Ever since Hippocrates declared all disease begins in the gut over 2000 years ago, there has never been more public interest, or confusion, in the Western world about our diets and the food we should be eating for optimal health. Join international and UQ experts to discuss diet fads, ancient foods and new products for food and health.


Present and future of the Mediterranean diet

Prof. Lluis Serra-Majem: President of the International Foundation of the Mediterranean Diet and Professor of Preventive Medicine & Public Health at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 

  • What are the challenges for the world’s most popular and scientifically-validated diet?
  • Nutrition and culture versus convenience and globalisation
  • Uptake and sustainability of the Mediterranean diet in Australia and Asia 

Learning from the diets of our ancestors

Prof. Judith Kimiywe: CNS Chairperson, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Kenya 

  • Transitioning from traditional to modern diets
  • Indigenous knowledge, technology and nutrition 
  • Enhancing food and nutrition security of communities

Human nutrition and gut microbial science

Prof. Mike Gidley: Director, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, QAAFI

  • The gut science r/evolution
  • Rethinking nutrition based on gut science learnings
  • Busting gut fallacies: prebiotics & probiotics, faecal transplants

Ancient grains and superfoods

Prof. Robert Henry: Professor of Innovation and Director of QAAFI

  • Ancient grains – separating fact from fiction
  • The role of cereal grains in a modern diet
  • The future of rice

Prof. Lluis Serra-Majem and Prof. Judith Kimiywe appear courtesy of the international tropical agriculture and food conference, TropAg2017, to be held in Brisbane 20-22 November 2017.


Professor Lluis Serra-Majem

President of the International Foundation of the Mediterranean Diet and Professor of Preventive Medicine & Public Health at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Lluís Serra Majem (Barcelona, 1959) is a medical doctor with a Ph.D. specialising in Preventive Medicine and Public Health Nutrition. In 1988, he became Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the School of Medicine of the University of Barcelona, and in 1995 Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where he also serves as Director of the Biomedical and Health Research Institute. He is President and founder of the NGO Nutrition without Borders, as well as of the Nutrition Research Foundation. He has published 65 books and 395 peer reviewed scientific papers with an impact factor over 1500 and an H-index of 56. His main areas of research are: public health nutrition, Mediterranean diet and obesity prevention. He was the President of the I and III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition and he chairs the International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet. He is currently Member of the Experts Project Team of the Nutrition and Food Systems Report from FAO High Level Panel of Experts (2016-17) and Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative from Harvard University (2017).

Associate Professor Judith Kimiywe

CNS Chairperson, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Judith is an Associate Professor and a Certified Nutrition Specialist in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics at Kenyatta University. Her research has centered on use of locally available resources and support systems to enhance food and nutrition security of individuals and communities to mitigate hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Kenya and beyond. She has worked as a consultant for various international and UN agencies on development programs  for informing policy for Kenya , Regional and Internationally, and has made a significant contribution to formulation of country policies, strategic plans and guidelines for addressing nutrition of vulnerable populations. Prof. Kimiywe is a member of several professional organizations. Appointed as an Expert Consultant – Joint FAO/Bioversity International Expert Consultation on Nutrition Indicators for Biodiversity – 2 Food Consumption Washington DC, 8 – 9 June 2009. She is an awardee of the CGIAR Award to dietary diversity Kenya Team, awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award in recognition of attracting high number of research grants and best performing lecturer. Nominated Custodian of Dietary Diversity by Biodiversity International and has been nominated as Kenyan delegate to various high level global forums.

Professor Robert Henry

Director, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)

Professor Robert Henry is a Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland. He is an expert in the study of DNA-based methods for identification of plants and their pathogens, and the development of molecular markers for plant breeding and the genetic transformation of plants. A common focus of much of this work has been using molecular techniques to capture novel diversity for crop improvement. His laboratory made significant progress contributing to global food security in 2015 by developing technologies for the world’s two major crops, wheat and rice, greatly expanding the gene pool for rice through discovery of wild ancestral relatives in northern Australia; and discovering in wheat key genes that control performance and quality that will facilitate increased wheat production globally. Locally this should translate into higher yielding premium wheat varieties for the north and rice varieties with resistance to endemic diseases for the emerging northern Australian rice industry.

Professor Mike Gidley

Director, QAAFI Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences

Professor Mike Gidley is Director of the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences (CNAFS) at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation Prof. Gidley’s research is focussed on structure – function relationships in biopolymer assemblies such as starch granules and plant cell walls. This has led to the detailed characterisation of starch and dietary fibre digestion/fermentation in vitro and in vivo, with the understanding generated leading to opportunities for optimising nutritional value of foods and feeds. He is also a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.

Professor Gidley was trained in chemistry at the Universities of London (BSc) and Cambridge (PhD), and worked on food-related research for more than twenty years in Unilever’s R+D laboratory at Colworth House in the UK, beginning as a research scientist and culminating as the Group Leader for Plant-based Foods and Ingredients, before joining UQ in 2003.

The Global Leadership Series is a lively program of events for alumni and community. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.


More about UQ's Global Leadership Series




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