The 8th Annual Wyeth Nutrition Science Center Global Summit

Monday, Mar 11, 2019

The 8th Annual Wyeth Nutrition Science Center Global Summit is dedicated to fostering dialog between pediatric practitioners and experts on the latest advancements and future opportunities in pediatric nutrition. Such collaboration provides insights that can be applied to clinical practice. This year’s Summit will cover a range of topics related to key nutrients for infants, with a focus on cognitive development, the role of gut microbiome, and nutritional management of unwell and preterm infants. The summit will facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge between the various disciplines by encouraging collaboration through both didactic teaching and small group sessions. Participants will gain a better understanding of the structural and functional development of the early brain, and will be exposed to the latest information on the nutritional requirements for optimizing growth and development during the beginning years of life.



  • Recognize key components of early-life nutrition in infants and their correlation with brain and cognitive development

  • Discuss the link between gut health, microbiome, immunity, and cognitive development in early childhood

  • Apply early-life nutrition insights to current clinical practice and identify future opportunities for advancement

Access the schedule and live streams below

Global Summit 6.3.2019 9:15 - 13:30

09:00–09:15 Opening address from the Chair
09:15–10:00 History of collaborations in science
Professor Jose Saavedra
10:00–10:50 Optimizing growth in unwell infants
Chris Smith
10:50–11:20 Coffee break
11:20–12:05 From a clinician’s point of view: How do we enhance brain development?
12:05–12:55 Baby Connectome Project Enriched Study (BCP-Enriched): Interplay among nutrition, brain anatomical growth and brain functional development during early infancy
Professor Weili Lin
12:55–13:35 Panel discussion and Q&A

Global Summit 6.3.2019 15:00 - 17:30

15:00–15:50 The gut:brain axis
Professor John Cryan
15:50–16:40 Baby Connectome Project Enriched Study (BCP-Enriched): Evolution of Gut Microbiome during early infancy
Dr. Brittany Howell
16:40–17:10 Panel discussion and Q&A

Global Summit 7.3.2019 9:00 - 12:30

09:00–09:20 Review of Day 1 and Chair’s introduction
Professor Weili Lin
09:20–10:10 Phospholipids and HMOs in brain development and executive function
Dr. Pascal Steiner
10:10–11:00 Preterm brain development and developing executive function
Professor Nick Embleton
11:00–12:20 Coffee and meet the experts session
12:20–12:35 Chair’s wrap-up and meeting close
Professor Weili Lin


Chair: Weili Lin, PhD

Director, Biomedical Research Imaging Center; Dixie Lee Boney Soo Distinguished Professor of Neurological Medicine; Professor and Vice-Chair of Basic Research, Radiology; Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology and School of Pharmacy; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Professor Weili Lin currently serves as the Director of the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The BRIC houses a comprehensive collection of human and small animal imaging scanners, and 32 faculty members with diverse expertise on imaging-related topics. Professor Lin is the Dixie Lee  Boney Soo Distinguished Professor of Neurological Medicine. He is also Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Biomedical Engineering, and Pharmacy, and serves as the Vice-Chair of Basic Research at the Department of Radiology. Professor Lin was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2012, Research Fellow of American Society of Neuroradiology in 2012, distinguished Investigator of the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research Council in 2018, and has
served on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections as a regular or ad hoc member over the past 25 years.
Professor Lin has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles with research interests focused on early brain functional and structural development, discerning cerebral hemodynamics and oxygen metabolism in patients with neurologic diseases, and technical development of hybrid positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging approaches. Professor Lin is the contact Principal Investigator for ongoing research on delineating early brain functional and structural development using non-invasive imaging approaches. For this research, recently awarded by the NIH Baby Connectome Project, his team has developed imaging protocols, imaging approaches, and novel image analysis tools specifically tailored for analyzing early brain development.


Chris Smith, RD

Registered Dietitian, Clinical Lead, and Senior Paediatric Dietitian, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, UK

Mr. Chris Smith is a pediatric dietitian with over 15 years of experience in clinical dietetics. Following his training in London, UK, he worked at the Royal Free Hospital, London, for many years before moving to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, UK, in 2007, where he leads the Paediatric Acute Dietitian Team. Mr. Smith’s specialist areas include clinical management of under nutrition, gastroenterology, and cystic fibrosis. In addition to maintaining a busy clinical workload, Mr. Smith also has a strong interest in research. He has authored several journal articles and book chapters in the field of nutrition and has presented his work at several European conferences, including the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and the European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS). He is the Co-Chair of the European Cystic Fibrosis Nutrition  group and sits on the ECFS Scientific Committee. Mr. Smith has also contributed to CF-Europe charity outreach work in several Eastern European countries, including Romania,
Latvia, Estonia, and Bulgaria.
In 2014, Mr. Smith set up the Nutritional Clinical Investigation Unit at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, and his current projects focus on nutritional assessment of body composition, indirect calorimetry, and intake composition analysis. Mr. Smith has been a lecturer for several leading nutrition companies for many years and continues this important work to share good clinical practice and best nutritional care. He has also developed a pediatric dietetic module day for dietitian undergraduate students at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, which he teaches. In his spare time Mr. Smith runs a taxi service for his two children.


