EN Co-Funded by the EU_PANTONE_

University of Navarra


Miguel Ruiz-Canela
MSc, PhD

Dr. Miguel Ruiz-Canela is Professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Navarra and Master’s Degree on Public Health in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research is focused on the relationship between diet, lifestyles and chronic diseases. He also has the title of chef en partie by ESAH and he is involved in several projects on culinary medicine.

The objective of this project is to offer an innovative tool adapted to their needs, which allows people with type 2 diabetes to improve their diet and lifestyle

Leticia Goñi

Leticia is a dietitian-nutritionist with a PhD in genetic determinants of obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes from the University of Navarra. Her research is now focused on the prevention of chronic diseases in childhood and adulthood with healthy lifestyle habits.

The holistic approach of the Cook2DIAbeat programme aims to use nutrition and cooking skills to motivate and engage people with diabetes and their families to manage their disease in a healthy and sustainable way.

Francisco Javier Basterra Gortari

Javier studied medicine and has a PhD from the University of Navarra. My research is focused on diabetes, obesity and nutrition. I work as an endocrinologíst in the Hospital Universitario de Navarra.

Cook2DIAbeat project aims to help people with diabetes providing them with new knowledge and skills for nutritional management of their diabetes

Aitor Acilu

Aitor is an architect and consultant, PhD by the University of Navarra, active participant in research and innovation projects, interested in participatory processes, through service and strategic design approaches. He is coordinator of the mention of Service Design at the University of Navarra.

The contribution of the different stakeholders of the programs that deal with diabetes today in different countries and ecosystems, will be of great value for the definition of Cook2DIAbeat programme; rising its impact in people with diabetes and their caregivers, offering a new way to manage their disease in a healthy and sustainable way.

PROLEPSIS Civil Law Non Profit Organization of Preventive Environmental and Occupational Medicine


Matina Kouvari

Matina Kouvari is a Dietician – Nutritionist and Epidemiologist. Dr Kouvari is working in Prolepsis Institute since 2015 while she is currently holding the position of Director of Nutrition Design & Research, coordinating many projects in the field of adult and vocational training. Dr Kouvari holds a BSc in Nutrition & Dietetics from Harokopio University in Athens (HUA) and an MSc (hons) in Applied Nutrition and Dietetics. Her PhD thesis from HUA was related with cardiovascular disease prevention. In her postdoc research, she is working on metabolic syndrome with specialization in omics analysis and cardiometabolic risk assessment.

Translating the guidelines and the academic knowledge we have in the nutrition field for people with type 2 diabetes is a challenge for all researchers and a priority in public health spectrum. I am glad to be part of the Cook2DIAbeat consortium.

Dina Zota

Dina Zota, a psychologist, specialized in health promotion, is the Head of the Department of National Initiatives of Prolepsis and has significant experience in European projects as well. She has a BA in Psychology from the School of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, an MSc in Health Promotion and Education from the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her PhD from the same University was related on healthy nutrition promotion strategies in early life stages.

I am glad that I will have the chance – as member of the Cook2DIAbeat consortium – to apply the novel training method of culinary medicine to adults with type 2 diabetes.

Evangelia Zioga

Evangelia is a dietitian-nutritionist and biochemist. She received her degree from BSc from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece. She continues her studies under the context of MSc in Applied Dietetics and Nutrition, Harokopio University (2019). She speaks English and German. Over the last year, she has been active in the research, the design and implementation of studies and health promotional programs at Prolepsis Ιnstitute.

This project will engage patients and their families with type 2 Diabetes to reclaim their health through personalized nutrition strategies and cooking skills.

Basque Culinary Center Foundation


Usune Etxeberria
MSc, PhD

Usune is a dietitian-nutritionist and studied the degree in Food Science and Technology. She completed her PhD at University of Navarra focused on the analysis of the impact of diet on gut microbiota. Usune is currently working as a researcher in the Health and Gastronomy field at BCC Innovation, where the team aims to promote healthy dietary habits through Gastronomy.

This project aims to empower people suffering from diabetes and their families on healthy dietary habits providing not only theoretical knowledge but also practical skills that will allow them to generate a real transformation of their health.

María Arrizabalaga
MSc, PhD

Maria is a dietitian-nutritionist and she has a master´s degree in Nutition and Health. She carried out her PhD at University of the Basque Country related to determinants of eating behavior aimed to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. Nowadays, Maria is working as a researcher in the Health and Gastronomy area at BCC Innovation, working on the promotion of healthy dietary habits through Gastronomy.

