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Obesity: A Golden Era for Health, Nutrition and Education in the Americas

August 26, 2021
16:00 GMT-5 | 05:00 GMT+8

Our Speakers



Head of CIDPRO – Center for Proteins Research and Development
Head of the Nutriomics and Emerging Technologies Research Group
School of Engineering and Sciences
Tecnológico de Monterrey

Sergio O. Serna Saldivar is professor of the School of Sciences and Engineering and head of CIDPRO at Tecnologico de Monterrey. Prior to this, he was research scientist at the Soil & Crop Sci. Dept. at Texas A&M, consultant for EMBRAPA at Río de Janeiro, Brazil and associate professor for the University of Sonora. He is currently the research chair leader regarding nutraceuticals associated to cereal and other grains.

He has been a member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists for over 30 years and the Institute of Food Technologists and has acted as associate editor for the journals of Cereal Chemistry and Cereal Science. He was a member of the AACC International Board of Directors. He received his BS in Animal Science/Agricultural Engineering from ITESM and his M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Scientific Nutrition and Food Sci. & Tech. from Texas A&M. Recently, he was awarded  Doctor honoris causa by the University of Sonora. He has published 12 books, 56 chapters, 240 referred journal articles, 16 encyclopedia articles and is inventor of nine registered patents and four patent applications and codeveloper of the USA wheat variety TAM-202.  His scientific and book publications have more than 8000 citations.  He has more than 330 presentations in international and national conferences and symposiums. He has directed 68 MSc and 19 PhD students. His research interests focus on biotechnology of cereal grains, legume seeds, mycotoxins, nutraceutical properties of grains and indigenous Mexican foods and vegetable proteins. He belongs to the maximum category of the Mexican National Research System and the Mexican Academy of Sciences.

In addition, he was granted the “Luis Elizondo” award in Agricultural and Food Industries, the 2004 AACC Excellence in Teaching award, the Yum Kax 2008 award for his contributions to the science and technology of nixtamalized products and the AgroBio México 2012 national award in agrobiotechnology and six times the Teaching and Research Award at Tecnologico de Monterrey.


Researcher – Educational Area Development
Barilla Foundation

Dr. Sonia Massari has more than 20 years of experience as a researcher, lecturer, consultant, and designer in the fields of food and sustainability education, design methods for innovative agri-food systems. She holds a Ph.D. in Food Experience Design from the Engineering Department at the University of Florence, Italy.

For 12 years, she was the Academic Director of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Food Studies programs in Rome, and she designed and coordinated more than 50 academic programs and 150 educational activities on food and sustainability for prestigious international institutes. She teaches at several Universities around Europe. She teaches Sustainability Design Thinking at Roma Tre University and Sociology of Change, Emergent Sustainable Scenarios at ISIA Design School. She is a senior researcher and consultant at the Barilla Foundation and the academic director of the Future Food Academy. She is the co-founder of FORK: Food Design Opportunities Research Knowledge.

She received the International Women Innovation Award “Tecno-visionaria” (2012), the NAFSA TLS Knowledge Community’s Innovative Research in International Education Award (2014), and the Food Studies ASFS Pedagogy Award (2020). She is a board member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Food Design.

Carlos Aguilar3


Head of Nutrition and Medical Researcher
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion

Dr. Carlos A. Aguilar Salinas is recognized for his contributions as a researcher, professor and clinician in the study of dyslipidemias and type 2 diabetes in Mexico. He is the founder of the first Lipid Clinic in Mexico. Also he is the founder of the Metabolic Research Unit at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion (INCMNSZ), Mexico City (a national institute of health).His current position is as Head of Nutrition. His research covers the identification of the main susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemias in Mexican mestizos and epidemiological studies that have served to describe the burden of the disease caused by these disorders. He has published 370 articles in indexed journals (Nature, JAMA, Nature genetics, JCEM, among others) and has been tutored 21 PhD students.

In addition, Dr Aguilar Salinas has played a leading role in design and implementation of interventions against chronic diseases at regional and national level. He coordinated the position paper against diabetes presented by the Mexican National Academy of Medicine. Dr Aguilar Salinas was President of the Mexican Society of Nutrition and Endocrinology; a collaboration with the Endocrine Society was started during his term.  He has served as member of several committes and task forces of international societies (including the Endocrine Society and the European Atheroscleerosis Society) and research consortia (e.g. Global Alliance of Chronic Diseases and EULAC Health).  Currently, he is co-editor of the “Revista de la Asociación Latinomericana de Diabetes” and member of the editorial boards of several prestigious journals (Atherosclerosis, BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, Metabolism). He received the National Science Award in 2018.



