Prof. Pieter Dagnelie is nutritional epidemiologist. He studied human nutrition at Wageningen University and received his PhD in 1988 based on a population-based, mixed-longitudinal cohort study of the nutritional status and growth of children fed macrobiotic diets. Subsequently, he received fellowships from the Dutch Cancer Society (1989) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991) to work on the etiology of weight loss in cancer patients, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and stable isotope tracers as main research tools.
In 1997, he was appointed Associate Professor in Maastricht to lead the nutritional epidemiology research group at the department of epidemiology and to build up the collaboration on nutritional epidemiology within Maastricht UMC+. In 2012, he received a strategic professorship in nutritional epidemiology.
Prof. Dagnelie’s overall aim is to explore new paradigms in the field of health research, lifestyle and nutrition, and to integrate and implement this new knowledge in disease prevention and treatment, thus contributing to improving people’s nutritional and health status, and quality of life. He has performed and supervised numerous observational studies and randomised clinical trials on the role of nutrition and bioactive compounds in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and cancer, with the improvement of transmural health care. His central aim has always been to contribute to the wellbeing of healthy individuals and patients. He is former member of the Scientific Committee of and the Medical Ethical Committee of Maastricht UMC+.
Prof. Dagnelie’s current research is focussed on The Maastricht Study (https://www.demaastrichtstudie.nl/), a large-scale study initiated in 2010 on the etiology and prognosis of diabetes and its comorbidities, with oversampling individuals with type 2 diabetes. Enrolment is still ongoing. The Maastricht Study is one of the largest studies world-wide of its kind. All participants undergo 5 half-days of intensive phenotyping. Prof. Dagnelie was involved in the Life Style collaborative group of The Maastricht Study and the development of the extensive Food Frequency Questionnaire to assess dietary intake, both in terms of nutrients, dietary patterns and processing.
Since 2012, Prof. Dagnelie has been member of the Management Team of The Maastricht Study. Within the MT, his focus is on optimising research methodology, quality, and design of projects within The Maastricht Study. He also contributes to exploring new targets for funding, and is currently coordinator for organizaing a second assessment round of this population study, including obtaining permission from the Health Council of The Netherlands.
Lately, outside The Maastricht Study, Prof. Dagnelie’s aim is to integrate population health and sustainability of the food chain, in relation with climate change, biodiversity, and fair pricing.