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Join date: Feb 19, 2021

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​NNEdPro Founding Chair and Executive Director

Director of Research in Food Security, Health and Society (P/T), Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Cambridge Professor of Global Nutrition, Health and Disease (P/T), Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University Visiting Professor (Hon), Public Health and Primary Care, Imperial College London

Professorial Fellow (Hon), Medicine, University of Wollongong Australia

Co-Founder and Co-Chair (Hon), BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health

International Dean (Hon), Lord Rana Foundation Charitable Trust ​ s.ray@nnedpro.org.uk

Overview of Professional Standing and Interests


I am a UK Licensed Medical Doctor and UK Registered Public Health Nutritionist, with 20 years of professional experience. My specialist interests are in applied human nutrition, cardiovascular disease prevention, health systems education as well as global food and nutrition security. In 15 years of being research-active I have been involved in successful grant funding of ~£28M either as a principal applicant, co-applicant or named advisor and have produced over 100 peer-reviewed outputs, delivered several hundred key presentations including a vast range of conference abstracts, contributed to impact case studies and have been an editor/co-author for several textbooks.


Education and Training


I completed a degree in Clinical Medicine with Distinctions along with an intercalated Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education with Merit. I subsequently undertook a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education, a taught Master of Philosophy Degree in Public Health with Epidemiology, and a Research Medical Doctorate in Nutrition and Cardiovascular Prevention. I have also completed relevant professional body memberships/fellowships by competency assessment. In over a decade of postgraduate training, I maintained a continued specialist interest in nutrition within both hospital medicine and public health medicine, whilst receiving training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods across several academic domains. These exposures have eventually culminated in Editorship of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical/Healthcare Research (2016) as well as Editorship of the Elsevier Textbook of Essentials of Nutrition in Medicine (2021). I have also had formal training in management and leadership (British Medical Association and the Institute of Leadership and Management) as well as social entrepreneurship (Innovate UK).


Previous Experience in Dundee (2003-2008)


Over 2003-2008 I held a Clinical Research and Teaching Fellowship (latterly promoted to Senior Fellow), in The Institute of Cardiovascular Research (TICR) as well as Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, at the University of Dundee. From 2009-2019 I continued to hold the position of Honorary Senior Clinical Teacher with Dundee. During this period, my work was predominantly funded by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, GSK Nutrition Research, Genzyme and TICR appeal funding. In Dundee I held significant teaching and project supervision responsibilities for undergraduates in Medicine and Life Sciences as well as within the Master’s in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition. Whilst in Dundee, in 2004 I was elected as an officer of the British Medical Association (BMA) and over a 15-year period I held various voluntary policy roles within the BMA Medical Academic Staff Committee including twice being elected as Deputy Chairman of the UK Conference of Medical Academic Representatives (COMAR).


Previous Experience in Cambridge (2008-2018/19)


Since 2008 I have held the open-ended position of Founding Chair and Executive Director of the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health in Cambridge (UK), an interdisciplinary and international think-tank, undertaking education, research, and advocacy, working closely with Universities, the non-profit sector, and multinational agencies. This position was initially 1 day per week with expansion of the role over 10 years to the current commitment of 4 days per week. Alongside my role as NNEdPro Chair, I have held notable contemporaneous academic appointments in Cambridge and more widely. Over 2008-2010 I was supported by an early career National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship, co-hosted by the University of Cambridge Institute of Public Health and School of Clinical Medicine in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Norwich Medical School. During this period, I was also a Corfield Scholar at Selwyn College Cambridge and my work was additionally funded by unrestricted educational grants from Abbott Nutrition as well as quality improvement grants from the National Health Service East of England Strategic Health Authority.


Following this, from 2010-2018, I held an intramural position within the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cambridge, as Senior Medical Advisor and Senior Clinician Scientist at the Elsie Widdowson Laboratory (EWL) where I led an Experimental Medicine Research Facility/Team dedicated to Human Nutrition Research. Within this facility, I established a competitively funded state-of-the-art Nutrition and Vascular Studies Platform which was transferred by the MRC to Ulster University, upon planned closure and restructuring of the EWL over 2018. During my tenure with the MRC EWL in Cambridge I also served as a graduate studies supervisor for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral research (including University of Cambridge and Kings College London), whilst also leading on the development and delivery of the medical nutrition curriculum within the University of Cambridge; from 2011-2017 I was a Senior Clinical Fellow at Cambridge University Hospitals; from 2013-2018 I was the Lead Clinician for the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) of the UK Health Departments; and from 2015-2018 I was appointed as University of Cambridge Senior Clinical Tutor for Nutrition in Medicine.


Over 2010-2018, I led the development of the NNEdPro group from a small UK-centric programme to a Global Centre working across six continents, made possible with MRC support and a series of competitive grants spanning the charity, private and public sectors, including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); during this period I served on several MRC panels and committees including the 2016-2018 transition group as the MRC was transferred to UK Research and Innovation (URKI). Over the course of my MRC tenure, the work of the NNEdPro group attracted wide recognition: 2013 Josephine Lansdell Award – BMA Research Foundation; 2014 Honorary Associateship Award – British Dietetic Association (BDA); 2015 Complete Nutrition (CN) Outstanding Achievement Award; 2016 British Medical Journal (BMJ) Education Awards (1st runner up); 2017 Medical Nutrition Industry (MNI) Award – European Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ESPEN); 2017 Cambridge-India ESRC Impact Acceleration and GCRF Awards.