Editor and Program Designer
QS Quacquarelli Symonds

Anton John Crace is Editor and Program Designer in the QS Intelligence Unit in Singapore. Through his role, he edits QS’ university news and rankings supplements. He has worked within international education for almost a decade including within an education provider, education agent training platform and media.

He was the Asia Pacific Editor of The PIE News, an international education media outlet, and broke stories including the decision of some universities to pay Indian agents GST and the New Zealand government’s decision to scrap a review into in-study work rights for international students. For many years he was also a familiar face on the conference circuit throughout the Asia Pacific through live tweeting – follow him on Twitter @antoncrace.

Anton was recognized as the Universities Australia Higher Education Journalist of the Year in 2019 at the National Press Club of Australia, and received the Excellence Award for Professional Commentary from the International Education Association of Australian in 2018.


Past Episodes

2020 was the year of online education, driven primarily by global shutdown and health concerns from COVID-19. During that period of mass migration online, concerns were raised over students’ access to education, but an equally big concern emerged on educator’s and researcher’s access and ability to navigate online and digital tools. According to respondents in QS’ academic survey, many still experience a bottleneck in placing their teaching and learning online.

In the lead up to the EduData Summit in June, QS In Conversation will discuss how lecturers, tutors, researchers, and educators can be supported by institutions and platforms to widen the bottleneck, and tap into centuries of expertise and knowledge.

– Anthony Tattersall, Vice President of Enterprise, EMEA, Coursera
– Clement Fortin, Associate Provost, Dean of Education, Skolkovo Institute for Science and Technology
– Roziah Mohd Janor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & International), UiTM, Malaysia
– Seyit Ali Avcu, Professor, Faculty of International Relations, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Future needs are shifting, and providing an education that covers all is becoming more difficult. If 2020 was a year of reaction to disruption, 2021 is the year to prepare for future changes. How can institutions adapt their models for students today and tomorrow? Is there a method to prepare a student for a lifetime and what does it look like?

– Esra Aldhaen, Executive Director Centre for Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Ahlia University
– Ursula El Hage, Quality expert, Université Saint Joseph
– Chris Rudd, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Head of Campus Singapore, James Cook University
– Carla Saba, Deputy General Manager, Berytech

Students and graduates face new challenges in the education and job markets. We discuss what skills students in Asian Pacific need to prepare for tomorrow.

– Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India & Apac, Coursera
– Joyce Teo Siew Yean, Assistant Vice Chancellor And Vice President (Global Affairs), Universiti Brunei Darussalam
– Sandeep Sancheti, Vice Chancellor, Srmist, Chennai
– Atty Lily Freida T Macabangun-Milla, Officer-in-charge, Office Of The Deputy Executive Director; And Director, International Affairs Staff, Commission On Higher Education, Philippines
– L SS Reddy, Vice Chancellor, KL Deemed to be University, Vijayawada, India

Students and graduates face new challenges in the education and job markets. We discuss what skills students in Eastern Europe need to prepare for tomorrow.

– Nayeli Wild, Director, University Partnerships. Coursera
– Olga Mamaeva, Deputy Head Of Elearning, Hse University
– Peter Szakal, Director, Directorate For Academic Affairs, University Of Szeged
– Ekaterina Lyubimova, Director Of Digital Content Service, University 2035

As the world changes, the skills graduates and workers require for employment are also changing. We look at the findings of QS’ Global Skils Gap report and discuss with employers.

– Sean O Ferguson, Associate Dean, Asia School of Business (ASB)
– Esra Aldhaen, Executive Director, Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Ahlia University Bahrain
– Alex Chisholm, Head of Analytics, QS Quacquarelli Symonds

Many students expect they will be able to find a job after their studies and undertake an internship during it. How are universities engaging with employers and how can they continue to do so during a period of social distancing?

– Beverley Oliver, Emeritus Professor and Principal Consultant, EduBrief
– Kym Nguyen, Director, Global Market Development, QS Enrolment Solutions
– Gordon Scott, Managing Director, Successful Graduate Pty Ltd

Partnerships are integral for growth and innovation. Private sector and education provider collaboration has driven excellence, but creating that collaboration is not straightforward. This episode considers how reputation can be used to foster partnerships for the future.

– Andy Free, Head Of Partner Markets, Impero Software
– Ann Gabriel, Senior Vice President For Global Strategic Networks, Elsevier
– David Reggio, Frsa, Global Head Of Consulting, Qs Quacquarelli Symonds

The traditional classroom model is in many ways a controlled environment which eliminates many distraction. Online, however, removes control from lecturers and tutors. How can institutions maintain student engagement online and avoid losing to other distractions?

– Dr Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer, Coursera
– Alex Chisholm, Head of Analytics, QS Quacquarelli Symonds
– Dr Gog Soon Joo, Chief Futurist, Chief Skills Officer, Chief Research Officer, SkillsFuture Singapore