Mission and staff


The unit ‘Nutrition and Food Safety' was launched as an independent unit within the Department of Public Health (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) in 1998, with the major aim to visualize  and promote - within the academic and societal environment - the importance of diet as a major determinant of public health.

The  Unit's mission can be summarized by its three major objectives:

  1. to promote the importance of nutrition education for health professionals and stimulate the integration of high quality nutrition courses in the curriculum of all academic degrees offered within the Faculty of
    Medicine and Health Sciences;
  2. to develop research in the field of human nutrition and public health and to promote multidisciplinary collaboration in these fields;
  3. to support and foster the public authorities in their efforts of optimizing nutrient intake and nutritional status (as part of a healthy lifestyle) in the general population and in specific subgroups.

Currently three main research niches can be distinguished:

  • Nutritional research on diverse food-related aspects (nutrients, dietary pattern, body composition, influence of social and environmental aspects like stress) and their impact on public health. Within this research line, studies are performed in different subgroups of the population (young children, adolescents, adults and elderly) with various research hypotheses in the field of public health nutrition;
  • Food safety research - mainly focused on chemical food safety in relation to environmental problems and food-technological procedures (e.g. use of additives, food colors, phthalates);
  • Methodological research to support both pillars of nutritional research and food safety research, including dietary assessment, measurement of body composition and probabilistic techniques for exposure ssessment. In addition, a research line was designed examining the feasibility and validity of several objective stress
    measures in children.

Mrs M. Bellemans
Ghent University Hospital
Corneel Heymanslaan 10 entrance 42 (building K3, 4th floor)
B-9000 Ghent
Phone 0032 (0)9 332 36 78
Fax 0032 (0) 332 49 94
E-mail mia.bellemans@UGent.be

Staff members
  • Prof. dr. Stefaan De Henauw
Scientific staff
  • dr. Souheila Abbeddou (postdoctoral researcher)
  • Aline Arouca (PhD fellow)
  • prof. dr. Inge Huybrechts (visiting professor)
  • Joanna Klosowska (PhD fellow)
  • dr. Nathalie Michels (postdoctoral researcher)
  • Phénias Nsabimana (PhD fellow)
  • Carola van Aart (PhD fellow)
  • Kathleen Wijnant (PhD fellow)
  • prof. Dirk Wildemeersch (visiting professor)
  • Ratih Wirapuspita Wisnuwardani (PhD fellow)
Administrative and dietetic staff
  • Mia Bellemans
  • Mieke De Maeyer
Voluntary academic staff
  • Dr. Willem De Keyzer (voluntary postdoctoral researcher)