Spector, who is professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of TwinsUK at King’s College, London, was selected for his outstanding work over the last 30 years since founding TwinsUK, the UK twins registry, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information on a cohort worldwide.
In recent years, Prof Spector’s research has focused on the microbiome and its relationship with health, leading to the world’s largest personalized nutrition study of its kind.
Hols, who is professor of Microbiology at the Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, was selected for his fundamental and applied research on genetics and metabolism of lactic acid bacteria.
His research encompasses carbon metabolism, cell wall biosynthesis and metabolic adaptation to environmental factors, for which a multidisciplinary range of genomics/post-genomics, biochemical, and biophysical approaches have been used.
Angela Naef, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences’ Global Leader for Technology & Innovation and Danisco Foundation board member, commented: “The contributions that Professor Pascal Hols and Professor Tim Spector have made to enhance our understanding of lactic acid bacterial genetics and metabolism and the microbiome, respectively, are among the finest examples of scientific advancements in the fields of health, food and nutrition.
“We are honored to recognize their outstanding scientific accomplishments with the Danisco Science Excellence Medal and Microbiome Science Award.”
The original awards were founded in 2002 by the Danisco Foundation to help improve food products, notably industrially produced foods.