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Professor Tom Sanders

Picture of Professor Tom Sanders
Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics 
King's College London 
4.72 Franklin-Wilkins Building 
150 Stamford Street 
London SE1 9NH 
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 4273 

BSc (Nutrition) Queen Elizabeth College London, 1971
Phd, University of London 1977
DSc, University of London 1996
Previous appointments 
2003-2010 Head of Nutritional Sciences Division, KCL
1995-2000 Head of Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, KCL
1994- present Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics, KCL
1991-94 Reader in Nutrition, KCL
1984-91 Lecturer in Nutrition, KCL
1982-84 Lecturer in Nutrition, Queen Elizabeth College (QEC, former College of the University of London that merged with KCL in 1984
1979-82 Postdoctoral RA, QEC
1977-79 Rank Prize Funds Fellow, QEC
1973-77 Research assistant/PhD student, Kingston Hospital
1971-73 UNICEF, Programme Associate, Jakarta, Indonesia

Biographical Note

Tom Sanders graduated from Queen Elizabeth College (University of London) and worked for the UNICEF in Indonesia for two years prior to pursuing an academic career. He was appointed Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics at King’s College London in 1994.

His research career has focused on the effects of dietary fat in relation to cardiovascular health and he has a long term interest in the health of vegetarians (particularly vegans) and in food safety. Much of his research has been concerned with polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to health, although more recently he has turned attention to the effects of fatty acid chain length and triacylglycerol structure.  Besides evaluating effects on lipid metabolism, much of his research has been concerned with the effects of dietary fats on haemostatic function.

Much of his recent research has been leading large randomized controlled trials to modify risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes: these include the OPTILIP, RISCK, MARINA and CRESSIDA.

He is a regular contributor to television and radio and a commentator on issues concerned with food in the press. He has published over 250 scientific papers and written several books on food and health.

He is the honorary Nutritional Director of HEART UK and Scientific Governor and Trustee of the British Nutrition Foundation. He was a member of the expert panel of the World Health Organization/Food and Agricultural Organization Joint Expert Consultation on the role of fatty acid in human nutrition.

Research interests

  • Effect of dietary fat on haemostatic function
  • Effect of vegan and vegetarian diets on health
  • Role of omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition

Key Publications

  • Sanders TA, Filippou A, Berry SE, Baumgartner S, Mensink RP. (2011) Palmitic acid in the sn-2 position of triacylglycerols acutely influences postprandial lipid metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr 94:1433-41
  • Sanders TA, Hall WL, Maniou Z, Lewis F, Seed PT, Chowienczyk PJ. (2011) Effect of low doses of long-chain n-3 PUFAs on endothelial function and arterial stiffness: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 94:973-80.
  • Alsaleh A, O'Dell SD, Frost GS, Griffin BA, Lovegrove JA, Jebb SA, Sanders TA. (2011) Single nucleotide polymorphisms at the ADIPOQ gene locus interact with age and dietary intake of fat to determine serum adiponectin in subjects at risk of the metabolic syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr 94:262-9
  • Jebb SA, Lovegrove JA, Griffin BA, Frost GS, Moore CS, Chatfield MD, Bluck LJ, Williams CM, Sanders TA. (2010) Effect of changing the amount and type of fat and carbohydrate on insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk: the RISCK (Reading, Imperial, Surrey, Cambridge, and Kings) trial. Am J Clin Nutr 92:748-58

Full publication list

Key Grants

Currently actively research projects

  • Sanders TAB. Integrated dietary intervention to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Food Standards Agency £908,210 (11-Jan-2010 10-Jan-2013)
  • Sanders TAB, Berry SE. “The chronic effects of triacylglycerol structure of palm oil on glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion and sensitivity and lipid metabolism”. Malaysian Palm Oil Board £58,542 (2011)
  • Sanders TAB, Berry SEE. The acute effects of triacylglycerol structure of palmitic acid rich fats on glucose homeostatis, insulin secretion and sensitivity. £196,000. Malaysian Palm Oil Board (2009-11)
  • Sanders TAB with Carmen Pariente. A new screening tool for the prediction of psychiatric adverse effects in patients receiving interferon- treatment for chronic viral hepatitis C NIHR. 18 months duration £75,000(2010- 11)
  • Sanders TAB, Theobald HE. BBSRC Case Studentship "Effect of moderate vitamin D supplementation on seasonal vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk".£106,000(2010-2013)
  • Poston L, Sandell J, Sanders TAB. UK Better Eating and Activity Trial (UPBEAT) NIHR. £83,575 (5-Oct-2008 29-Feb-2012)

Completed Projects

  • Sanders TAB. Comparative effects of EPA and DHA on vascular function and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Food Standards Agency £1,169,325 (14/01/2008-11).
  • Sanders TAB. A dose response study of the effects of increased fruit & vegetable intake on vascular function £463,176.00, Food Standards Agency 01/04/04 to 01/04/2007.
  • Sanders TAB. Impact of the amount & composition of dietary fat and carbohydrate on metabolic syndrome & cardiovascular disease risk £579,876. Food Standards Agency 01/04/04 to 01/10/2007.
  • Sanders TAB, Chowienczyk P. BBSRC. Influence of amount and type of fat on vascular function in subjects with insulin resistance. £196,484 01/01/04 to 31/12/2007
  • Sanders TAB, Poston L. Tate & Lyle Plc, 2006-2011. £4.5 million toward establishing Clinical Research Facility at St Thomas’ Hospital, research staff and equipment
  • Poston L, Sanders TAB. Tommy’s the Baby Charity, Teenage Pregnancies - Dietary Measures to Improve Nutrition and Pregnancy Outcome, (2005-2007) £162,219

Measures of Esteem

  • Phd Theses awarded (25)
  • Honorary Nutritional Director of HEART UK
  • Scientific Governor and Trustee of the British Nutrition Foundation.
  • Member of the World Health Organization/Food and Agricultural Organization Joint Expert Consultation on the Role of Fatty Acid in Human Nutrition.
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