Lydia Afman appointed as Professor and Chair of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group

April 11, 2024

The Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research announces the appointment of Dr. Ir. Lydia Afman as Professor and Chair of the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Genomics Group at the department of Human Nutrition and Health.

With a strong commitment to advancing our understanding of how dietary nutrients impact human health and metabolism on a molecular level, prof. dr. ir. Lydia Afman brings a wealth of expertise and a transformative vision to her new role.

“I am honored and excited to take up the role as Professor and Chair of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group,” says Afman. “My interest lies in how diet and nutrients work on a molecular, cell and organ level and influence human health and metabolism. My ambition with the group is to put more - focus to and expand on - the translational approach. In which the starting point can be either findings in animal and cell models, translated to humans, or vice versa. And where insights gained from humans are further examined in animal and cell models.”


Given that future research challenges demand a multidisciplinary approach, Afman emphasizes effective collaboration and teamwork. “I strive to establish a positive atmosphere that encourages teamwork, openness, inclusivity, and creativity.” With her broad perspective in the field of nutrition, she aims to connect various disciplines and uncover novel opportunities for collaboration.

Prior to her new role, Afman was an Associate Professor at the Division of Human Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University. She is highly recognized internationally for her work on human nutrigenomics and precision nutrition. After obtaining her MSc degree in Human Nutrition at Wageningen University, she pursued her PhD at Radboud University in Nijmegen, studying the underlying mechanism of the relationship between folate metabolism and neural tube defects.


Since starting as a Postdoc at Wageningen University & Research, Afman has become one of the pioneers in the emerging field of nutrigenomics and specifically in the application of nutrigenomics in human dietary intervention studies. The very complex and large-scale comprehensive phenotyping dietary intervention studies that she performed in combination with the application of ‘omics’ techniques and sensor data, have led to crucial new insights into how diet impacts metabolic health effects.

These studies also revealed a surprisingly large variation between different people in the response to dietary changes. In recent years her research has therefore been centered on precision nutrition to unravel the potential mechanism behind the variation in response to diet and to identify the best personalized diet to increase health and prevent development of disease.