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Professor of Carbohydrate Biochemistry, Departments of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, King's College London

Peter Ellis is Head of the Biopolymers Group in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. His main research interests include the structure and properties of plant polysaccharides, especially in relation to the bioaccessibility, digestion and absorption of nutrients in the human gastrointestinal tract. This work has been funded by grants from the BBSRC, MRC, FAO and Industry.   Current studies focus on the behaviour of supramolecular plant structures, such as starch and the cell wall matrices (i.e. 'dietary fibre'), in the gut and their impact on digestion and postprandial metabolism.  These mechanistic studies are of importance in evaluating the role of starch and dietary fibre on the treatment and prevention of non-communicable disease, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of dietary polysaccharides will facilitate the rational design of novel food ingredients and food products with enhanced medical or nutritional benefits (i.e. functional foods).




Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London

Professor Christer Hogstrand (CH) has a B.Sc. in Biology (1985) and a Ph.D. in Zoophysiology (1991) from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Having finished his PhD, he spent two years as Research Fellow at McMaster University, Canada. In 1994, CH took a position as Assistant Professor in Biology and Toxicology at the University of Kentucky, USA. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1999, but moved to the UK to become Lecturer at King's College London. Here he has worked within the Department of Life Sciences, the Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences Division, and currently in the Departments of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences where he is head of the Metals Metabolism Group. In 2001, he was promoted to Reader and in 2005 to Professor. He has held appointments as senior investigator at the University of Miami, USA, and at the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), Bergen, Norway. CH is also an Expert for the European Food Safety Authority (Parma, Italy) since 2004 and vice-chair of its Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (Contam).


Present research interests concern functions of trace elements in health and disease, and molecular toxicology of environmental contaminants. Current research projects are (1) the roles of zinc and zinc-transporters in development, diabetes, cancer, lipid metabolism, epigenetic programming, and gut epithelium maintenance; (2) regulation of dietary trace element uptake; and (3) in vitro methods to assess toxicity and bioaccumulation of environmental contaminants. CH’s research has received uninterrupted support from major research funding bodies in Sweden, Norway, USA, EU, and the UK (NERC, BBSRC, NC3R, Wellcome). He has authored 18 books and book chapters and over 200 research with an h­-index of 49 (Scopus). 

Risk Assessment

CH has been involved in chemical risk assessment for EFSA since 2004. He became member of the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) in 2006 and was its vice-chair from 2012 to 2015. CH was then appointed to the EFSA panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) in 2015 and has been its vice-chair since July 2018. He has chaired eight EFSA working groups, including two on 3- and 2-monochloropropanediol (MCPD), and their fatty acid esters, and glycidyl fatty acid esters in palm oil and other food constituents. He has been involved in development of risk assessment practices and methodologies for EFSA and was member of its overarching working group on Weight of Evidence methodologies. He is chair of EFSA’s working group to devise a guidance on how to assess the risk of combined exposure to multiple chemicals (mixtures toxicity). CH has been author of >120 EFSA Opinions and Guidance documents.

CH is a highly qualified science communicator. He has 26 years of experience as university teacher and has given major talks in numerous countries on chemical risk assessment. CH has also appeared as expert toxicologist on television in the UK and several other countries and was selected by EFSA to be the presenter of its outreach video on alternatives to animal testing.


King’s College London

Franklin-Wilkins Building 3.85


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Professor in Particle Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London

Jerry Heng is currently a Professor in Particle Technology and Director of UG Studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London (2006) and a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (2002). His research group aims to understand the role of surfaces and interfaces in powder-based manufacturing and formulation, with current efforts focused on experimentally investigating powder surface anisotropy and the development of crystallisation as a separation strategy for the purification of biopharmaceuticals. Jerry is currently an EPSRC Manufacturing the Future Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Editor-in-Chief of the IChemE's journal - Chemical Engineering Research and Design.


Twitter: @jyyheng, @HengGroup



Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London 

Jason Hallett (Marshall Sherfield 2006) is Professor of Sustainable Chemical Technology within the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. He currently leads a group of 40 researchers with a focus on solvent design for reduced environmental impact in chemical processes. This has included the development of cost-effective designer solvents (ionic liquids) for large-scale applications in renewable energy, most prominently lignocellulosic biofuels. In 2017 he embarked on the commercialization of his biorefinery research by founding Lixea LTD, the first of five spin-out companies to commercialize his sustainability research. Lixea built a pilot-scale ionic liquid based biorefinery in 2021. Prof Hallett has co-founded 6 companies in total, all in the field of sustainable technology and 4 of which use ionic liquids as process solvents. He is also co-director of the UK’s national Supergen Bioenergy Hub and formulation lead for the UK’s national Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub.


Senior Lecturer at King’s College London

Ciro Chiappini is Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. His research combines nanotechnology, bioengineering and cell biology to nanomaterials for cell interrogation and manipulation. He was awarded a 2018 ERC Starting Grant to develop new technologies for gene delivery. He was Marie Curie Fellow and Newton International Fellow at Imperial College London from 2011 until 2016, and holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Chiappini He authored 2 patents and 40+ publications with 5000+ citations.



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Lecturer in Department of Chemistry, King's College London

Alex obtained both his MSci (2008) and PhD (2012) from the Department of Chemistry, University of Bristol. After a short postdoc there, he moved to the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, where he was a Research Associate until 2019. During this time, he was also a Visiting Researcher, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017 – 2018). In 2019, Alex moved to the Department of Chemistry, King’s College London, to establish his group as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Chemistry. The main question his research aims to answer is; can we make biological systems more compatible with synthetic systems, such that we can fully exploit nature’s toolkit to make our own industry more sustainable and more environmentally friendly, and help us move from an oil-based economy to a bio-based economy. 

Group website

Dr Alex Brogan website

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