Personalised nutrition for better health - targeting the microbiome

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dinsdag 10 oktober 2017 - 12:50 tot woensdag 11 oktober 2017 - 12:30

Voor Nederlandse tekst: klik hier


Health systems are under increasing pressure due to the increasing incidence of complex chronic diseases. These are often linked to changing demographics and modified dietary patterns. Understanding the functioning of the human microbiome is opening new ways of treating many of such diseases as the microbiome has recently been described as a key biological interface between human genetics, and lifestyle and environmental conditions.

Modulating the human microbiome based on personalised diets for personal health needs, is expected to provide new solutions for better health and boost innovation, leading to positive economic outcomes.


This workshop “Personalised nutrition for better health – targeting the microbiome” of October 10 & 11 - 2017, aims to promote the development of precision medicine that includes also the development of microbiome targeted actions through personalised nutrition. The convergence of personal connectivity and health monitoring with understanding how diets impact the microbiome which influences the individual health status, is just the start of a transition of healthcare of the future.

This workshop also seeks to promote understanding across relevant scientific, regulatory, and commercial communities and contribute to an innovative sector and preventative medicine based on targeting the gut microbiome.

Information on the previous workshop be found here (only in Dutch).  


Day 1 - October 10, 2017

10:30 - 11:30 Registration
11:30 - 12:50 Lunch
12:50 - 13:00

Welcome, introducing moderator, presentation of today's program,
Alex Puissant, Journalist, Conference moderator

13:00 - 13:10

Welcome message
Johan Hanssens, Secretary General of the Department of Economy, Science & Innovation (EWI)

13:10 - 13:40

Keynote presentation - "Individualised, microbiome-based nutrition: Tapping the potential for disease prevention"
Dirk Gevers, Global Head, Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Cambridge, MA, US

The keynote will sketch the potential of personalised nutrition for better health through targeting the microbiome and highlight the scientific, regulatory and social challenges for research and development.  

  • Opportunities, possible applications and challenges medicine;
  • Future scenarios for how these new techniques will engage the field of advanced and personalised therapies
13:40 - 15:10

Session 1: Personalised nutrition for better health: realising the potential

What is the potential from current knowledge towards the development of personalised nutrition targeting the microbiome? Experts from academia, food and pharma industry will highlight recent advances in this field and potential outlook to the future. 

Key questions to be discussed:

  • How to advance this field?
  • How to stimulate cross-disciplinary collaboration?
  • How to ensure the quality related to safety and efficacy of the new solutions?
  • How to ensure public uptake and uptake by healthcare professionals?

"Set the scene for targeting the microbiome"
Philippe Seksik, INSERM/CNRS, FR

"Population level variation of the human gut microbiome"
Jeroen Raes, Professor Bioinformatics and (Eco)-Systems Biology, University Leuven, BE

"EU-funding of Microbiome research under FP7 and H2020"
Dirk Hadrich, DG RTD EU, Directory E-Health

15:10 - 15:40 Coffee break
15:40 - 17:10

Session 2: Technology providers

Personalised nutrition for better health is dependent on the development of diagnostics and monitoring as well as from the development of models to test 

interventions under certain conditions before they can be transmitted for human use. Continued monitoring and crowd-sourcing will be  more important as technologies become available and people are interested in the their health especially when related to diet.

Key questions to be discussed:

  • Can personalised nutrition deliver its promises for better wellbeing?
  • Will personalised nutrition be part of preventative medicine and as a part of precision medicine?
  • What are the limits of technologies related to diagnostics, wearables, data collection storage and use with respect to responsible innovation?

"Advanced gut simulation technology to chase personalized health effects from novel health ingredients"
Tom Van de Wiele, Associate Professor, Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology, University Ghent, BE

"Public data infrastructure for microbiome, food and nutrition research: facilitating research and innovation in the era of big data"
Andrew Smith, Head External Relations, ELIXIR Hub, Hinxton-Cambridge, UK

“How can an APP a day keep the doctor away? Opportunities and challenges from a technology perspective”
Chris Van Hoof, Senior Director Wearable Health Solutions & imec fellow (Holst Centre / imec) and Professor KU Leuven


End - Day 1
17:45 - 19:00

Guided tour: Behind the scenes of the KVS

19:00 - 19:30



 Walking Dinner


Day 2 - October 11, 2017

8:30 - 9:10 Registration: coffee, orange juice, water and tea for early birds
9:10 - 10:40 

Session 3: Frameworks conditions for public uptake and advancing the field through public engagement (crowdsourcing)

Personalised nutrition to target the microbiome for better health holds large promises for preventative medicine and to cure chronic diseases. Industry from different sectors including food, pharma, diagnostic, wearable and app development see huge opportunities, but collaboration across sectors will be required to deliver these promises.

Key questions to be discussed:

  • How far can we get with crow-sourcing and what are the limits and drawbacks of crowd-sourcing?
  • What are the regulatory needs to advance personalised nutrition targeting the microbiome?
  • Can healthcare systems benefit from and stimulate the uptake of personalised nutrition?
  • Are safety and efficacy of personalised nutrition options ensured?

"Shaping the intestinal microbiota by diet: A realistic target?"
Gerhard Rogler, Professor Department University Hospital Zurich, CH

"Scenarios for microbiome R&D and needs for action - results from the PROGRESS project"
Bärbel Hüsing, Frauenhofer Institute, Progress-Bio

"Personalised Nutrition: Therapeutic potential and regulatory challenges"
Manfred Ruthsatz, Global Head Regulatory Advocacy, Nestlé Health Science, CH

10:40 - 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30

Panel Discussion: What are the policy opportunities?

Sally Cudmore, General Manager, APC Microbiome Institute
Colette Shortt, Director Global Regulatory Affairs, Emerging Science & Open Innovation, Consumer Global Franchise Organisation, Johnson & Johnson                              
Yolanda Sanz, PhD, Professor of Research CSIC Microbial Ecology, Nutrition & Health Research Unit, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA)
National Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)
Manfred Ruthsatz, Global Head Regulatory Advocacy, Nestlé Health Science
Guy Van den Eede, Head of Unit "Knowledge for Health and Consumer Safety, JRC

Key issues to be discussed:

  • Needs for business sectors integration – lessons from other fields?
  • Needs for uptake by public and healthcare professionals
  • Needs for uptake by healthcare systems and the role of OECD
  • Patient involvement, crowdsourcing and privacy
12:30 End of the workshop
12:30 - 13:30 Closing lunch

Practical Information

Participation is upon invitation only & free of charge - registration is mandatory.  
Registration via this webpage (below).

KVS – Brussels City Theater, Arduinkaai 7 - Quai aux Pierres de Tailles, 1000 Brussels -

  • Joint workshop of OECD and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish government

  • Aiming for input from academia, food and pharma industry, tech providers, healthcare systems, regulators, policymakers

  • Maximum 100 participants - upon invitation only!

This workshop is organised back-to-back with the workshop on ELIXIR Innovation and SME form on Food and Nutrition Data - Targeting the Microbiome in which innovative companies focusing on probiotics, food, health,... will be brought together and interaction between companies and academic partners will be stimulated. This ELIXIR-workshop is organised by ELIXIR Belgium and ELIXIR Europe. You'll find more information on the programme and registration on the website of ELIXIR.


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Kathleen D'Hondt

Afdeling Onderzoek
0477 40 31 20


Liselotte De Vos

Afdeling Onderzoek
0477 34 35 21