Also, during my MRC tenure, in 2015 I was elected to a 2-year Visiting Fellowship with Griffith University Australia, a 4-year Adjunct Professorship in Public Health at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and simultaneously in 2015 I was elected by distinction to a 5-year Governing Body Fellowship of Wolfson College Cambridge where I served in graduate mentoring, on the personnel committee and as an inspector of accounts. From 2016-2018 I held a Visiting Professorship with Ulster University. Over 2017-2019 I was appointed as a Course Director in Nutrition Science at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. Over 2018-2019 with support from the MRC I was appointed as Consultant in Nutrition Education to the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva which led to expansion of the NNEdPro Regional Networks and subsequent recognition from the University of Sao Paulo by invitation as an International Visiting Professor, and the University of Brunei as an Eminent Visiting Professor (EVP).


Current Roles and Core Responsibilities (2019 onwards) ~0.75 FTE


Since 2019, alongside my core appointment as NNEdPro Executive Director, I continue to hold several linked roles. I function as the Executive Director for the International Academy of Nutrition Educators (IANE) established in 2018 and managed by the NNEdPro Global Centre in partnership with the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) and Monash University. I am also the Founding Co-Chair of the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health (BMJ NPH), established in 2018 and co-owned by the British Medical Journal Group and the NNEdPro Global Centre. I serve as Trustee of an associated charity, The International Food and Nutrition (TIFN) Trust, established in 2019 and supported by the NNEdPro Global Centre. Within the NNEdPro Global Centre, significant externally facing initiatives which I co-lead are: a dedicated Nutrition and COVID-19 Taskforce; an interdisciplinary Nutrition Research and Innovation Consortium (NRIC) involving ten international research organisations including a novel initiative in Cardiometabolic Data Science with the Swiss Re Institute; the International Nutrition Knowledge Application Hub in Nutrition (iKANN) managed in partnership with the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC); the Nutrition Education Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); the Annual Summer School in Applied Human Nutrition (6th Edition in 2021) affiliated with the University of Parma, endorsed by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP); the Annual International Summit in Medical/Public Health Nutrition Education and Research (7th Edition in 2021); I also co-established and oversee the models for the Nutrition Education Policy for Healthcare Practice (NEPHELP) initiative in the UK, the Mobile Teaching Kitchen (MTK) initiative in India and 12 regional networks across the world seeking to adapt and scale these initiatives which have been recognised through multiple recent awards.


Ongoing Cross-Appointments and Additional Responsibilities ~0.25 FTE


I hold a fractional academic cross appointment as Director of Research in Food Security, Health and Society at the University of Cambridge (2019-2021). Linked with the MTK model, within the University of Cambridge I Co-Lead a BBSRC/GCRF Flagship Project (2017-2021) in India on food and nutrition security, and I am also Co-Supervisor for Cambridge-ESRC Grand Challenges Doctoral Research (2020-2023) on nutrition education in India. I am also actively involved in the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) Policy Fellowship Programme as well as Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives. Stemming from my BBSRC/GCRF/UK-India work in Cambridge, I am a lead co-investigator for nutritional aspects of development research in Southeast Asia as well as a senior co-investigator for a Surrey-India GCRF pump priming initiative. I also serve on the National Advisory Board of the BBSRC Food Biosystems Doctoral Research Training Partnership (2020-2028) spanning a consortium of six UK universities.


I also hold a fractional appointment as Full Professor of Global Nutrition, Health and Disease at Ulster University (2019-2022). Within the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Nutrition and Health (NICHE) in Ulster University I co-lead the Nutrition and Vascular Studies Platform embedded within the Human Intervention Studies Unit and facilitating nutrition intervention studies measuring vascular/endothelial function. I also teach a module on Cardiovascular Nutrition across all six taught degree courses on Food Science, Human Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics in NICHE. In 2021 I will commence Doctoral Research Co-Supervision for several NICHE PhD studentships and will also be part of the inaugural teaching team for the newly established graduate Medical School at Ulster University. I sit on the NICHE advisory board as well as the international advisory board for the Ulster-Latin America Safewater GCRF Programme (2017-2021) spanning Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. Linked with my Ulster role I am also Honorary International Dean to the Lord Rana Charitable Foundation Trust in Belfast.


Additionally, I continue to hold honorary academic appointments: Visiting Professor in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London where I am a lead co-investigator for nutritional aspects of the South London Cohort (2016-2024); Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Medicine at the University of Wollongong Australia where I am a Doctoral Research Co-Supervisor in Medical Nutrition Education (2017-2023); Presidential Advisory Board Member in the School of Advanced studies on Food and Nutrition at the University of Parma where I am responsible for the exchange training of graduate students within our Summer School in Applied Human Nutrition (2019 onwards).


Within my portfolio, I also continue to undertake a weekly session in wider aspects of clinical and public health research/education/practice enabling me to remain connected with the broader healthcare landscape. This includes: serving as an Expert Clinical member of the Cambridge Central Committee of the NHS National Research Ethics Service (since 2011); the role of lead tutor for the Clinical Research Ethics module of the Cambridge University Health Partners Research Skills for Clinicians Programme (2019 onwards); Associate Editorship of Frontiers Public Health Policy; Co-Lead of the Cambridge Research, Education and Training Enterprise (CREATE), an associated generic skills platform of the NNEdPro Global Centre focussed on research skills, workplace wellbeing and leadership training.




Prof Sumantra (Shumone) Ray

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