Lecture Lineup for Probiotics Resource Center at Vitafoods Europe

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Probiotics Resource Center – Lecture Schedule

VitaFoods Europe May 15-18, 2018

Day 1: Tuesday, May 15th 2018

 11:00 – 11:30: Interaction between gut microbiota and the immune system

  • Over 1000 clinical studies with probiotics have addressed over 700 different conditions.
  • Past studies focused on gastrointestinal diseases and infections.
  • Planned and recruiting studies now are (also) targeting metabolic and neurological conditions.

Dr. Ger Rijkers, Professor in Biomedical and Life Sciences, Head of the Department of Science, Roosevelt Academy, Netherlands

Ger Rijkers (1952) is Professor in the Biomedical and Life Sciences and was Head of the Science Department of University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, The Netherlands until January 1, 2018. At UCR, he is coordinator of the Life Sciences track as well as the Biomedical track and the Pre-Medical program. Rijkers coordinates the research program “Maintaining Health”, which includes research on early detection of dementia (Gerda Andringa and Nathalie van de Zande) as well as research initiatives on biobased economy. Since November 2017, Rijkers chairs the committee researching the options to include engineering and innovation in the UCR curriculum. Rijkers also works as a senior scientist at the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology and Immunology of the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. Dr. Rijkers graduated as cell biologist from the Wageningen University in 1977 and finished his PhD thesis on the immune System of Cyprinid Fish in 1980 at the same university. Next, he started working in the Laboratory of Pediatric Immunology of the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht (which now is part of the UMC). In 1984 he became a qualified medical immunologist. Dr. Rijkers has spent 2 sabbatical periods in the USA: in 1983 in the Lab of Don Mosier, at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and in 1989 in Denver in the Lab of John Cambier at National Jewish. From the Children’s Hospital he went to the Department of Surgery of the UMC Utrecht to work on mucosal immunology of the gastrointestinal tract. Ger Rijkers has a wide research interest with emphasis on mucosal immunology, immunoregulation (in autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases and infections), interaction between gut microbiota and the immune system, and vaccination. Rijkers has published over 350 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is Section Editor for the journal Beneficial Microbes and member of the Editorial Boards of Pneumonia and Biology. In 2016 he published (as editor in chief) the second edition of the textbook Immunologie.


11:40 – 12:10: Effects of HOWARU® Protect Senior in cellular immune function in healthy elderly

  • The importance of functioning immune system in the elderly.
  • How probiotics may improve immune system and gut microbiota in the elderly through different mechanisms which lead to health benefits.
  • How daily consumption of HOWARU® Protect Senior enhances cellular immune activity in healthy elderly adults.


Liisa Lehtoranta, Research Manager, Global Health and Nutrition Science, DuPont Nutrition & Health

Dr. Liisa Lehtoranta, Research Manager in DuPont Nutrition & Health, joined DuPont in 2014. She is a specialist in Microbiology and her main role involves managing probiotic clinical trials related to women’s and immune health. Dr. Lehtoranta graduated 2008 from the University of Helsinki as a Master of Science in Microbiology and Virology. Afterwards she completed her doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine in 2012. She defended her thesis on probiotic’s effects in respiratory and gastrointestinal virus infections in children. Dr. Lehtoranta has over 10 years of experience in scientific research from academia and in the industry with focus on assessing health effects of probiotics in experimental and clinical settings.


12:20 – 12:50: Probiotics and Improved Athletic Performance

  • Scope of the Influence of the Microbiome on the Human Physiology.
  • Potential role of the Microbiome in athletic performance.
  • Published evidence of probiotics improving performance of elite athletes.


Dr Nigel Plummer, Managing Director, Cultech

Nigel Plummer PhD has his doctorate in microbial physiology form the University of Surrey, UK and has worked at Pfizer in antibiotic research and development. His research on the use of normal flora in the prevention and treatment of genito-urinary candidiasis has won him numerous awards. Dr. Plummer continues his solid commitment to research specializing in probiotics, natural antimicrobials and fish oils in collaboration with research institutes and universities within the UK and Europe, including Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, the University of Swansea Medical School, Cardiff University and the University of Sheffield Medical School. Dr. Plummer lectures extensively in North America and the UK/Europe and has developed an interest in the concept of fetal disease programming, the controlling factors involved and the potential to influence programmed events as a means of prevention of chronic disease development.



