Debate Speakers

Professor Susan Jebb, University of Oxford, UK

Professor Susan Jebb is a nutrition scientist, with research interests focused towards how what we eat affects the risk of gaining weight or becoming obese and the interventions that might be effective to help people lose weight or reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases. Professor Jebb has also conducted a series of randomised controlled trials to study the impact of dietary changes on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In general, this work highlights that body weight is a more important risk factor for ill-health than differences in the nutritional composition of the diet. Professor Jebb has strong scientific collaborations with the Behaviour and Health Research unit at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Human Nutrition Research unit, where she was a Programme Leader for many years.

Professor Jebb is also very interested in how scientific evidence on diet is translated into policy and practice, by government, industry, the public health community and the media. She was the science advisor for the Foresight obesity report and subsequently chaired the cross-government Expert Advisory Group on obesity and the Responsibility Deal Food Network. Professor Jebb is now a member of the Public Health England Obesity Programme Board and one of the Chairs of the NICE Public Health Advisory Committees. She is actively involved in a number of events and media projects to engage the public in issues relating to diet and health. In 2008 Professor Jebb was awarded an OBE for services to public health.

Professor John Prins, University of Melbourne

Professor John Prins is Head of the Melbourne Medical School and Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Prins undertook his clinical training in endocrinology in Brisbane before completing a PhD in adipose tissue biology at UQ. Professor Prins then accepted a postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Cambridge, UK, based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He returned to Brisbane in 1998 after being awarded a Wellcome International Senior Research Fellowship.

In 2004, Professor Prins was Founder/Director of the UQ Centre for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, one of the most prominent and successful research groups on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus, which merged with the UQ Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research (CICR) in January 2007 to form the UQ Diamantina Institute.

Professor Prins has substantial commercialisation experience, holds four international patents and was the founder and scientific director of Adipogen Pty Ltd, a spin-out biotech company. He sits on numerous Australian and international pharmaceutical scientific and clinical advisory boards. His current corporate roles include directorships of Metro South Hospital and Health Service ($2.3b) and the Mater Foundation ($80m).
Professor Prins is an active clinician-scientist, a key opinion leader in diabetes and endocrinology in Australia and sits on numerous national and international scientific, clinical and educational committees and boards for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), non-government organisations and industry.

Debate chair
Professor Mike Gibney

Michael Gibney, MAgrSc, MA, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Food and Health at University College Dublin and served as the inaugural Director of the UCD Institute of Food and Health (2006-2013). He served on the Faculties of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney (1973-1976) and of Medicine at the University of Southampton (1976-1984) and Trinity College Dublin (1984-2006).

A former President of the Nutrition Society, he served on the EU Scientific Committee for Food (1985-1997) and on the EU Scientific Steering Committee (1997-2000, chairing the EU working group on BSE. He was a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Sackler Institute of Nutrition of the New York Academy of Sciences, of the Nestle Nutrition Council and of the Google Food Innovation Lab. He chaired the board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and was inaugural editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Society suite of textbooks on human nutrition. His research interests lie in metabolic and molecular nutrition, in public health nutrition and in probabilistic risk analysis. He maintains a blog (http://gibneyonfood.blogspot.ie) and has published several popular books on diet and health: “Something to chew on: challenging controversies in food and health” and “Ever seen a fat fox – human obesity explored”. Professor Gibney has been elected a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition (2018), a fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (2012), a fellow of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (2015) and a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (2018).

Professor Mike Gibney

Debate chair, University College Dublin

Michael Gibney, MAgrSc, MA, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Food and Health at University College Dublin and served as the inaugural Director of the UCD Institute of Food and Health (2006-2013). He served on the Faculties of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney (1973-1976) and of Medicine at the University of Southampton (1976-1984) and Trinity College Dublin (1984-2006).

A former President of the Nutrition Society, he served on the EU Scientific Committee for Food (1985-1997) and on the EU Scientific Steering Committee (1997-2000, chairing the EU working group on BSE. He was a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Sackler Institute of Nutrition of the New York Academy of Sciences, of the Nestle Nutrition Council and of the Google Food Innovation Lab. He chaired the board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and was inaugural editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Society suite of textbooks on human nutrition. His research interests lie in metabolic and molecular nutrition, in public health nutrition and in probabilistic risk analysis. He maintains a blog (http://gibneyonfood.blogspot.ie) and has published several popular books on diet and health: “Something to chew on: challenging controversies in food and health” and “Ever seen a fat fox – human obesity explored”. Professor Gibney has been elected a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition (2018), a fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (2012), a fellow of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (2015) and a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (2018).

Professor Susan Jebb

University of Oxford, UK

Professor John Prins

University of Melbourne