Prof. Andreu Palou, winner of DuPont Science Award in Spain & Portugal
Within the theme of the latest edition of the DuPont Science Award relating to the field of health and nutrition, Dr. Andreu Palou has been recognized for his scientific contributions in the area of molecular nutrition: the regulation system of body weight (obesity); leptin and the relationship between diet and (epi-) genetics (nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition); the diet/illness mechanisms related to food safety and efficacy; functional food; and the identification of health claims on foods and new biomarkers for European substantiation of health claims in food.
Obesity – and the associated metabolic alterations – is one of the biggest nutritional issues today, with huge impact on health but also economics and society. Andreu Palou and his team are working in three main areas:
- Thermogenesis and thermogenetic food that would allow us to lose the excess of calories in the form of heat instead of fat,
- Omic or nutrigenomic biomarkers for early prediction of potential health alterations, and
- Obesity prevention.
In this last area, Prof. Palou and his team have discovered a new function of leptin, a protein that is present in breast milk but not in substitute milks. The protein has an effect on lactating babies that protect them against the obesity in the future.
The DuPont Science Award was established in the Iberian Peninsula under the auspices of Professor Severo Ochoa (Nobel Prize winner in Medicine 1959) in order to encourage initiatives which make an important contribution to the advancement of science and its applications. For the last twenty-two years, DuPont has been giving the award to Spanish and Portuguese scientists that have contributed with their work to the advancement of science.
You can find information on the foundation, jurors and other details related to the DuPont Prize of Science: http://www.premiodupont.org.
Dr. Andreu Palou is Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Nutrition, University of Balearic Islands and Head of Group Research Center on Obesity and Nutrition Network (CIBERobn)