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Deputy Head of Food Databanks National Capability, Quadram Institute Bioscience

Dr Maria Traka

Dr Maria Traka is the Deputy Head of Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC), and a Group Leader in Personalised Nutrition and Gut Microbiome, at the Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB).

Food Databanks is responsible for curating and managing current data on the nutritional composition of foods eaten in the UK, which underpin research into the links between diet and health. Maria’s research work has previously focused on using nutritional systems biology to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease prevention by complex diets, and in particular the role of brassica-rich diets in preventing prostate cancer and metabolic disease. Currently, she has an active interest in understanding the sources of interindividual variation in metabolic response to foods and the role of the gut microbiome in shaping this, using multi-domain data.

As part of a wider Horizon2020 project to develop a Food & Nutrition Security data Cloud (FNS-Cloud; ), Maria is leading a study into the effect of plant bioactives in shaping our gut microbiome diversity, and the importance of our gut microbiome in personalised nutrition.