Professor Andreu Palou (PI)
Andreu Palou is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB). He is also head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology, and of the masters and PhD in Nutrigenomics and Personalised Nutrition. He has led more than 50 research and development projects in the last 10 years, funded by the Spanish Government, the EU and other public and private organisations. He is a member of the Governing Board of the CIBERobn (Centro de Investigación en Red sobre Obesidad y Nutrición) since 2010, and has been a member of the scientific advising committee of various public and private institutions within the field of food and nutrition, both at a national and international level. Throughout his scientific career, the following positions are highlighted:
- First president of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) (2003-2010).
- Vice-president of the Scientific Nutrition Panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2003-2009) and vice-president and member of the Scientific Committee on Food (1997-2003).
He coordinates a great number of projects. These are some of the latest in which he has been involved in:
- BIOCLAIMS (2010-2015): Main coordinator. 11 groups from 7 European countries participated (Seventh Framework Programme, European Union).
- I.FAMILY (2012-2017): UIB coordinator. 17 groups from 12 European countries participate (Seventh Framework Programme, European Union).
- DIABAT (2011-2015): UIB coordinator. 21 groups from 12 European countries participated (Seventh Framework Programme, European Union).
- EPIMILK (2013-2015): Principal investigator (AGL2012-33692).
- MARCASALUD network (2014-2016): Principal investigator. 8 national groups participate (AGL2014-55068-REDT).
His main discovery has been the identification of leptin as an essential nutrient during lactation. Leptin is a protein present in breast milk but not in formula milk, and its oral intake offers protection against obesity development and associated complications in adult life.
He has authored more than 400 publications, including scientific articles, book chapters and reviews, among others, and he regularly participates in national and international conferences. He is the author of 5 patents, one of which has been extended nationally and transferred for the creation of the first technology-based company of the UIB (Alimentomica S.L.).
He has received various prizes, including:
- XXIII Dupont Science prize (2014)
- Fundación Antama prize (2014)
- VII Nutrition and Health National prize (Universidad de Navarra) (2011)
- Prize for the scientific and professional career from the Spanish Society of Obesity Studies (2011)
- International Hipocrates prize for Medical Research on Human Nutrition (Real Academia de Medicina de Asturias) (2008)