Personal profile

Areas of Expertise


Professor of Nutrigenetics, Head of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine in Norwich Medical School, Director of Norfolk Institute of Healthy Ageing (NIHA)

Our research investigates the impact of select dietary components (in particular n-3 fatty acids) and a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern on cardio-metabolic and cognitive health. We also investigate nutrient-genotype interactions with a focus on the APOE genotype, establishing the aetiology of genotype-health associations and dietary strategies to mitigate the effects of the ‘at-risk’ APOE4 allele. 

Having completed my first degree in Nutrition and Biochemistry at University College Cork (Ireland), I moved to the UK to complete my PhD. I have been based here ever since, apart from a one-year stay at Auckland Medical School (NZ).

I enjoy the outdoors and in particular running, good food and wandering around supermarkets, social and historical fiction, and travel and its planning.


Professional Memberships

British Nutrition Society

American Society of Nutrition

International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)

Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO)



Key Research Interests

I am Head of the NUTRIGENETICS group within the Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, with our key research interests being:

  • Nutrigenetics,
  • n-3 fatty acids and cardio-metabolic health, with a focus on plasma lipids, and vascular and hepatic function,
  • Cognition and Alzheimer’s disease,
  • Aetiology of APOE4 genotype-chronic disease associations,
  • Determinants of flavonoid metabolism.


Research approaches

A large proportion of our research involves human intervention trials (RCTs). In addition, we employ a variety of wild-type and transgenic rodent models and cell and molecular techniques to investigate underlying mechanisms, and to inform the foci of our RCTs.


Examples of ongoing RCTs include:

  • Apple Tree (ESRC-NIHR funded, 2019-2024): Active Prevention in People at Risk of Dementia through Lifestyle, Behaviour change and Technology to build resilience, 20+ research partners 
  • NuBrain (BBSRC-MRC-NIHR funded (UK NRP), 2019-2022: UK Consortium for Optimal Nutrition for Healthy Brain Ageing, Newcastle, Norwich, Edinburgh, Manchester.

  • MedEx (Alzheimer’s Research UK-MRC funded, 2018-2021): Diet, physical activity and dementia risk in UK adults: Epidemiology and MedEx feasibility study, Norwich, Newcastle, Birmingham and Aberdeen.

  • CANN (Centre of Nutrition Memory and Learning, CNLM, University of Illinois funded, 2015-2020): A Randomised Controlled Trial in ‘At Risk’ Humans investigating the Cognitive Benefits of Combined Flavonoid/Fatty Acid and Underlying Mechanisms of Action: The Cognitive Aging Nutrition and Neurogenesis (CANN) trial (n=240), Norwich, Melbourne, Illinois


    Current Collaborators

    Prof Neal Cohen, Dr Ryan Larsen: University of Illinois, US

    Prof Andrew Scholey, Prof Andrew Pipingas: Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

    Prof Trevor Mori, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

    Prof Dr Matthias Schulze, DIFE, Potsdam, Germany

    Prof Jose Lopez Miranda, University of Cordoba, Spain

    Prof Miguel Martinez Gonzalez, Dr Cristina Razquin Burillo, Universidad de Navarra, Spain

    Prof Marienne Geleijnse, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

    Prof Julie Lovegrove, Dr Kim Jackson, University of Reading, UK

    Prof John Mathers, Newcastle University, UK

    Dr Sarah Aldred, University of Birmingham, UK

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Quadram Institute Bioscience

… → 1996

Bachelor of Science, University College Cork

… → 1991

Media Expertise

  • Healthy Ageing
  • Dementia
  • Nutrition

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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