Meet the team

Dr Laura Fernández Celemín Director General
Dr 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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Dr Milka Sokolović Head of Food & Health Science
Dr 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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Dr Sophie Hieke Head of Consumer Science
Dr 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.”

Socrates

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Dr Nina McGrath Food Safety Projects Manager
Dr 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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Dr Aleksandar Sokolović Business Development Manager
Dr 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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Jidi Xu Food and Health Intern
Jidi Xu

Jidi joined EUFIC in March 2017 as a Nutrition & Health Intern and is passionate about helping people to live their best healthy life. She is currently completing a Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Wageningen University and Research. Jidi finds great joy in translating science into accessible and actionable information on food and health to inspire and empower people to make better decisions about diet and lifestyle.

Besides completing her studies, Jidi is a health and life coach where she helps busy women adopt a healthier lifestyle.  At EUFIC, Jidi will support nutrition and health projects and write science-based content for the website.

When she’s not at work, Jidi is either on her yoga mat or whipping up new dishes in the kitchen.

“It is far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.”

Hippocrates

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Kirstyn Byrne Graphic Design Intern
Kirstyn Byrne

Kirstyn joined the Communications department of EUFIC in March 2017 allowing her to combine the two greatest passions in her life; design and food.

She holds a BSc in Visual Communication from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and an MA in Food Design from the Académie Royale des Beaux-arts, Brussels.

At EUFIC she uses her creativity and design skills to help people become more informed about the food they eat and to make healthier choices.

In her free time Kirstyn is likely to be styling and photographing food for her blog and paying too much attention to how many likes her food pics get on Instagram!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

 J.R.R. Tolkien

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Meghan Horvath Communications Intern
Meghan Horvath

Meghan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minors in European Studies and French. She is from Chicago, but after studying abroad in Brussels she knew she needed to return and experience more of Belgium and of Europe.

Food has always been the central element in her life. She started college as a Food Science major, is the grandchild of chefs and hopes to open her own bakery café someday.

In her spare time, you can find Meghan trying new restaurants and dancing at music festivals.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

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Andres Londono Office Manager & Finance Intern
Andres Londono

Andres joined EUFIC in June 2017, he is currently in his last year of Business Management Bachelor at the Rey Juan Carlos University. EUFIC is his first experience working abroad, here he likes to apply the knowledge that he has acquired during his previous years, also learn about food and healthy life style and help EUFIC to be better every day.

In his free time, he likes to cook different types of meals, do physical activity or just walk around taking pictures.

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." ― Albert Einstein

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Katie Laverty Food and Health Intern
Katie Laverty

Katie is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition at Ulster University and working towards a career in health promotion. This is her first professional position in this field. Katie is passionate about making a difference towards reducing the ever-increasing number of consumers being misled into avoiding certain foods in which the media portray to be ‘unsafe’ ; All foodborne illnesses are preventable with the correct knowledge on how to handle food safely. In her spare time she loves to travel and try new cuisines.

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore.

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Jane Liu Communications Intern
Jane Liu

Jane joined EUFIC in August 2017 as a Communications Intern. Her love for people and the world drive her passion to empower individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices.

She holds a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies, and is currently completing her Master of Science in Science Communication at Imperial College London. At EUFIC, Jane uses her creativity and her academic training to help individuals deepen their knowledge of food and nutrition to make more conscious lifestyle decisions.

When she’s not at work, Jane loves to experience the beauty of the natural world through long runs and hiking trips with friends and family.

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible." – Audrey Hepburn

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Hannah Geupel Food and Health Intern
Hannah Geupel

Hannah loves to enjoy tasty food and is convinced that indulgence doesn’t need to be at the expense of individual and public health. This is why she joined EUFIC as an intern in September 2017.

She is studying the master’s programme “Nutrition and Health” at the University of Applied Science in Münster, Germany. She has passion for helping people making funded decisions on their choices of nutrition, food and lifestyle. At EUFIC, Hannah will support nutrition and health projects and transform knowledge and science in accessible language for the public website.

In her free time, Hannah likes doing sports, cooking, travelling and visiting friends. In Münster, she is running a cooking class for young refugees.

“There can be no knowledge without curiosity” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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