Meet the team

Laura Fernández Celemín Director General
Laura Fernández Celemín

Laura joined EUFIC in 2002 as Scientific Advisor, and has since contributed to the growth of the organisation fulfilling different functions throughout the years. She leads the organisation since January 2015, and passionately believes that the strength of EUFIC are the people who work in it.

Laura has a BSc in Dietetics from Institut Paul Lambin in Brussels, a degree in Human Nutrition from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, and a PhD in Biomedical sciences from the same university.

Outside work, Laura enjoys cooking and eating, being active, and spending time with her family and friends.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Mahatma Ghandi

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Patricia Mawenu Office Manager
Patricia Mawenu

Patricia joined the EUFIC team in March 2016 and takes great pleasure in looking after the office and the team itself, its human resource needs, as well as the event and meeting coordination. Patricia brings with her several years’ experience in HR, office management, client service and administration gained working in areas such as social justice, financial services and public affairs and strategic communications in Brussels.

Patricia has an MBA in Business communication from the International Management Institute in Brussels and a BSc in Quantitative Economics from Makerere University in Kampala.

Outside her work, Patricia enjoys spending time with her family and friends and concocting the next mix of spring flowers for her garden. She also serves as a board member for both the Ugandan Community Group in Belgium and the Kampala Children’s Centre which is a school and orphanage in Uganda.

“Synergy is better than my way or your way. It's our way.”

Stephen Covey

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Frédéric Goffard Financial Manager
Frédéric Goffard

Frédéric uses his financial and tech genius to keep EUFIC’s figures and equipment streamlined and running smoothly. He joined EUFIC in 2012 having previously worked in the various fields of Design (Design Board), IT (Telematics and Services), Solar Panel (Imperbel/Derbigum), Crude Oil and Gaz trading (Fortum Oil) as well as Trade Association/Lobbying (DigitalEurope). Frédéric brings with him a wealth of knowledge in Finance, IT and Belgian legislation.

Frédéric has a BSc in Accounting from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (EPHEC – Brussels) and followed evening courses in Tax Law and IT.

Besides his professional activities, Frédéric is also the founder and treasurer of two not for profit associations: 'Les Amis de Thierry' (cancer) and the Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles (Field hockey and Tennis Club). You will mostly see him on hockey pitches as a player or referee or behind a nice glass of wine.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde

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Milka Sokolović Head of Food & Health Science
Milka Sokolović

In 2013, Milka made a career turn from conducting to communicating science. She went from investigating the ins and outs of metabolism in an academic setting, to wrapping scientific knowledge into palatable parcels at EUFIC. She now oversees EUFIC’s content production on food and health, where she combines her critical thinking with her flair and passion for communication.

Milka has a degree in Biology from the University of Belgrade, and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Amsterdam, interlaced with fifteen years of research and academic teaching.

Outside EUFIC, she is a food-, books-, kids-, and social justice- aficionado.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Sophie Hieke Head of Consumer Science
Sophie Hieke

Since joining EUFIC in 2011, Sophie has been in charge of EUFIC’s Consumer Science department. She also coordinated the EU-funded project on health claims, CLYMBOL. Sophie has specialised in consumer behaviour in the area of food, with a PhD in statistics and empirical research from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. She regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals, attends conferences and gives talks all over the world on EUFIC research into consumers, food and health. She is also an associate editor at Public Health Nutrition.

In her spare time, Sophie loves to eat – especially cheese.

"Statistics are like bikinis: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”

Aaron Levenstein.

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Sofia Kuhn Head of Communication
Sofia Kuhn

Since joining EUFIC in 2010, Sofia has overseen EUFIC’s rebrand, web and social media, media relations, EU project communication and corporate communications. Sofia brings many years of corporate and science communications experience to EUFIC with her pre-EUFIC portfolio including positions such as communications lead for the JPI on Antimicrobial Resistance at the Swedish Research Council and acting head of communications at the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg.

She has a MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London and a BSc in Biological Science from King’s College London.

In her spare time, Sofia is mostly found on horseback.

Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.

Carl Sagan

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Christina Sadler Nutrition & Health Projects Manager
Christina Sadler

Using her eagle eye in editing, Christina manages EUFIC’s flagship Food Today publication, and coordinates other projects to translate nutrition and health science. She leads the outreach activities of EU projects MyNewGut and RICHFIELDS. Christina joined EUFIC in 2011, after experiences in dietetic practice with the NHS, nutrition policy at the UK’s Food Standards Agency and public affairs at Diabetes UK.

