Scientific committee

Dr. Fabien Alpy

Strasbourg, France

Dr. Fabien Alpy is working at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC) in Illkirch, France, in the “Molecular and Cellular Biology of Breast Cancer” team. He is studying the role of inter-organelle contacts in cancer cells, and in particular endoplasmic reticulum - endosome contacts function in cholesterol transport.

Prof. Burkhard Bechinger

Strasbourg, France

Burkhard Bechinger did his PhD at the Biocentre Basel in the Biophysical Chemistry Department. Supported by an EMBO long-term fellowship he then moved to the University of Pennsylvania, USA for three years to develop new techniques for the structural analysis of membrane peptides. These investigations led to new concepts on how antimicrobial peptides work and interact with membranes. In 1993 he established his own team at the MPI in Dortmund and became Head of the Independent Junior Research group for solid-state NMR at the MPI of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. Since 2001 he is full professor in the Chemistry Institute of the University of Strasbourg, France where he heads the NMR and Membrane Biophysics team. Since 2016 also Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. In mid 2020 he was invited to be Executive Editor of BBA Biomembranes.

Our research aims at a molecular understanding of membrane associated processes such as antibacterial action of peptides and the transfection of large macromolecules into cells. Furthermore, peptide fibres that enhance lentiviral transduction are studied at high resolution. To this end the team uses and develops solid-state NMR spectroscopy, including distance measurements by magic angle sample spinning and the use of oriented bilayers to derive topological information of polypeptides in membranes as well as other biophysical approaches.

Dr. Claire Berton-Carabin

Research Director, INRAE

Claire Berton-Carabin is currently Research Director (Senior scientist) at INRAE (the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment), in Nantes, France. Her research is focussed on understanding the interplay between the structure of food emulsions (in particular, at the level of the oil-water interface) and their functionality and chemical reactivity. Her research interests therefore range from the characterization of the early formation and stabilization of emulsion droplets, all the way to their subsequent physicochemical stability and final fate during digestion.

Dr. Thierry Chardot

Research director, INRA-AgroParisTech

Dr. Thierry Chardot is in charge of the “Dynamic and Structure of Lipid Droplets” team at INRA Versailles (France). We are internationally recognized for our expertise in the purification and characterization of lipid droplets (LDs) from plants and microorganisms. Our main objective is to increase the knowledge of LD biology (structure, organization, function and dynamics). We use a wide range of techniques and developp tools to explore LDs dynamics (microscopies, specific antibodies, lipid analysis, proteomics…), identify associated proteins during life cycle (proteomics…) and understand their function and structure (protein solubilisation, dynamic light scattering, spectroscopies, structural proteomics, …)

Dr. David Gray

Associate Professor, School of Bioscience, Nottingham University

Dr. David Gray’s research is summarised as follows: ‘A Biomaterials Approach to Sustainable Nutrition and Ingredients’; much of this work involves characterising the properties of selected lipid-rich organelles ex-vivo. For a number of years he, and his group, have established certain physico-chemical and properties of oil bodies/oleosomes from a range of seeds. Funding for this work has included BBSRC, EPSRC and collaborations with industry through LINK-type projects.

Dr. Myriam Grundy

Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading

Dr Grundy has a background in Biochemistry and Nutrition, and has a PhD from King’s College London, during which she investigated the role of cell wall in modulating lipid bioaccessibility in almonds. Her research interest focusses on the physiochemical mechanisms that determine the bioaccessibility and digestibility of nutrients from complex food matrices and the effect on health.

Dr. Marie Hennebelle

Assistant Professor, Food Chemistry, Wageningen University & Research

Dr. Marie Hennebelle’s research is focused on food lipids and lipid oxidation. Our main objective is to better understand lipid oxidation in food emulsions and develop natural and sustainable ways to prevent it. Part of our research focuses on the oxidative stability of natural oil bodies/oleosomes. By elucidating the role of their interfacial composition and structure on their oxidative stability, we aim at broadening their applications as natural food emulsions and at developing innovative nature-based food products, more resistant towards lipid oxidation.

Dr. Jason Hargreaves

R&D Manager, Botaneco

Dr. Jason Hargreaves has a background in Chemistry (MSci, Nottingham 2005) and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of York in 2009. After Postdocs with Institut Pasteur and University of Calgary, he joined Botaneco as a Process Development Scientist in 2015 and now oversees all oleosome extraction and product development activities in Botaneco’s R&D group.

Dr. Till Ischebeck

Group Leader, University of Göttingen

Dr. Toshihide Kobayashi

Strasbourg, France and Saitama, Japan

Dr. Toshihide Kobayashi is a research director of UMR 7021, CNRS in Strasbourg and a visiting senior scientist of RIKEN, Japan. His major interest is to understand the function of lipids and lipid domains by visualizing endogenous lipids. He has been developing proteins, peptides and small molecules that bind specific lipids. In combination with state-of-the-art microscope techniques, his bioprobes have revealed distribution and dynamics of lipids such as lipid asymmetry and lipid rafts. 

Dr. Eric Maréchal

Grenoble, France

Dr. Eric Maréchal is head of the Cell and Plant Physiology Laboratory, Grenoble, France. His scientific interest focuses on the organization and evolution of membrane and storage glycerolipid metabolism in plastid-containing eukaryotes, from primary endosymbionts (green algae, plants) to secondary endosymbionts (e.g. heterokonts, apicomplexan, etc.)

Prof. Yves Mély

Strasbourg, France

Yves Mély heads the laboratory of Bioimaging and Pathologies (UMR 7021 CNRS). His research activity is focused on the development of fluorescence techniques (quantitative and high resolution microscopy) and innovative fluorescence probes for investigating the structure and interactions of membranes, proteins and nucleic acids. Main applications are notably in the field of HIV-1 and epigenetics.

Dr. Costas Nikiforidis

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

Dr. Costas Nikiforidis, has a background in Chemistry and a PhD on Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Foods. He is currently Assistant Professor at the Biobased Chemistry and Technology Group at Wageningen University with a focus on “Bioderived and Bioinspired Functional Materials”.  His research involves fundamental understanding of the interactions in natural functional complexes in order to use them as such or mimic them. The properties of oil bodies/oleosomes is his main focus.

Dr. Hubert Schaller

Research director, IBMP-CNRS

Dr. Hubert Schaller is at the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes in Strasbourg (‘Plant Isoprenoid Biology’ group). His research program is centered on deciphering the biosynthesis, function and cellular homeostasis of essential isoprenoids like sterols, steroids, terpenoid hormones.  The current specific approach on lipid droplet biology is linked to the oil storage in non-seed organs, in model and crop plants. Funding of the program is provided by CNRS (international cooperation action with UFPA, Amazonia, Brazil), Région Grand-Est (Biomatériaux-Biomolécules-Bioéconomie Régionale), and research contracts (industry).

Dr. Gustav Waschatko

COO of Time Traveling Milkman

Dr. Gustav Waschatko received his Diploma in Biomedical Chemistry from the University of Mainz in 2009, followed by a PhD on “Oil Bodies – natural emulsifiers and their behavior at food relevant interfaces” at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (2013). After Postdocs with MPIP, AMOLF (Amsterdam) and Unilever R&D, he joined Cargill as “Oil Seed and Lipid Research Scientist” to perform ingredient research and product development at the Cargill R&D Centre Europe (Vilvoorde, Belgium). June 2021 he was appointed COO of the WUR spin-off "Time traveling milkman" to assist the commercialization and upscaling of oleosomes for dairy alternatives.