Keynote speakers

Dr. Mirta Alessandrini

Wageningen University & Research

Mirta Alessandrini is Lecturer and Researcher in the Law Group at the Wageningen University & Research (WUR), The Netherlands. She graduated (cum laude) from Law School – the University of Milan in 2017 and holds a PhD in Food Law from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy (2021), during which she conducted a research visit at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). She is the Academic Coordinator for the MSc Food Safety - 'Food Law & Regulatory Affairs' Specialisation (WUR) and coordinates two courses on the regulation of the EU food system and agri-food laws and policy. Until 2021, she took part in the H2020 SmartChain project on the promotion of innovation in short food supply chains (SFSCs). She is an expert in the regulation of SFSCs and the author of the book “Regulating Short Food Supply Chains in the EU” (Springer, forthcoming). Her research activity focuses on the Common Agricultural Policy, GMOs, Novel Food and Sustainability legislation.

Prof. Eric Decker

Tentative title: The role of oleosomes on the oxidative stability of foods

Eric Decker is currently a Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Dr. Decker is actively conducting research to characterize mechanisms of lipid oxidation, antioxidant protection of foods and the health implications of bioactive lipids. Dr. Decker has over 350 publications and he is listed as one of the Most Highly Cited Scientists in Agriculture. Dr. Decker has served on numerous committees for institutions such as FDA, Institute of Medicine, Institute of Food Technologist, USDA and the American Heart Association.  He has received numerous recognition for his research including awards from the American Oil Chemist Society, the Agriculture and Food Chemistry Division of ACS, the International Life Science Institute, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Food Technologist.

Dr. Costas Nikiforidis

Associate Professor, Biobased Chemistry and Technology, Wageningen University & Research

Dr. Costas (K) Nikiforidis studied Chemistry at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, and performed a PhD in Physical Chemistry of Foods. After completing his PhD research, he moved to Wageningen University, Netherlands, where he is working for more than 10 years. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Biobased Soft Materials and he is leading a team of 10 Ph.D. candidates, 1 postdoctoral researcher, and several undergraduate students. His research activities focus on the bio-sourcing of molecules and molecular complexes and their use to create sustainable and functional materials. Dr Costas Nikiforidis has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, has 1 patent, and is frequently invited to speak in conferences, universities, and companies.

Dr. Kent Chapman

Kent Chapman earned a B.A. degree in biology in 1986 from Lycoming College, and a Ph.D. degree in botany from Arizona State University. After completing his doctoral degree, Chapman was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to study plant biochemistry at Louisiana State University. In 1993, he accepted a position as a tenure-track, Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas (UNT). During the last 29 years, Chapman has developed an internationally-recognized research program in plant biochemistry and cell biology, specifically in the area of plant lipid metabolism. The Chapman lab has contributed more than 170 publications to the primary literature, and provided new ideas about the evolutionary conservation of lipid metabolism, storage and function in eukaryotes. Chapman proposed and chaired the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Plant Lipids in 2009, which is now a permanent, standing GRC. Chapman received the first Research Leadership Award at UNT for National and International Scientific Achievement in Research, and in 2010 was appointed Regents Professor of Biochemistry. In 2014-15, he served a rotating term as Program Director at the US National Science Foundation. Chapman is Executive Editor for the journal, Progress in Lipid Research, and reviewing editor for The Plant Cell. Chapman was awarded the Terry Galliard Medal in 2020 by the International Plant Lipid Symposium for contributions in plant lipid biochemistry. In 2021, he and was named Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society. Chapman currently serves as Director of the UNT BioDiscovery Institute.

None Yonghua Li-Beisson

Yonghua Li-Beisson is a biologist specialized in lipid metabolism. She obtained a PhD on lipid metabolism in oleaginous filamentous fungi (Colin Ratledge's laboratory, U.K.) where her work highlighted the importance of reducing power (via the malic enzyme) in the stimulation of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis. She then did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of John Ohlrogge (MSU, USA), where she studied lipid metabolism in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Together with other members of the group, she made several discoveries on the biosynthesis and export of cutin/suberin monomers, lipid-based polyesters that occur widely in nature and play important physiological and developmental functions. At CEA Cadarache, she focused on the study of photosynthetic carbon metabolism in microalgae. Her general objectives are to understand the molecular mechanisms of the conversion of light energy into chemical energy contained in microalgae storage compounds such as lipids and starch. In particular, she is interested in the subcellular energetics and compartmentalization that govern CO2 capture and carbon flux into fatty acids and stored as lipid droplets. One particular current focus is on the biogenesis and turnover of lipid droplet during environmental fluctuations in microalgae. In summary, her research focuses on microalgae metabolism, physiology and biotechnology in the context of bioenergy and the circular carbon economy. In addition to research, she serves as members of the editorial board for the Plant Cell and the journal Plant Cell and Physiology, and serve on the advisory board for New Phytologist. She is the director for the team focusing on algal photosynthesis and metabolism, and she also leads the European platform HelioBiotec.