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From the desk of the NNEdPro Chair November - December

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Dear Colleagues and Friends of NNEdPro

This month marks the completion of a challenging but highly successful operational transition over 2019 as we have evolved into a truly global think tank working with resilience across borders. As we draw an end to another exciting year, we bring your attention towards highlights and recent events that NNEdPro has been involved in as well as celebrating the achievements of some of our key members and collaborators. 

As I reflect on 2019 I am minded to look back not only over the year gone by but in fact the past 5 years as we incorporated as a social enterprise in 2015 anticipating an independent and international life course into the future. The half decade since then has comprised an exponential phase in the journey of NNEdPro from an extramural programme hosted within the MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory in Cambridge to an interdisciplinary Global Centre headquartered in Cambridge but holding together a consortium of stakeholdings from four Universities at its apex, a number of key strategic partnerships and also convening an expanding geographical reach through regional networks across six continents. In the text of highlights below, are summary points that underline the collective achievements that have been made possible over 2015-19 thanks to countless contributions from each and every member of NNEdPro in multiple capacities. I simply cannot give thanks enough to do justice to the vanguard of efforts that have led to the current moment in our journey as we are poised and ready to take on even bigger challenges in a much better prepared manner than ever before. My unreserved and heartfelt thanks to one and all!

Amongst the multitude of events that we have either driven or contributed to over the last quarter of 2019 one date – the 11th of December – strikes me as particularly poignant due to a hat-trick of events that we had the opportunity to impact as stewards of the NNEdPro mission: on that day we led an Inside Government Forum on NHS Food and Nutrition Standards, setting the stage for parliamentary dialogue in 2020; simultaneously we had invited speakers at a key national conference for the pharmaceutical sector emphasising the importance of nutrition and prevention alongside therapeutics; and to complete the triad of opportunities one of our key members delivered a nutrition awareness session to a large collection of General Practitioners spanning the East of England. In many ways these engagements highlight some of the work that lies ahead to impact the health service, influence therapeutic thinking and impact primary care where some of the biggest wins can be made in protecting populations from the effects of the double burden of malnutrition.

2020 promises to be a significant year for both NNEdPro as well as all actors involved in the United Nations Decade of Action (2016-2025) which reaches the half-way mark next year. With this edition we wish you all a peaceful holiday season, a fantastic start to the New Year and we hope to see you all soon in our upcoming events!

With season’s greetings and festive cheer on behalf of the entire team at NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health

Professor Sumantra (Shumone) Ray

NNEdPro Founding Chair and Executive Director

- Director of Research in Food Security, Health and Society (P/T), School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Cambridge | Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge

- Professor of Global Nutrition, Health and Disease (P/T), School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University

- Visiting Professor (Hon), School of Public Health, Imperial College London

- Presidential Board Advisor (Hon) at University of Parma

- Co-Founder and Chair (Hon) of BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health at the British Medical Journal Group

NNEdPro Highlights (2015-19): Evolution from project to programme to Global Centre


World Congress of Public Health workshops in 2015 followed by launch of Regional Networks with regular meetings:⁃ India x10 UK & Ireland x6 USA x6 Australia & New Zealand x4 Morocco x1 Brazil x1

5 International Summits, 4 Summer Schools, 3 Global Strategy Workshops and 2 Nutrition Weeks with Cambridge University

10th Anniversary in 2018 with launch of BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health

Hosting external conferences in 2019: International Society for Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics and Optimal Nutrition Care for All


Over 100 significant presentations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally - both invited and competitive - at scientific meetings and conferences as well as over 200 outputs including over 100 peer reviewed publications in 5 years


Awards and recognition over 5 years including: Complete Nutrition Outstanding Achievement, Innovate-2-Succeed, BMA Research Charities, BMJ Education Team, Medical Nutrition Industry International, Global Challenges Research Fund, Economic and Social Research Council and University of Cambridge Interdisciplinary Awards

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