13:00 – 13:30: Evaluation of Dietary Supplements Containing Probiotics under NSF/ANSI 173

NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies dietary supplements to NSF/ANSI 173. The Standard provides test methods and evaluation criteria to determine that the identity and quantity of ingredients declared on the label are accurate and that the product does not contain unacceptable quantities of contaminants. This presentation will discuss NSF’s evaluation process, including labeling requirements, as it pertains to dietary supplements containing probiotics.


John Travis, Senior Research Scientist, NSF International

John Travis has more than 20 years of experience as an analytical chemist specializing in the analysis of dietary supplements. As Senior Research Scientist at global public health organization NSF International, Travis analyzes hundreds of dietary supplement products each year for various contaminants, emerging drugs and harmful compounds. Utilizing a variety of analytical techniques, he has developed and validated analytical methods for the analysis of dietary supplements. He was instrumental in the development of the screening methods used for the NSF International Certified for Sport® program, which now screens products for more than 270 banned substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency list. Travis is currently involved with the analysis of pharmaceutical agents and illicit drugs, stimulants and other prohibited substances as both adulterants and contaminants in dietary supplements and functional foods, co-authoring scientific papers on ingredients of concern in dietary supplements.



13:40 – 14:10: Designing stable probiotic solid dosage forms

  • Reviewing and selecting raw materials best suited for a specific solution with regards to manufacturing feasibility, stability, organoleptic quality, etc.
  • Protecting probiotic strains throughout production, packaging and shelf storage by optimizing processes and fitting product with end-product in mind.
  • Experience from a wide range of projects gives knowledge about what can be done, leading to qualified feedback to costumer.


Martin Asmussen, Product Development Scientist, Bifodan

Martin Asmussen is Product Development Scientist at Bifodan, where he is taking part in formulating solid dosage forms on the costumer’s request and ensuring the right amount of probiotic strains throughout the shelf life of the product at the end user. He has a strong technical background as Cand.Scient.Pharm from University of Copenhagen and from several years working within formulation and manufacturing development of solid dosage forms in the pharmaceutical industry in Denmark.


14:20-14:50: Setting Your Clinical Trial Up for Success: Managing Expectations and Execution to Deliver Results

  • Present the clinical trials timeline for different product types and project goals.
  • Discuss tools to improve communication of project status between the sponsor and research partner.
  • Explain key documents that form the backbone of good clinical practice.
  • Review the cost of quality clinical research.


Joshua Baisley, Director of Clinical Trials, Domestic, Nutrasource

Joshua Baisley joined Nutrasource in 2013, bringing over 12 years of quality assurance, clinical, preclinical and regulatory natural health product experience and an additional four years of antibody/biologics development experience. Josh has been an active member of the probiotic community as a member of the International Probiotics Association (IPA) Board of Directors, blogging for the IPA, and presenting at numerous probiotic workshops at trade shows and conferences. Having depth in both regulatory filings and project management of clinical trials provides Josh with an understanding of regulatory body thinking and has led to his respected relationship with Health Canada. Josh’s regulatory filings throughout his career account for over 10 percent of all applications received by Health Canada’s Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate for clinical research trials. Josh has a Hons. B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, specializing in microbiology and a certificate in regulatory affairs.




15:00-15:30: Probiotics for Hearty Kids & Teens

  • Microbiota in kids & teens.
  • Specific challenges.
  • Possible probiotic solutions targeting Natural Defenses, Oral Health, Brain-Gut Axis and Skin health in Active Kids & Teens.


