Royal DSM N.V., announced the DSM Nutrition Award 2009 for research on Human Nutrition has been granted jointly to Professor Michael F. Holick of Boston University, USA, and Professor Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in recognition of their seminal contributions to research on vitamin D and its role in human nutrition and health.
An international judging committee, chaired by Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President Research & Development, DSM Nutritional Products, selected Professor Holick and Professor Bischoff-Ferrari from among several candidates shortlisted by an international pre-selection committee. The award – which carries a cash prize of EUR 50,000 that the two winners will share – was presented by Dr. Eggersdorfer and Mr. Mauricio Adade, President Human Nutrition & Health, DSM Nutritional Products, at the International Congress of Nutrition 2009 in Bangkok (Thailand) on October 6.
Michael F. Holick is renowned worldwide for his lifetime contribution to the basic understanding of the formation of vitamin D in the skin, the regulation of vitamin D absorption in the gut, and the metabolism and activation of vitamin D by liver and kidney. He also established the evidence that most human populations have a limited capacity to form vitamin D by sun exposure, thus resulting in a critical need for an adequate supply of vitamin D by diet and dietary supplements. Michael F. Holick is Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari is recognized for her contributions on the effects of vitamin D in the field of population health and her demonstration of a widespread vitamin D deficiency, particularly in the elderly. Already at this early stage of her career she has demonstrated the critical role of vitamin D in assuring muscle strength and bone health to prevent falls and fractures, thus redefining the vitamin D and calcium requirements of this growing segment of the population. Bischoff-Ferrari has received a professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation and is director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the Department of Rheumatology and the Institute of Physical Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland.