifestyle of a mother to be before pregnancy and the effects on the growth and development of her child.


NUTRIM | School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism
NUTRIM aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalised medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions. This is facilitated by a state of the art research infrastructure and close interaction between scientists, clinicians, master and PhD students.