John F. Cryan, PhD

Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland

John F. Cryan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork (UCC), Cork, Republic of Ireland, and is also a principal investigator
at APC Microbiome Ireland, UCC. Professor Cryan’s current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut, and microbiome, and how it applies to stress, psychiatric, and immune-related disorders at key time windows across the lifespan.
Professor Cryan has published over 450 articles and is co-author of the bestselling The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection
from National Geographic Press. He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012; UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013, and being named on the Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014, 2017, and 2018. He  was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. Professor Cryan has also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland in 2017, and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in spring 2018. He was a TEDMED speaker in 2014 and is currently President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.


Brittany Howell, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar in Developmental Psychology at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Brittany Howell earned her PhD in neuroscience from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in 2013 after having earned her BSc in cell and molecular biology and neuroscience in 2006 from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. She worked under the guidance of Dr. Mar Sanchez at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, where her dissertation focused on determining the effects of early adverse experience on neurodevelopment, and how these alterations are related to psychopathology in rhesus monkeys. She applied in vivo imaging techniques to follow structural changes in the brains of rhesus macaques with histories of adversity (i.e. maternal physical abuse and neglect, and low social dominance rank) longitudinally, from birth through the juvenile period. Dr. Howell’s current work as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jed Elison’s group at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, combines her expertise in neuroimaging with biological samples collected as part of the UNC/UMN Baby Connectome Project to better understand the biologic pathways through which early experiences, particularly those with mothers, modulate brain development in babies. These pathways include bioactive constituents of breast milk and effects on the fecal microbiome. The ultimate goal of Dr. Howell’s research is to inform effective best practices in early mother–infant care to optimize neurodevelopmental outcomes in all infants.


Pascal Steiner, PhD

Head of Neurocognition, Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. Pascal Steiner received his BSc from University of Lausanne, a PhD in Neuroscience from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2004, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in 2008. He then served as Director of Operations at Tilocor International, a biotech consortium, where he supervised the transfer process of drug candidate products from research towards clinical development. From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Steiner worked in the Neuroscience Department at Genentech in South San Francisco, leading an interdisciplinary team to discover and develop new drug targets in neurological diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and pain. In 2015, Dr. Steiner joined the Research Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland and was then appointed Head of the Department of Brain Health. Its mission is to identify and develop innovative nutritional solutions to support brain health throughout life, including programs focusing on infant neurodevelopment and cognition, working with Wyeth Nutrition.


Nick Embleton, MD

Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician and Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Professor Nick Embleton is Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician and Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. He qualified with honours in Medicine from Newcastle University in 1990 (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). His doctoral thesis (MD 2002) was on protein requirements in preterm infants. Professor Embleton now leads a broad portfolio of translational research (www. He is involved in studies that include large-scale National Institute for Health Research collaborative trials (>5,000 infants recruited), which explore the role of early feeding in preterm infants and the impact of supplemental lactoferrin (ELFIN and SIFT studies). Embedded within these large pragmatic trials are mechanistic microbiomic and metabolomic studies (MAGPIE:, which collected >25,000 samples of urine and stools from ~500 infants in 12 different UK hospitals. He also coordinates the Newcastle Preterm Birth Growth Study tracking the growth, cognitive, and metabolic outcomes of children who were born preterm into late adolescence. Currently, Professor Embleton is Chief Investigator on two randomized controlled trials: 1) INDIGO, exploring the impact of an exclusive human milk diet in very preterm infants; and 2) FLAMINGO, Feeding in Late and Moderately Preterm Infants Nutrition and Growth Outcomes. He is a member of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Committee of Nutrition, and is Chair of the UKbased multidisciplinary Neonatal Nutrition Network (N3), as well as working with colleagues in Liverpool, UK, and Ibdadan, Nigeria, helping to establish a Neonatal Nutrition Network in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Embleton is also clinical lead for qualitative studies exploring reproductive and/or neonatal loss (the Butterfly project He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, has >6,000 citations, and his H-index is 38.

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