Newcastle University

United Kingdom

Newcastle University, established in 1834, is a world-class research-intensive civic university, committed to research excellence and innovation.

newcastleIt is a member of the Russell Group, the association of the 20 leading research-intensive UK universities and have one of the largest European Union research portfolios in the UK. Its research aims to respond to societal needs and challenges particularly connected to the themes of ageing and health, sustainability and social renewal, through an interdisciplinary approach, and public and industry engagement.

Newcastle University has two research centres involved in Food4Me: the Human Nutrition Research Centre and the Centre for Rural Economy.

The Human Nutrition Research Centre (HNRC)

The Human Nutrition Research Centre (HNRC) at Newcastle University was established in 1994 as a multi-disciplinary, cross-faculty research centre. The HNRC's remit is to undertake research into the links between nutrition and health and, in particular, on interventions which could reduce the risk of common non-communicable diseases and so improve public health.


The main research areas for the HNRC are obesity and ageing, which are the major public health priorities of the 21st century. Diet plays a significant role in the development of obesity and food choices modulate the ageing trajectory. HNRC's strategy is to focus research in these, and related, areas of high public health significance including the prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

Much of its research is multi-disciplinary and in many cases it takes a life-course approach. Its research ranges from basic molecular and cellular mechanisms of links between nutrition and health to the development of dietary interventions for maintenance of health and wellbeing.

The HNRC has long-standing experience in human nutrition and lifestyle intervention trials. The research team leads and collaborate in several large-scale studies including:

  • MRC Guidelines on (bio) Markers of healthy Ageing
  • The LiveWell Programme: Developing pragmatic interventions to enhance health and wellbeing in later life
  • Predisposed to Obesity? A Study into Environmental Equity and the possible Obesogenic Environment
  • Impact of Non-Digestible Carbohydrates on Biomarkers of GI Health: A Human Intervention Study

Within Food4Me, the HNRC leads the multicenter intervention trial, across 8 European countries and contributes to other work including that concerned with tools and technologies and in the area of ethical issues.

For more information about the HNRC click here

Centre for Rural Economy (CRE)

The Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) is located within the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and specialises in interdisciplinary social science and applied policy research oriented towards the achievement of a sustainable rural economy. Within the CRE, the Food and Society Group engages with academic and policy debates relating to:

  • Effective and inclusive agri-food governance
  • Food safety and security
  • Sustainable production and novel technologies
  • Consumer health and food behaviour change
  • Consumer food choice

The examination of individual and societal contributions to these key areas provides both standalone research and social science input into interdisciplinary research. 

Active interdisciplinary projects include:

  • FP7 Food4Me: 'Personalised Nutrition: An Integrated Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges'.
  • FP7 PEGASUS: 'Public Perception of Genetically modified (GM) Animals – Science, Utility and Society'
  • FP7 BROWSE: 'Bystanders, Residents, Operators and WorkerS Exposure models for plant protection products'

CRE's Food and Society Group is leading Food4Me's on consumer attitudes to personalised nutrition.

For more information about the CRE click here

The Researchers

 Meet the Newcastle University scientists involved in the Food4Me proof of principle study.

Professor John Mathers

john matherssmall

 John is Professor in Human Nutrition and the Director of the Human Nutrition Research Centre (HNRC) established in 1994 and Scientific Director, Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University. He is Principle Investigator for a portfolio of research projects in the areas of nutrition and the prevention of common non-transmissible diseases including colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease.

His work includes studies on the biological basis of ageing and range from molecular and cell biological studies, through to investigations in human volunteers into nutritional epidemiology. John has more than 30 yearsof experience in the field of human nutrition and lifestyle studies.

Role and responsibility in Food4Me

Within Food4Me, John leads the proof of principle study, across 8 European countries and contributes to other areas including work concerned with tools and technologies and in the area of ethical issues.

Dr. Carlos Celis-Morales

carloscelissmallCarlos works as a Research Associate for the Food4Me project at the Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University. Carlos obtained his PhD at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Science, University of Glasgow, UK. His PhD focused on "Effect of Genes, Environment and Ethnicity on Insulin Resistance and Obesity in Aboriginal and Non-aboriginal South American Populations".

Additionally, he had contributed towards several research projects, focusing on physical activity and nutritional interventions in children and adult population, targeting obesity and metabolic-related disorders in developed and developing countries.

Role and responsibility in Food4Me

Within Food4Me, Carlos' work is focussed in the proof of principle study, across 8 European countries. He also contributes to other work, including that concerned with tools and technologies and in the area of ethical issues.


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