NUTRIM, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

NUTRIM, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

University of MaastrichtLead contact: Prof. dr. Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga


NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism of Maastricht University Medical centre + (MUMC+) initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focussing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. The school participates in the Graduate School VLAG (Food Technology, Agrobiotechnology, Nutrition and Health Sciences), accredited by the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is a partner in TI Food and Nutrition and participates in TI-Pharma and the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine. These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.

The nutrition research focuses particularly on research questions concerning the effects of nutrition, nutritional components, and nutritional behaviour on the health of man. In this, clinical nutrition research is an important spearhead. The Maastricht clinical nutrition research is rightfully among the national and international research leaders. The multidisciplinary nature of the research also results in research with a social-scientific and an epidemiological character. Examples of induced research are research into eating and drinking habits and into the significance of certain nutrients, foods, and nutritional patterns. Focus is on various health-related dietary habits of healthy people across the lifespan. In line with (inter)national health policy priorities, the research mainly focuses on macronutrient intake, fruit and vegetable intake, and behaviours related to overweight and obesity.

Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Prof. dr. M.S. Westerterp-Plantenga is a Professor of Food Intake Regulation in Humans. Her research includes long-term projects on food intake regulation related to energy metabolism in the context of obesity treatment and weight maintenance. Topics herein are subject specific prevention and treatment, the role of thermogenic ingredients, the role of different proteins, and the role of stress and food reward. Moreover, food intake regulation and energy metabolism is studied under conditions such as exercise, high altitude, and different ambient temperatures. She was a member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UM, responsible for the Research portfolio, and is member of the Editorial Boards of Physiology and Behavior, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the International Journal of Obesity. Since 2004 she has been a project leader at the Leading Technological Institute of Food and Nutrition. She has published about 150 publications in international peer reviewed journals (H-factor=30), and authored and edited several books in this field.

Dr. Rick Hursel is a Human Biologist, and has experience in conducting human intervention trials concerning bioactive ingredients, focusing on the energy balance aspects satiety, energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, body composition and gut microflora in humans.

Dr. Sofie Lemmens is a Human Biologist, and has experience with homeostatic and non-homeostatic food intake regulation research. She performed studies on the rewarding value of food intake, under stress vs rest conditions, in visceral overweight vs normal weight subjects. For assessment of ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ she developed a novel computer-based technology.

Eveline Martens, PhD student, MSc in Biomedical Health Sciences, specialization: Bioregulation and Health.

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