Executive Board

Members of the Executive Board are elected by the General Assembly for three years with the possibility to extend this for a further three-years. Their role is to oversee strategic development of EuroFIR AISBL, and provide technical and scientific support as necessary.

Tasks of the Executive Board include:

  • Management and represention the Association
  • Preparation of operating procedures
  • Supervision of activities and performance of the Executive Director, Secretary, Managing Director, and the Secretariat
  • Preparation of the annual business plans and budget
  • Compilation of the annual report.

Dr Siân Astley is the Secretary to the Association and is supported by Sidonie Pauchet.

Marija Glibetić, Joint President (IMR, RS)

(Director since 2012, Vice-President since 2014)

Maria Glibetic is a researcher with extensive international experience who joined the Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade (Republic of Serbia), after completing her post-doctoral studies in Canada and the USA. Participation in two Network of Excellence, EuroFIR and EURRECA and several EU-funded projects have been important in helping the Department grow from seven young researchers to 27 in 2019. Maria’s areas of interest include molecular biology, and understanding mechanisms by which natural and pharmaceutical components regulate cellular and tissue proinflammatory responses, to design of the first Serbian and West Balkan regional food composition database, coordination of the national contribution to EU Menu, EFSA food consumption survey, many nutritional human intervention studies, exploring gut microbiota and personal nutrition, as well as more fundamental nutrition research. She has more than 130 publications on vitamins and bioactives in foods, dietary intake, dietary intake tools development, and validation, and is Editor-in-Chief for the Elsevier Major Reference Work on Microbiota & Human Health.

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Karl Presser, Joint President (Premotec GmbH, CH)

Karl (Director since 2015, Vice-President since 2019)

Karl Presser is the founder and managing partner of Premotec GmbH and Premotec Poland sp. z o.o. Until 2018, he also worked as a senior scientist in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich (CH) in the Global Information Systems Group, where he also completed his PhD investigating data quality of food composition data.

Beginning his career as a developer, Karl created a relational database to store and calculate timetables for universities and secondary schools using evolutionary algorithms. More recently, Karl designed FoodCASE, a tool to manage and generate food data. With more than 10 years’ experience in handling food data, Karl has contributed to different European and international standards for managing and exchanging food data and participated or led nationally-, EU- and internationally-funded projects.

As well as EuroFIR, Karl is a board member of TC23 – International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) and his current passion is European Research Infrastructures and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

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Susanne Westenbrink (RIVM, NL)

(Director since 2013)

Susanne Westenbrink is a senior research dietitian at RIVM and is responsible for the coordination of the Dutch food composition and branded databases. She has more than 20 years of experience in food composition database work and was involved in the EuroFIR Network of Excellence and EuroFIR NEXUS.

Susanne also contributes to several other projects, such as the Dutch National Food Consumption Surveys, monitoring food reformulation in the Netherlands, and the Dutch portion size database; she also contributed to the Wageningen Food Composition Courses and coordinates the EuroFIR Technical Discussion Groups.

Before joining RIVM, Susanne worked at Wageningen University (NL) and TNO Institute of Food and Nutrition (Zeist) in the fields of food consumption and food composition. Susanne regards working on food composition databases through national and international networks as an important tool to further establish standardisation and harmonisation to improve quality and comparability of food composition databases in Europe and beyond.

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Luca Bucchini (Hylobates Consulting Srl, IT)

(Director since 2014)

Luca Bucchini is a food regulatory and scientific consultant based in Rome (IT). He is co-founder and managing director of Hylobates Srl., a food and cosmetic product regulatory affairs consultancy. For the past 20 years, Luca has worked with academia, food industry, and regulatory authorities, at EU, national and regional levels, on food and food supplement related issues. He has also led research teams in food allergen risk assessment and water contaminants. As a consultant, Luca works with European businesses, large and small, trade organisations and public bodies to assess risks of foods and novel ingredients, evaluate labels and advertising, and prepare for recalls and food crises. He also works on health claims and botanicals.

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Helena Soares Costa (INSA, PT)

(Director since 2018)

Helena Soares Costa is a senior researcher at INSA and coordinates the Research & Development Unit of the Department of Food and Nutrition as well as vice-president of the Scientific Council of INSA. Her current areas of research are food composition, nutrition, and food safety. She has considerable experience in development of analytical methods for food analysis including nutrients and bioactive compounds, food composition databases, dietary assessment, and data quality. Helena has published on a wide range of topics in food science and nutrition and supervises graduate students and post-doctoral researchers as well as teaching at several universities. Helena has coordinated nationally-funded projects and participated in several EU-funded projects. She is also a member of the Editorial Board for Wiley’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

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Maria Kapsokefalou (AUA, GR)

(Director since 2018)

Maria Kapsokefalou is Professor in Human Nutrition and a member of the National Committee on Nutrition Policy of the Ministry of Health. She served as the Deputy Rector on Student Affairs, Academic Collaborations and Outreach and as a member of various bodies on food and nutrition policy and research strategy.

Maria pursued her graduate studies in food science and nutrition at Cornell University, as a Fulbright Scholar, and received her MSc in 1989 and PhD in 1992. She continued her scientific career at Cornell (US) University, as a recipient of the Nutricia Research Foundation International Training Fellowship, and at ETH Zurich (CH) and the University of Crete (GR), where she was a Researcher and Lecturer in Food Science and Nutrition until 2000.

Current research activities aim to promote public health through better nutrition; she is investigating the health benefits of bioactive compounds in novel and functional foods, dietary intakes in the general adult population and vulnerable groups, and on the socioeconomic factors that affect food intake with a view to alleviating food insecurity. Her interests also extend to outreach programmes on sustainable development of the agrofood sector in Greece.

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Loek Pijls (Loekintofoods, NL)

(Director since 2019)

Loek Pijls PMP founded Loekintofood in 2015 addressing questions such as how what we eat impacts our health and how to apply nutrition understanding to our health, which concerns issues including diet and food composition, reformulation, health claims, communications, guidelines, regulatory positioning, nutrition policy, novel food, and training. Loek has worked in nutrition for about 30 years in various roles across a wide range of organisations. He is a farmers’ son with a particular affinity for responsible and healthy food production, presentation and consumption. His MSc is in Human Nutrition (Wageningen University) and his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and is certified at PhD level in Nutritional Sciences and in Epidemiology and as Project Management Professional.

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