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Professor Philip Calder BSc(Hons), PhD, DPhil, RNutr, FSB, FAfN

Head of Human Development & Health, Professor of Nutritional Immunology

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Professor Philip Calder is Head of Human Development & Health and Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

My work aims to understand how nutrition affects the functioning of the human body. Better understanding is key to developing strategies to improve human health and well-being, to lower disease risk and to treat nutrition-related illnesses

I have broad research interests in nutritional modulation of immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease risk. Much of my work has been devoted to exploring the metabolism and functionality of fatty acids with an emphasis on the roles of omega-3 fatty acids. I have over 500 scientific publications and I am listed by Thomson Reuters as a Highly Cited Researcher. I have been awarded the Sir David Cuthbertson Medal by the Nutrition Society (1995), the Belgian Danone Institute Chair (2004), the Nutricia International Award (2007), the ESPEN Cuthbertson Lecture (2008), the New Zealand Nutrition Society’s Muriel Bell Award (2009), the Louisiana State University Chancellor’s Award in Neuroscience and Medicine (2011), the German Society for Fat Science Normann Medal (2012), the American Oil Chemists’ Society Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Pennington Lecture (2015), the British Nutrition Foundation prize (2015) and the Danone International Prize in Nutrition (2016). I have served on many committees of professional societies and was for three years President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2009-2012). I am currently Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and President of the Nutrition Society. I was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition from 2006 to 2013 and I am currently an Associate Editor of Clinical Science, of Journal of Nutrition, of Clinical Nutrition, of Lipids, and of Nutrition Research. I am a member of the several other Editorial Boards of journals in the nutrition, clinical science and lipidology fields. I currently serve as scientific co-chair of the ILSI Europe Task Force on Nutrition immunity and inflammation and on the ILSI Europe Scientific Advisory Committee. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology and of the Association for Nutrition.


BSc(Hons), Biochemistry, Massey University (1980)
PhD, Biochemistry, University of Auckland (1987)
DPhil, Biochemistry, University of Oxford (1995)

Appointments held

Nuffield Medical Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 1987-1991

Departmental Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 1991-1995

Lecturer in Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, 1995-1998

Reader in Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, 1998-2002

Professor of Nutritional Immunology, University of Southampton, 2002-present



researcher id
highly cited

Research interests

Professor Calder is interested in the interaction between nutrition and immune function especially as it relates to human health. The main focus of his research aims to identify the influence of dietary fatty acids on the immune and inflammatory systems and to understand the mechanisms of action of specific fatty acids. A combination of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo approaches is used to study the functional responses of neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes. A range of anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of the n-3 family of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly those found in fish oils, have been identified. It has been ascertained that these fatty acids work in part by antagonising the production and actions of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids and in part by eicosanoid-independent mechanisms. The findings of this research aid our knowledge of the health benefits of naturally-occurring fatty acids and provide information to underpin the design of nutritionally-based therapies for use in situations where components of the immune and inflammatory systems are under or over active.

Current projects investigate:

  • The effect of increased intake of salmon by pregnant women on nutrient status and markers of immunity in newborn infants and their subsequent risk of allergic disease
  • Dose and time dependence of incorporation of marine n-3 fatty acids into transport, functional and storage pools in humans
  • The effect of chemical formulation of marine n-3 fatty acids on their bioavailability and incorporation into blood pools in humans
  • The effect of marine n-3 fatty acids on inflammatory markers in lean and obese humans
  • The mechanisms by which fatty acids exert anti-inflammatory actions (in vitro studies)
  • Differential sensitivity to marine n-3 fatty acids according to genotype
  • The effect of high dose marine n-3 fatty acids in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (in collaboration with Professor C Byrne and Professor G Clough)
  • The effect of prebiotics on immune responses in older humans


Human Development and Health

Affiliate Department(s)

Human development and physiology Research group

Research project(s)

An investigation of the effects of moderate fish oil intake

Postgraduate student supervision

1996 Nicola Jeffery DPhil

1997 Peter Sanderson DPhil

1998 Emma Sherrington DPhil

2000 Chris Donnellan PhD

2000 Fiona Wallace PhD

2001 Jennifer Garry PhD

2001 Samantha Kew PhD

2008 Caroline Childs PhD

2008 Hayati Yusof PhD

2010 Stella Kremmyda PhD

2011 Amy Lomax PhD

2011 Alison Fear PhD

2011 Maria Vlachava PhD

2011 Anna Stears DM

2014 Caroline Paras Chavez PhD

2014 David Christensen (co-supervisior)


Annette West PhD

Albandri Alshathry PhD

Janna Collier PhD

Helena Fisk PhD

Ella Baker PhD

Carina Valenzuela PhD

Vivian Castro Herrera PhD

Michael Glaysher DM


Faculty of Medicine

Head of Human Development and Health

Member of the Human Development and Health Academic Leadership Team

Member of the Human Development and Health Academic Executive Group

Co-leader of Nutrition & Metabolism research theme within Human Development and Health

Deputy Director for Research, Faculty of Medicine

Lead for Infrastructure, NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre


National and International responsibilities

President of the Nutrition Society

President-Elect of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies

Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)

Associate Editor of Clinical Science

Associate Editor of Journal of Nutrition

Associate Editor of Clinical Nutrition

Associate Editor of Lipids

Associate Editor of Nutrition Research

Member of the Editorial Board of:

  • Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Molecular & Cell Biology of Lipids
  • European Journal of Nutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids

Section Editor (“Lipid metabolism & therapy”) for Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care

Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of ILSI Europe

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  • Calder, P. C., & Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) (2010). Iron and health. Norwich, GB: The Stationery Office.

Book Chapters



Personal tutor.

BM5 and BM4. Delivers lectures on lipids and lipoproteins.

MMedSci. Offers laboratory projects.

BSc Biomedical Science. Co-ordinates one module. Delivers lectures on omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, diet and cardiovascular disease, immunonutrition, and gut health.

Professor Philip Calder
Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton IDS Building Mailpoint 887 Southampton General Hospital Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD Email:

Room Number: SGH/CO5/MP887

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