Bérengère Feuz, Marketing Manager, Lallemand Health Solutions

Bérengère Feuz is the Marketing Manager for Lallemand Health Solutions, the Human Probiotics division of the Lallemand Group, where she is also involved in the licensing or development of new products or new applications. Before joining Lallemand nine years ago, Bérengère had been working for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over eight years, holding marketing positions at French, Canadian and International levels. She is graduated from HEC Paris.



15:40-16:10: New evidence for Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 in exercise performance

  • The innovative application of probiotics in gut-muscle axis.
  • The first Lactobacillus strain to increase muscle mass.
  • A new ergogenic supplement for aerobic exercise.


Billy Tsai, Business Development Manager, SYNBIO TECH INC.

Billy Tsai began his career as a CRO at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, where he devoted his time on many evidence-based research and clinical trials. At SYNBIO TECH INC., he regularly works with external partners to design new probiotic product, aids in international sales and collaborates on research projects. He is a regular commentator on the technology, efficacy and consumer benefits of probiotic supplementation and healthy gut microbiota.





16:20-16:50: The immune role of fermentation metabolites in the gut

  • The role of the microbiome in the human immune system.
  • The immune and gut benefits of fermentation metabolites.
  • Formulation options for providing fermentation metabolites through a food supplement.


Dr. Justin Green, Director of Scientific Affairs, Embria Health Sciences

Justin Green, Ph.D., is the Director of Scientific Affairs at Embria Health Sciences. Utilizing 75 years of fermentation expertise, Embria is dedicated to creating and manufacturing natural, science-based ingredients, including EpiCor, that support wellness and vitality. Justin is responsible for the ongoing research and scientific study of existing Embria ingredients as well as the research and development of potential new ingredients. His activities also include strategic planning, training sales teams, and representing Embria at commercial and academic conferences. Dr. Green has over 12 years of experience in the dietary supplement industry. Prior to Embria, he was a Global Product Manager at Kemin and a Senior Scientist at Trimeris, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University and did postdoctoral research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Green attended Northwestern University where he received a B.A. in Biochemistry and Integrated Science.



Day 2: Wednesday, May 16th 2018


11:00 – 11:30: Probiotics: Avenues towards a more workable EU Regulatory Model

Examining the possibilities for changes to EU law that would allow for:

  • The term probiotic to be used on labelling.
  • The approval of health claims for probiotics which up until now have been prohibited resulting in the industry having to rely on consumers’ perception of healthiness.


Patrick Ahern, Director General, EHPM

Patrick runs the EHPM office in Brussels and coordinates the work of EHPM’s working group and manages relations with the European institutions. He manages the day to day operation of the EHPM office and works with EHPM’s working groups and board to develop EHPM input into EU policy development. Patrick has over 8 years experience in EU Affairs across a wide range of policy areas. Patrick career in Brussels includes trade association, consultancy and in house corporate government affairs. Patrick’s expertise in food issues has been gained through over 2 years’ experience with a leading international nutrition company and 2 years working for a leading EU affairs consultancy. Patrick has BA in European Studies and Spanish from University College Cork and a Masters in European Integration from the University of Limerick. An English native speaker, Patrick also speaks Spanish and some French.



11:40 – 12:10: Emerging Trends in Probiotic Products

  • Examples of new and innovative probiotic food and beverages, including the technologies that enable them.
  • Moving beyond a niche examples of the most successful categories and examples of market leaders formulating with probiotics.
  • What’s next in the category?


Stephen Quinn, Business and Regulatory Director, Kerry

Stephen Quinn oversees GanedenBC30 and Wellmune projects outside of the United States, supporting business development and sales efforts, distributor management, regulatory projects, claims, and compliance efforts. Stephen has extensive knowledge of probiotics as a food and beverage ingredient, and a background in domestic regulatory and compliance law. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio, holding a Juris Doctorate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.


12:20-12:50: Human challenge models for infection resistance as valuable tools to substantiate the beneficial health effects of food ingredients

  • Controlled challenges allow for smaller and shorter studies.
  • The E. coli challenge model is a valuable tool to study the effect of food ingredients on the resistance against infection in healthy subjects.
  • Vaccination response is an accepted outcome to support immune-boosting effects.


