On February 27th, 2019, OpeN-Global was officially launched online at an event held in central London, and live-streamed internationally with Partners and colleagues joining from around the globe.

Professor Martin Prince, King’s Global Health Institute, formally opened the OpeN-Global Launch Event in London.



The OpeN-Global Launch Event was formally opened by Professor Martin Prince, Assistant Principal of Global Health at King’s College London and Director of the King’s Global Health Institute. He noted the importance and potential of the OpeN-Global initiative in making a difference to Global Health in a sustained and lasting way through capacity building.

“the OpeN-Global platform brings sustainable capacity-building”



Recognising the essentiality of data as part of the solution to malnutrition:

“addressing the problem of undernutrition in LMICs and the growing problem of overnutrition and obesity is incredibly complex…..OpeN-Global is an essential initiative because it brings data to these issues, helping to anatomise the problem to better understand it”

Professor Martin Prince
Opening Address, OpeN-Global Launch Event, February 27th 2019.

OpeN-Global Project lead Dr Sophie Moore then followed, welcoming attendees and those joining online. Dr Moore introduced the background and the driving force in the thinking behind OpeN-Global, and shared insights into plans for the future. She noted that there is a huge number of uses for nutrition biomarkers:

  • to learn about population nutrition status;
  • to plan and evaluate a programme and its impact;
  • in basic research; and
  • in making policy and guideline recommendations.

Read more about the conception of the OpeN-Global project on our About page.

Space for innovation:

“we want to provide a network to explore and identify innovative applications that can be used to forward research and generate new ideas for funding, in addition to capacity-building and linking people for training exchanges

Dr Sophie Moore
Welcome to the OpeN-Global Project.

Click to view Dr Farebrother’s “tour of the website”


To give OpeN-Global users an insight into what resources the website offers, and to prompt them to see the broader possibilities of the website during the keynote lecture, Dr Jessica Farebrother gave the in-person and online audiences a tour of the website, highlighting key features.


Keynote lecture: Dr Saskia Osendarp, Micronutrient Forum

Dr Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director of the Micronutrient Forum, gave her vision of the role of OpeN-Global in addressing the data needs in Global Health in her Keynote lecture entitled “Filling the data gap in micronutrient malnutrition”

We were delighted to welcome Dr Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director of the Micronutrient Forum, to give the keynote lecture of the launch event. Dr Osendarp has many years of first-hand experience in the field of population nutrition and micronutrients.

Dr Osendarp gave an insightful vision of the possibilities and potential of OpeN-Global and the Micronutrient Forum in addressing the pressing needs in Global Health today, namely, the collection of more and better data.

More and better data are needed:

“we need not just to collect more data, but to standardise the quality of the data that are being collected. …the OpeN-Global initiative is a really important first step in achieving these two goals.”

Dr Saskia Osendarp
Keynote Lecture, OpeN-Global Launch Event, February 27th 2019.

Dr Osendarp highlighted that data on the true micronutrient status of vulnerable groups is lacking – and how OpeN-Global as a resource can contribute to filling this data gap.

Dr James Njunge’s work aims to develop protocols and assays that can be used in nutrition assessment in both key populations such as undernourished infants children and in general populations. In a video link to the Launch Event, he explained why OpeN-Global is important for his research.


Following Dr Osendarp, we had video presentations from three OpeN-Global partners:

  • Dr Pattanee Winichagoon, Associate Professor of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand;
  • Dr James Njunge, Postdoctoral Scientist, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme, Kenya; and
  • Professor Marvin Reid, Director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, University of the West Indies, Jamaica.





Dr Winichagoon:“OpeN-Global could make a significant contribution to capacity building in low- and middle-income countries in providing credible, authoritative knowledge”

Dr Njunge: “with the advancement of tools for nutritional assessment, through the sharing of share knowledge, collaborations and an increase in low- and middle-income country training opportunities, the OpeN-Global website will help enhance our ability to assess nutritional parameters beyond the mainstay of anthropometry”

Professor Reid: is excited about “successful collaborations moving forward”

Finally, Professor Lucilla Poston CBE, Head of the School of Life Course Sciences at King’s College London and OpeN-Global partner, gave her thoughts for the future, with which the Launch Event was closed.

Professor Lucilla Poston CBE gave the closing remarks at the OpeN-Global Launch Event. She focused on the huge role of biomarkers in nutrition, and why the OpeN-Global initiative is so important and timely.

Professor Poston was particularly excited about the potential of OpeN-Global from both her aspect as the Head of the School of Life Course Sciences, and as a researcher in Women’s Health. She praised the creation of the OpeN-Global collaborative network: “OpeN-Global has brought interdisciplinary scientists from different settings together” and expressed her enthusiasm about the potential for OpeN-Global to take forward the use of nutrition biomarkers to improve the collection of more and better data – particularly in an evidence-based way, through the promotion of robust quality control and assurance and adhesion to international standards. Professor Poston finished by encouraging all partners in the OpeN-Global network, several of whom were present at the Launch Event, either in person or online, to actively contribute and take part in the network, sharing their new knowledge and publications for an exponential success of the OpeN-Global initiative.


No better time to be researching nutrition biomarkers:

“We are poised at an important moment, of moving forward in the biomarker field as technology as moved with us. We can reply to this and get going!”

Professor Lucilla Poston CBE
Closing Remarks, OpeN-Global Launch Event, February 27th 2019.

OpeN-Global partners Dr Pratibha Dwarkanarth (left) and Professor Gilberto Kac (right) join Professor Wolfgang Maret of King’s College London.

Launch Event attendees could then enjoy an aperitif and view posters prepared by OpeN-Global partners and colleagues at a Networking Event. An international poster competition open to OpeN-Global partners for a fully-funded bursary to attend the meeting were won by Dr Pratibha Dwarkanarth, Associate Professor in the Nutrition Division of St John’s Research Institute, Bangalore, India; and Professor Gilberto Kac, Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology, in the Nutrition Department of Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil.

View the full agenda of the Launch event here: Launch Event Agenda

OpeN-Global Launch Event


OpeN-Global is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (UK) under their “Confidence in Global Nutrition and Health Research” call as part of a suite of activities under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).