Scientific Advisory Panel on Sweeteners

Scientific Advisory Panel on Sweeteners supported by the International Sweeteners Association (ISA)

Following her Bachelor Degree (McGill University, Montreal) and a Masters Degree (Concordia University, Montreal) in experimental psychology, France Bellisle worked at the College de France in Paris in the laboratory of Jacques Le Magnen. She obtained Doctorate Degrees from the University of Paris. From 1982 until 2010, in the context of French National Research Institutes (CNRS, INRA), she developed original research in the field of human ingestive behaviours. Her research interests cover all types of determinants of food and fluid intake in human consumers, including psychological, sensory and metabolic factors as well as environmental influences. She has published over 250 articles in peer reviewed journals and contributed chapters to several books. She is now an independent consultant for scientific projects in the field of human appetite.

Dr Brian Cavagnari has a degree in Biological Sciences, graduated from the School of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

He joins the Institute of Chemistry and Biological Physicochemistry where, as a fellow of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, he carries out his PhD in 2001. For 7 years he carries out research in molecular biology and protein chemistry, he is teacher of Biological Chemistry and in several postgraduate courses in the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, UBA.

He obtained his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires and completed his specialization in Pediatrics, developing his healthcare activity in several prestigious public and private hospitals in the city of Buenos Aires. He obtained his master’s degree in Nutrition and Clinical Metabolism from San Jorge University (Spain) with his thesis “Non-Caloric Sweeteners: metabolism and evaluation of their safety” and his master’s degree in Food Technology from Parma University (Italy) with his thesis “Non-Caloric Sweeteners in the light of evidence-based medicine”.

He is a full member of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics and of the Argentine Society of Nutrition, where he is part of the Scientific Commission.

He is currently a researcher at the Career of Nutrition, School of Medical Sciences of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) and Vice-Director of the Diploma in Nutrition of the Argentine Society of Nutrition.

For several years he has studied the safety and the health effects of Non-Caloric Sweeteners, in the light of Evidence-Based Medicine.

Alison Gallagher is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Ulster University, where she contributes to the research conducted within the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE). Her research interests resonate within the area of obesity and include low energy/non-nutritive sweeteners and their potential impact on health, development of risk factors for disease and lifestyle interventions at key stages across the lifecycle particularly to enhance physical activity and health.

A Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) and Fellow of the Association for Nutrition (FAfN) on the island of Ireland. She is an active member of the Nutrition Society and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. In addition to being an expert member on the Scientific Advisory Panel on Sweeteners supported by the ISA, she is also a member/Vice-chair of Northern Ireland Chest Heart Stroke Scientific (NICHS) Research Committee, member/Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Nutrition Bulletin and a member of the UK Nutrition and Health Claims Committee ( She is a passionate advocate for the European Nutrition Leadership Platform (ENLP), having participated in the ENLP seminar in 1997 and being involved with this international leadership programme ever since, now as Chair/ President of the ENLP Board (

Dr. Carlo La Vecchia received his MD from the University of Milan and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Medicine (epidemiology) from Oxford University. Presently, he is Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Milan.

Dr. La Vecchia serves as an editor for numerous clinical and epidemiologic journals. He is among the most renowned and productive epidemiologists in the field with over 2260 peer-reviewed papers in the literature and is among the most highly cited medical researchers in the world, according to ISI, the developer and publisher of the Science Citation Index (2003, 2017-2020, H index 182, H10 index 1800).  Dr. La Vecchia was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Ma (1996-2001) and .Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Centre and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Centre (2002-18).

Wendy Russell is a chemist specialised in molecular nutrition researching the complex interplay between diet and health. Her research aims to establish the effect of our diet on several population groups and through dietary interventions, to understand the role of food in preventing disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Wendy has funding from the Scottish Government to investigate the potential of novel crops, particularly in protein provision for the future and the exploitation of underutilised plant species to improve nutrition and agrobiodiversity. As well as researching new opportunities for the UK Food and Drink industry, Global Challenges funding is allowing translation of this work to benefit smallscale rural farmers and co-operatives in sub-Saharan Africa. Wendy is an associate editor for Microbiome and chairs International Life Science Institute expert groups on ‘nutritional management of postprandial glycaemia’ and ‘efficacy of intervention in those with metabolic syndrome’.

Prof Dr Hans Verhagen has over 40 years of experience in food safety and nutrition. He is a certified toxicologist and nutritionist. He worked at Universities (Nijmegen, Maastricht, Ulster, Copenhagen), in contract research (TNO), in industry (Unilever), for the national government (RIVM), and EFSA from 2015-2020. From 2006-2015 he was a member of the EFSA-NDA panel, working on health claims and novel foods. He is a professor at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) and at the Technical University Denmark (DTU, Denmark). Since 2020, he is owner and consultant of Food Safety & Nutrition Consultancy in the Netherlands