26th June 2013: NUTRIMENTHE researcher wins prestigious award

NUTRIMENTHE researcher, Dr Eva Reischl has won the 2013 Paediatric Nutrition Research Award for Young Investigators, which is presented to new investigators to acknowledge their “major contribution in a paediatric nutrition related research project” 

The award, supported by Danone Baby Nutrition, was presented during the annual meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) that took place this year in London.  The prize, with a cash value of €30k, will cover research proposed by Eva that will investigate the influence of nutritional supplementation during pregnancy with fish oil capsules and folic acid on genome-wide DNA methylation in the newborn child.  This is the first study of its kind. The project is due to start in August and will run for 18 months.

“I am proud of being funded by this prestigious award and of having this chance to expand my field of expertise from nutrigenomics to nutriepigenomics and contribute to this exciting new field of research” said Eva, from the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen - German Research Centre for Environmental Health. “This project gives me the opportunity to collaborate with great partners from all over Europe and continue the existing NUTRIMENTHE collaborations, in particular those involved with the NUHEAL* project, which I am very much looking forward to.”

DNA methylation is an essential biochemical process involved in the activation and inactivation of genes. However, the pattern of DNA methylation can change in response to environmental influences such as smoking and diet.   In turn, this can predispose or protect a person from the development of certain diseases including developmental disorders and complex diseases such as diabetes mellitus or even cancer.  This new study will investigate whether maternal nutrition during pregnancy has an impact on DNA methylation patterns in the newborn child.  If it does, further studies will be needed to analyse the role of altered methylation status in relation to later developmental outcomes and how supplementation during pregnancy can positively influence this relationship.   It is hoped that the project will give new insights into individual responses to nutritional intervention.








Dr Eva Reischl  

*The NUHEAL project in NUTRIMENTHE, is evaluating the effect of early nutrition programming on neurocognitive development and mental performance in school-aged children whose mothers received omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and/or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate during pregnancy.  The NUTRIMENTHE partners involved are; the University of Granada (Spain), University of Munich (Germany) and the University of Pecs (Hungary).  


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