The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has announced the recipients of the 2019 BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award – recognising early career excellence in nutrition science. Dr Henrik Roager, University of Copenhagen, has been named this year’s first place winner, with Dr Elaine McCarthy, University College Cork, and Dr Ruairi Robertson, Queen Mary University of London, receiving the runners-up titles.
The BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award is an annual scheme run by the BNF. Applicants are judged on their contributions to nutrition science to date, their potential to become future leaders in the field, and the scientific merit and clarity of communication in their work.
The Award has been made possible through BNF’s management of the Drummond Memorial Fund, which was established in 1954 in memory of the work and contribution of Sir Jack Drummond, who made a significant contribution to developments in the application of nutrition science for public health.
Sara Stanner, BNF’s Science Director, said: “We are delighted to celebrate, once again, the nutrition scientists making a true impact within their fields, so early in their careers. Every year we receive so many exciting applications, and the work of Dr Roager, Dr McCarthy and Dr Robertson really stood out to the board of judges. We look forward to welcoming this year’s winners to the BNF’s Annual Day in London in November for the prize giving ceremony; they have also each been offered the opportunity to submit a mini-review paper for publication in a special ‘BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award’ section of the December edition of BNF’s Nutrition Bulletin.”
Dr Henrik Roager has been selected for his work exploring how the diet, gut microbiome and metabolome – the metabolites that are produced by gut microbes – interact to impact on health. At the University of Copenhagen, Dr Roager is working on the EU project ‘Diet-induced Arrangement of the gut Microbiome for Improvement of Cardiometabolic health (DINAMIC)’ and is leading two independent research projects investigating: the importance of breastmilk-promoted Bifidobacterium for the development of the immune system early in life (BIFIDO); and personal microbiome-dependent glucose responses (MIGLUCOSE).
Dr Henrik Roager said: “It is an honour to receive the 2019 BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award, and to have my work in the field of diet-microbiome interactions recognised. It is my ambition to establish a research group that applies metabolomics in the field of nutrition research, identifies gut microbial metabolites resulting from digestion of foods, and investigates how these metabolites influence health and disease. I look forward to sharing more on this in the BNF’s Nutrition Bulletin in December.”
Runner up, Dr Elaine McCarthy, INFANT Research Centre, University College Cork, has been recognised for her work in the field of paediatric and neonatal nutrition, with iron nutrition in young children being the focus of much of her research. The other runner up, Dr Ruairi Robertson’s interests lie in how different nutrients affect the gut microbiota in early-life and the subsequent effects on child health and disease, particularly child growth.