Major advances in data science, nutrition, and health behavior have enabled new integrated frameworks that can inform personalized health recommendations, community interventions, and population level policies. Sensors and other digital tracking tools are now able to record individual eating patterns with great detail, as well as link eating to important locational, temporal, and social factors. At the same time, efforts in large scale computing and artificial intelligence have led to food ingredient databases that provide rich detail of food contents at the chemical level. New approaches that integrate these advances are beginning to uncover new insights about the relationship between specific food chemicals with consumption behaviors, linking this to health and disease outcomes. This workshop aims to bring together diverse experts from food science, biochemistry, bioinformatics, nutritional epidemiology, and population health science to explore major themes and challenges in this exciting new research space. These themes include

  • Food systems processes and infrastructure related to growing, manufacturing, distributing, and consuming food
  • Social systems structures that affect access to and consumption of food
  • Intrapersonal nutrition systems physiological/psychological factors that drive food choices and link food consumption to health



To register, email us at fcn2018@barabasilab.com. Please bring an ID to the workshop to confirm your registration.


Day 1: Thursday, July 26, 6PM-9PM | Hyatt Regency (Paul Revere Room, see floorplan here), Cambridge, MA
Day 2: Friday, July 27, 10AM-3PM | Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA


Day 1

Thursday, July 26, 6pm-9pm | Hyatt Regency (Room 6), Cambridge, MA
6:00-6:30 pm Welcome & Introduction László Barabási & co-organizers
6:30-6:40 pm Big data and food Adam Bly
6:40-6:50 pm Internet of food Matthew Lange
6.50-7:20 pm Personalized nutrition, metabolic phenotyping, & nutrigenomics Jim Kaput
7:20-8:00 pm Dinner
8:00-8:30 pm Food technology Caleb Harper
8:30-8:55 pm Future of Food Science Dariush Mozaffarian
8:55-9:00 pm Final remarks

Day 2

Friday, July 27, 10am-3pm | Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA
10:00-10.30 am Insights on Day 1 Organizers
10:30-11:15 am Food systems Matthew Lange, Giulia Menichetti, followed by discussion
11:15-noon Plant chemistry and health implications John De La Parra, Italo Do Valle, followed by discussion
noon-01:00 pm Lunch: Flash Talks
01:00-01:45 pm Novel insights on epidemiological studies Howard Sesso, Soodabeh Milanlouei, followed by discussion
01:45-02:30 pm Population health and tracking technologies Kayla de la Haye, Abigail Baldridge, followed by discussion
02:30-03:00 pm Discussion + Future Collaborations

About Us


Day 1

Adam Bly

Scientist and entrepreneur, founder of a new purpose-driven AI startup

Scientist and entrepreneur, founder of a new purpose-driven AI startup Adam Bly, recently led data at Spotify. He previously founded the data analytics company Seed Scientific, which was acquired by Spotify. He was a Visiting Senior Fellow in Science, Technology & Society at Harvard Kennedy School and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is currently building a new purpose-driven data and AI startup.

Jim Kaput

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Vydiant

Jim has contributed to the field of personalized nutrition for over 30 years. His most recent position was Senior Expert at the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences from 2011 to 2017. From 2007 to 2011, Jim was Director of the Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine at the U.S. FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (Jefferson, AR). He has managed or contributed to projects funded at about $20 million during his career where he held positions as faculty at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Director of the Northwestern University Biotechnology Laboratory, coordinator of Science and Administrative Activities for the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at the UC Davis.

Caleb Harper

Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) initiative at MIT Media Lab

Caleb Harper leads a group of engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists in the exploration and development of high performance urban agricultural systems. He is the principal investigator and Director of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg​) at the MIT Media Lab. Under his guidance, a diverse group of engineers, architects, urbanists, economists and plant scientists (what he calls an “anti-disciplinary group”) is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software and data common aiming to create a more agile, transparent and collaborative food system.

Dariush Mozaffarian

Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition and Medicine, and Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. He has authored more than 300 scientific publications on the dietary priorities to reduce cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in the US and globally; and on evidence-based systems innovations and policies to effectively reduce these burdens. Dr. Mozaffarian has served in numerous advisory roles including for the US and Canadian governments, American Heart Association, Global Burden of Diseases study, World Health Organization, and United Nations. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Time Magazine, and many other outlets. In 2016, Thomson Reuters named him as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Day 2

John de la Parra

Harvard, Tufts & Northeastern University

Associate, Harvard University Lecturer, Tufts University Research Associate and Lecturer, Northeastern University John de la Parra is an ethnobotanist and biotechnologist who works to progress both women's health and medicinal plant research, particularly for antidiabetic use and for treatments of neglected tropical diseases. His scientific interests are in the foundations of indigenous women's medicine and the rigorous scientific development of drug products from the plants they have used. To that end, his research involves projects in highly-complex sample analysis, plant biotechnology, and the biosynthesis of plant-derived drugs. John’s current research is conducted as an Associate at the Harvard University Herbaria and a researcher at Northeastern University's Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory. He is also a Lecturer at Tufts University where he teaches the course “Medicinal Plants: From the Sacred to the Scientific”, and is the author of a forthcoming book by the same name (Springer Nature).

Howard Sesso

Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard

Dr. Howard D. Sesso is an Associate Epidemiologist at the Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. His research focuses on the role of vitamin and mineral supplements, along with nutritional biomarkers, on the prevention of chronic disease. He is currently leading: the Physicians’ Health Study II, a completed clinical trial that tested a multivitamin, vitamin E, and vitamin C supplements on cardiovascular disease, cancer, eye disease, and other chronic diseases The ancillary study of the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial on vitamin D and fish oil supplements on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and risk of developing hypertension the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamins Outcomes Study (COSMOS), a randomized, 2x2 factorial trial testing cocoa flavanol and multivitamin supplements in the prevention of CVD and cancer in older women and men.

Abigail Baldridge

Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University

Abigail S. Baldridge, MS, is a biostatistician in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. Abi is interested in cardiovascular health and is involved in several clinical trials and studies as statistician and project manager. Her other interests include development and promotion of reproducible research tools as well as teaching and education. Abi is currently working with The George Institute and others at Northwestern University on the launch of FoodSwitch USA, a free smartphone application to support healthier food choices, with the long term goal of implementing a scalable research platform for surveillance of the packaged food supply and conduct of behavioral and nutrition assessment research.


Giulia Menichetti

Network Science Institute, Northeastern University

Giulia Menichetti is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Network Science Institute (Barabasi Lab, Northeastern University). She is a physicist, with a background in network modeling of biological information. She currently leads the Foodome project that aims to track the full chemical complexity of the food we consume and develop quantitative tools to unveil, at the mechanistic level, the impact of these chemicals on our health.

Kate Coronges

Network Science Institute, Northeastern University

Kate Coronges is the executive director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. She is a behavioral scientist, with a background on using social networks to develop and asses health interventions with population level implications.

László Barabási

Network Science Institute, Northeastern University

Albert-László Barabási is a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Departments of Physics, Computer Science and Biology, as well as in the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women Hospital, and is a member of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Matthew Lange

Food Science & Nutrition, UC Davis

Kayla de la Haye

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Kayla de la Haye is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Her work investigates, and intervenes on, family and community social networks to promote healthy eating habits and prevent obesity.