Alwine Kardinaal, Expertise group leader Nutrition & Health, NIZO, NIZO

Dr. Alwine Kardinaal is expertise leader Nutrition and Health in the Health department at NIZO food research, an independent Contract Research Organisation in the Netherlands, working with global companies in the food and ingredients area as well as personal care. In 2012 Alwine joined NIZO food research, where her main activities are focused on scientific substantiation of health benefits of foods and food ingredients. She coordinates research and consultancy projects in health and nutrition, including the design and execution of human challenge studies. She was trained as a nutrition scientist at Wageningen University and obtained a PhD in nutritional epidemiology. She has held several research and management positions, and as such was responsible for a large number of human intervention studies investigating health benefits and risks of a range of ingredients and bioactive compounds. She has authored and co-authored over 50 refereed scientific publications.



13:00-13:30: Could probiotics delay the onset of gluten intolerance?

  • Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 is proven to suppress gluten-induced autoimmunity in genetically predisposed children.
  • The effect on the inflammatory immune response was apparent already after 3 months of intake and further strengthened after 6 months.
  • The probiotic concept may offer a completely new preventive option for individuals at risk for developing gluten intolerance.


Caroline Montelius, Associate Scientist, Probi AB

Caroline Montelius holds a MSc in Molecular biology and a PhD in Biomedicine – Nutrition from Lund University, Sweden. Her main focus during her PhD studies was appetite control and weight management. After some time in the academia, she joined Danone for one year. She joined Probi in 2016, as Associate Scientist in the R&D department in Lund, Sweden. Caroline’s main task is acting as a bridge between R&D and the M&S department, interpreting the research findings from Probi’s many clinical trials and translating the results into a market-friendly communication.



13:40-14:10: Probiotic Manufacturing Excellence, from Fermentation to Finished Product

The probiotic industry must maintain consistent, high levels of quality to develop a product that consumers can trust. Join Dr. Leyer as he discusses the best practices in probiotic manufacturing that lead to quality product. He will combine knowledge from UAS Labs’ role in the creation of IPA Best Practice Guidelines with personal experience obtained as the CSO of a vertically integrated company. UAS Labs knows first-hand the struggles and successes that come with probiotic manufacturing excellence. The probiotic concept may offer a completely new preventive option for individuals at risk for developing gluten intolerance.

  • Probiotic manufacturing best practices.
  • Improving quality and efficiency in fermentation.
  • Preventing potential pitfalls.





Dr Gregory Leyer, Chief Scientific Officer, UAS Labs

Dr. Greg Leyer has dedicated his professional career to probiotic advancement making him not only a critical component of UAS Labs but a world-renowned expert, educator and speaker in the field. To continue driving the industry and UAS Labs forward, Dr. Greg continues research in the areas of probiotic bioprocess development, application development, and clinical sciences. To-date he has authored or co-authored 24 publications in the areas of probiotic clinical results, application know-how, safety parameters, and holds patents in the field. In addition, he is an active member of both the International Probiotic Association (IPA) and International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Greg received his M.S and Ph.D. in Food Microbiology and Toxicology studying the pathogenesis of various organisms including Clostridium botulinum and Salmonella typhimurium. His post-graduate career has since focused on the beneficial effects microbes have on humans.



14:20-14:50: Next Frontier in Probiotics- Human-Residential Bifidobacteria: their composition, compatibility and physiological features in human gut

Bifidobacteria are one of the major components in human microbiota, and currently around 50 taxa have been discovered; generally, they are distinguished as human-residential bifidobacteria (HRB) and non-HRB based on the residential features of each species. This lecture will give insights into recent findings of Morinaga including the difference of gut composition, compatibility with human breast milk of HRB and non-HRB and highlight some latest clinical studies on each probiotic stain.

  • Latest research of gut compositional changes of Bifidobacterium species from newborn infants to centenarians.
  • The difference of compatibility with human breast milk and other features of Bifidobacteria between HRB and non-HRB.
  • Latest clinical research of HRB probiotics.


Mai Nozawa, Sales Associate, Morinaga Milk Industry Co.

As part of sales & marketing team of Morinaga Milk Industry for functional ingredients including probiotics, Mai brings a wealth of technical and development food knowledge into play. She had managed sales and marketing across western and Asia-pacific market for probiotics until 2015, and today she handles marketing and branding of functional ingredients.



15:00-15:30: RESPECTA®: Gender-specific probiotic support

  • Respecta® colonize vaginal microbiota.
  • Respecta® maintain a healthy vaginal microbiota.
  • Respecta® reduce recurrences of vaginal infections.


Dr. Francesco De Seta, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Trieste – IRCCS B. Garofolo, Italy, Giellepi

Dr. Francesco De Seta (April 9th, 1968) is an assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Trieste, Italy where he is involved in clinical practice, teaching and research in the areas of infectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology. In 2007-2008 he was Research Assistant Professor in the gynecologic infectious disease research program at Des Moines University (Des Moines USA) and has continued in that position until 2010. He is working now in Trieste with an internationally recognized group that was responsible for the first paper on the proteomic analysis of human cervico-vaginal fluids, and now involved in several microbiota studies. He is currently a member of several scientific societies and vice-president of SIMAST (Italian Society for Sexually Transmitted Infections) and ISIDOG-ITALIA (European Society for Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology) and medical advisor for Giellepi.






15:40-16:10: Bacillus Subtilis HU58- A Unique, Versatile, Performance Probiotic

For over 50 years, Bacillus-endospores have offered probiotic makers unique functionalities such as nutrient-production, competitive-exclusion, process-stability and immune-modulation. Synergia Life Sciences introduced Bacillus subtilis HU58. HU58 was isolated from healthy-human volunteers and extensively characterized, studied and documented at Royal Holloway, University of London. Studies have shown HU58 can form spore, survive pass the gastric system, germinate into vegetative cell in GI-tract, colonize and grow in the anaerobic conditions of the GI tract. Once in GI-tract, HU58 competitively exclude unfavorable organisms, produce nutrients, such as short-chain fatty acids and support the growth of favorable bacteria during ecological stress to microbiota such as during the use of antibiotics and helps maintain homeostatic condition.

  • Bacillus subtilis HU58 – The high-performance Probiotic.
  • Human origin, extensively documented, proven health benefits.
  • Can be made available in a wide range of innovative formulations and food concepts.


Kiran Krishnan, Microbiologist, Synergia Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd

Kiran Krishnan is a Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 17 years. He comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa. He left University research to establish a Clinical Research Organization where he designed and conducted dozens of clinical trials in human nutrition. Kiran is the acting Chief Scientist at Microbiome Labs. He is a frequent lecturer on the Human Microbiome at Medical and Nutrition Conferences. He is a regular guest on National Radio, Satellite radio, Television, Podcasts and online Webinars as a microbiome expert. He is currently involved in 10 novel human clinical trials on probiotics and the human microbiome. Kiran offers his extensive knowledge on the human microbiome as it relates to health and wellness.



16:20-16:50: The Art of Manufacturing an Innovative Probiotic Product

  • There is still plenty of innovation surrounding probiotics.
  • Special handling of probiotics during manufacturing is key, especially when combined with other ingredients.
  • Packaging choices matter.


Jeremy Bartos, Vice President Research & Development, MeriCal

Jeremy Bartos, PhD has over 10 years of experience working in the dietary supplements industry in a variety of product development, regulatory, innovation, business development and sales roles. In his current position, he utilizes his knowledge of the scientific and clinical benefits of nutraceutical ingredients to create new finished product solutions, specializing in probiotic, sports nutrition, and health condition-specific innovative solutions. His accolades include authoring peer-reviewed publications, co-inventing numerous natural products patents and launching both branded proprietary ingredients and successful finished products tailored for various dietary supplement markets. Dr. Bartos was an NCI-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he focused on the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication. Dr. Bartos received his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Molecular Biology from Roswell Park Cancer Institute.