The study focuses on influencing behavioral determinants, specifically nutritional and culinary skills, to motivate patients with diabetes to improve their eating habits and enhance their health.

Jara Elena Domper

Jara is a dietitian-nutritionist specialized in the culinary-nutrition field. In 2021 Jara got a place as a PhD student in the Doctoral Programme in Gastronomic Sciences at BCC. She is currently working as researcher in the Health and Gastronomy field at BCC Innovation where she has focused her work on the development of nutritional and culinary interventions as a tool to promote healthy ageing.

This project is an opportunity to approach the current scientific knowledge on culinary-nutrition to people with diabetes in a practical and comfortable way adapted to any socioeconomic or educational status.

Nahuel Pazos

Nahuel is of Argentine/Spanish origin and started his career working with traditional Spanish and French cuisines, later to continue his training in some of the best restaurants in Spain under the principles of the New Mediterranean Cuisine. He has ample experience in Michelin starred restaurants as Akelarre in San Sebastian or Dos Cielos in Barcelona. He also worked in Turku, Finland running a fine dining restaurant for almost 2 years.
During the last 3 years, he has worked in Spain running a fine dining restaurant and as a Head Chef in a luxury eco friendly Hotel, both in San Sebastian.
He currently works as a researcher at the Basque Culinary Center Innovation, where he works with design, development and validation of new gastronomic products.

My challenge in the project is to develop an effective diet that promotes adherence without sacrificing aspects such as enjoyment and diversity. It is important that each meal of the day becomes an eagerly anticipated moment instead of an obligatory one.

Furqan Meerza

Graduate in Hospitality & Hotel Administration from Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN) Mumbai, India. Worked in renowned restaurants such as Noma (3* Michelin, Copenhagen, Denmark) and Mugaritz (2* Michelin, San Sebastian, Spain)., Currently working as Research & Development Chef + Gastronomic Consultant at BCC Innovation in the culinary department.

My vision as a chef for this project is to collaborate with experts on health and nutrition from my team, incorporating their guidance and insights, to develop innovative and accessible recipes that empower individuals with diabetes to effortlessly adopt and maintain healthy eating habits, regardless of their cooking skills.

Center for Social Innovation


Maria Patsea

Maria has received her BSc from the Department of Food Science and Nutrition , Aegean University, Greece and she continued with her MSc in Food Technology, with specialization in Product Design, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Currently, she is working as Project Manager in food-related and environmental-related European projects at Center for Social Innovation.

This project will empower individuals with Type 2 Diabetes to reclaim their health through personalized nutrition strategies, fostering a vibrant and resilient community that thrives on balanced healthy eating for a brighter future.

Novo Nordisk Diabetes Foundation


Blanca Torres

Blanca has been working at FDNN for the past 5 years as a project manager focused on both patients and health professionals, and different stakeholders related to diabetes and obesity.
Previously, she managed the congress and marketing department of the Spanish Society of Digestive Pathology, with achievements such as practical workshops for digestive doctors with pig stomachs as simulacra to human stomachs: learning center area.
Her career with the pharmaceutical industry began with Gilead Laboratories, coordinating the 360º logistics of national and international face-to-face trainings, advisory boards, such as product launches or awareness campaigns.

Type 2 diabetes is an unknown disease in our society, and there is a great lack of information and information about it. Therefore, this project will cover these essential needs for people who think “they have a little bit of sugar” We are proud to be part of an essential training to improve the lives of people with diabetes and their environment at an international level.

European Food Information Council (EUFIC)


Malou Reipurth
Research Manager, MSc

Malou has a BA in Global Nutrition and Health, and a M.Sc. in Food Innovation and Health from the University of Copenhagen, during which she focused on consumer behavior and plant-based and sustainable diets.

With 59 million adults in the European region living with diabetes, and an expected 15% increase by 2045, we need a change of direction! The Cook2DIAbeat project will be a game-changer with its holistic, nutrition-based approach to managing diabetes.

Betty Chang
Research Area Lead, PhD

Betty has a PhD in Cognitive and Social Psychology from the University of New South Wales, Australia, focusing on the implicit measurement of attitudes. She has also held 3 post doctoral positions in Belgium and the UK, examining emotional regulation and behaviour change, before working on food-related European projects at GfK, Ipsos and EUFIC.

Diabetes can leave people feeling hopeless and vulnerable. Cook2DIAbeat seeks to empower people by teaching them and their families in an accessible way the knowledge and skills to manage their condition.