She has a First Class Honours degree in Nutrition from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, for which she was awarded the Farnsfield medal.

In her spare time, Christina runs half marathons, dances on ice, and plays the accordion.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”


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Nina McGrath Food Safety Projects Manager
Nina McGrath

Nina joined the team in 2015 and manages EUFIC’s food safety activities, as well as leading the dissemination activities for EU projects OLEUM and NanoPack. She has a MSc in chemistry and a PhD in polymer and materials science from the University of Bristol, UK. Before EUFIC, Nina worked as Science Counsellor at Euro Chlor, providing scientific support on health and environmental issues.

Nina enjoys mixing chemicals in the lab, ingredients in the kitchen and is herself a bit of a mix with Danish, Irish and Belgian roots.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie

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Raymond Gemen Nutrition & Health Projects Manager
Raymond Gemen

Raymond is a nutritionist with a healthy appetite for being active. His core values are scientific integrity and responsible communication. He joined EUFIC in 2012, after a traineeship at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. Raymond’s responsibilities at EUFIC vary from managing projects and junior staff, writing and reviewing science-based content, to participating in scientific events. He currently sits on the advisory board of Voeding Nu (Dutch nutrition magazine for health professionals), and is actively involved in the European Nutrition Leadership Platform (ENLP).

Raymond holds a BSc in Biology from Utrecht University and an MSc in Nutrition and Health from Wageningen University, both in the Netherlands.

If not travelling, Raymond usually spends his free time being active with his family.

Raymond’s life mottos:

"Ask questions and where there’s an elevator, there are stairs!"

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Carlos Abundancia Communications Officer
Carlos Abundancia

Since joining EUFIC in 2015, Carlos has been the right hand man of the communications team taking care of activities such as EU funded projects, statistical web analysis and social media. He brings to the job a scientific background and loads of motivation and positive attitude, always looking for new challenges in the digital world.

He has a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from CEU San Pablo University and a European MSc in Food Science, Nutrition and Metabolism from University of Navarra. Carlos is currently studying for an Executive Master in Digital Marketing and Communication from the Solvay Business School, Brussels.

In his spare time, Carlos is mostly travelling and trying new food.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

George Bernard Shaw.

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Julie Lebrun Graphic Designer
Julie Lebrun

Since 2015, Julie’s role has been to design EUFIC’s visual material and make science communication graphically exciting. Julie is the creative brain behind EUFIC’s fresh new brand. She’s also a wiz at animated videos, infographics, interactive books and other visual pleasures. She makes sure that our scientific facts come across as playful, clear and enjoyable.

Julie studied graphic design at ENSAV La Cambre (Brussels), and visual arts with new media at Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa. She is eager to apply her knowledge to her favourite topic: sustainable food.

You may find Julie creating vegetarian recipes in her kitchen, or observing fish in clear waters.

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Aleksandar Sokolović Business Development Manager
Aleksandar Sokolović

Since joining in 2015, Aleksandar has focused on helping EUFIC to grow as an organisation. Using his familiarity with both the academic and the commercial world he coordinates the actions to bring more EU-funded projects and other new funding opportunities to EUFIC.

He has a MSc in Biology from the University of Belgrade, and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Amsterdam and a lifetime of experience in vibrant multicultural environments.

Aleksandar, a.k.a. Sasha, is a 24/7 hands-on trouble-shooter, always in search of a new challenge.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

Henry Ford

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Sarah Ajjan Translator
Sarah Ajjan

Sarah has recently joined EUFIC as science communication assistant responsible for developing EUFIC’s Arabic website and social media. She previously worked as an interpreter for the Belgian office of the commissioner general for refugees and stateless persons and brings a lot of intercultural experiences and exposure.

She has a BSc in French Literature and an MSc in Arabization & Interpretation from University of Aleppo.

In her spare time, Sara likes to visit as much as possible of the world.

"Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate."

Thomas Aquinas

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Caitriona Breaw Food and Health Intern
Caitriona Breaw

Since joining EUFIC in 2016, Caitriona manages social media and website posts, administration and internal communication for EU projects and the editing and creating of science-based content for our website. Caitriona is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition at Ulster University. This is her first professional position in the field of health and nutrition.

In her free time, Caitriona is an enthusiastic traveler and lover of good food.

"Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you'll die of a misprint."

Markus Herz

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