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Hans Verhagen (1957) studied chemistry at the Universities of Nijmegen (NL) and Paris (FR). He did his PhD on food toxicology at the University of Maastricht (NL; thesis in 1989). From 1990-2000 he worked at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Zeist (NL). From 2000-2005 he worked for Unilever in Vlaardingen (NL). Since May 2005 he was employed at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, NL (, from 2005-2012 as Head of the Centre for Nutrition and Health, from 2013-2015 as Senior Scientific Advisor ‘Nutrition and Food Safety’. From 1999-2004 he was editor-in-chief of “Food & Chemical Toxicology” ( From 2011–2015 he was Chief Editor of the “European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety” ( He is a board-certified nutritionist (since 2005) and a board-certified toxicologist (since 1990). From 2006-2015 he was a member of the EFSA-NDA panel (European Food Safety Authority; Since November 2009 he is a visiting professor at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland; From November 2015 he is the head of the Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department (RASA) at the European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy.


Current Experience

  • Head of EFSA’s Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department (RASA)
    Since November 2015
    Hans Verhagen has 32 years of professional experience, both in the public and private sector. Before joining EFSA, he held management positions at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, both in the Netherlands. He also worked in Unilever Research and at the Universities of Maastricht and Nijmegen, in the Netherlands and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He was a member of EFSA’s NDA Panel from 2006 until June 2015. He was editor in chief at “Food & Chemical Toxicology” and the “European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety”. Hans Verhagen has published widely on subjects related to toxicology and nutrition. He studied chemistry (University Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Université de Paris VII, France). He obtained his PhD from the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. He is a board-certified toxicologist and a board-certified nutritionist (Foundation for Biomedical Scientific Research Training, the Netherlands).

  • Director/Head of Department Parma, Province of Parma, Italy
    Since November 2015

    see linked in

Past Experience

  • Senior Scientific Advisor ‘Nutrition and Food Safety’
    January 2013 --- October 2015
    1. RIVM: Senior Scientific Advisor ‘Nutrition and Food Safety’ 2. EFSA: member of NDA Panel, chair of Novel Foods Working Group, member of various other working groups 3. University of Ulster: visiting professor of 'Nutrition and Food Safety' 4. Chief Editor of 'European Journal of Nutrition and Food Safety' Specialties: nutrition, toxicology, functional foods, health claims, scientific substantiation of health claims, integrated benefit-risk assessment, novel foods, nutritional safety, food additives, food fortification, biomarkers, antioxidants, food reformulation, nutrient profiles and logo’s.

  • Head, Centre for Nutrition and Health
    May 2005 --- December 2012
    See: Prof. Verhagen and his team are working on supporting policy makers concerning nutrition and health through applied scientific research. His group is working on a diverse number of topics: • National food consumption surveys and food composition databases • Epidemiology of chronic diseases (obesity, CHD, cancer, diabetes) including nutrigenomics • Modellation of health effects and scenario studies • Integrated risk-benefit analysis • Post-launch monitoring • Functional foods, nutrition and health claims on foods, food fortification practices, food-pharma interface. Prof. Verhagen is a board-certified toxicologist and a board-certified nutritionist. As of 2006 he is a member of the EFSA-NDA panel (European Food Safety Authority: nutrition, dietetic products and allergy; Since 2009 he holds an honorary position at the University of Maastricht (NL). Prof Verhagen is a visiting professor at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, since November 2009.

  • Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager
    January 2000 --- May 2005
    - Co-ordinate between the Unilever Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) and the Unilever Health Institute (UHI). Represent the UHI in the Product Clearance Committee, and ensuring nutritional input in safety discussions. Liaise between toxicologists and nutritionists within and outside Unilever. Secure safety clearance of ingredients and consumer test trials. - Represent Unilever / UHI at various international committees (International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), EU-projects, Dutch Academy for Nutrition Sciences); co-ordinate ILSI activities for Unilever world-wide. - Reputation building of UHI/Unilever in the external world. Liase with the external scientific and regulatory environment to support the interests of Unilever. Represent Unilever at external scientific meetings; organise symposia, conferences. Present lectures.

  • Head, Food Analysis Dept. (1995-1999); Head, Regulatory Genotoxicology Group (1990-1995)
    March 1990 --- December 1999


Self Assessment :
CollaborationApproachabilityCommunicativeEfficiencyInterest in knowledgeKindnessOptimismReaction to stressResiliencyResult OrientedService orientedSociabilityTrustWillingness to compromise


Self Assessment :
R&D Scientific writingAnimal trialApplicationsBiomarkersCancer ResearchChange ManagementCharacterizationCommunication SkillsContinuous ImprovementEvent ManagementGood Laboratory Practice (GLP)ISO 17025ISO 9001LaboratoryLife SciencesmanagementMarketing Authorisation Application (MAA)Microsoft ExcelMicrosoft OfficeMicrosoft PowerpointMicrosoft WordNutritionOutlookOxidative stresspeople managementPosition PaperPresentationsProject ManagementPublic HealthQuality Assurance (QA)Quality SystemsRegulatory affairsRegulatory submissionsResearchRisk AssessmentscienceScientific WritingTeam ManagementToxicologyUnderstand levels of research evidence
LinkedIn Assessment :
NutritionToxicologyFunctional FoodsBiomarkersAntioxidantsscienceHealthFood SafetyPublic HealthFoodResearchLife SciencesTeachingFood IndustryR&DProduct developmentAnalytical ChemistryEpidemiologyFood ScienceIngredientsLifesciencesmolecular biology

Skills and Expertise

Self Assessment :
Analytical skills Guide students Interpret data Write papersApprove consent documentsAssign activitiesAttend at steering committee meetingsAttend seminars, courses and meetings within and outside the companyAttend steering committeeBiomarker Researchbudgeting of R&D activitiesCoach staffConduct animal studiesConduct research at universitiesConduct university research Coordinate projectscoordinating research projectsDesign scientific experimentsDesign scientific projects (in biology)Design studiesDevelop business planDevelop strong internal relationships with stakeholdersEstablish professional relationships with partnersEstablish relationships with Key Opinion LeadersExecute scientific projectsFollow-up of Quality Management System (QMS) processesGuide staffGuide studentsImplement Quality Management System (QMS)Interact with KOLInteract with regulatory stakeholdersInterpret research resultsInterpret scientific dataLead teamsLiaise with professionals in other divisions of the company as requiredlifescienceMaintain Quality Management System (QMS)Manage research projectsManage study budgetmanaging a small teamManuscript preparationManuscript reviewMarket approvalNegotiate budget NetworkObtain grantsOrganise meetingsOral presentationOrganise steering committeePeople managementPlan experimentsPlan work to meet objectives and deadlinesPrepare final reportPrepare manuscriptPresent at steering committeeproject managementProvide benefit risk assessmentProvide trainingPublication of articlesPublish scientific projectsR&DRegulatory documentationResearch at universitiesReview dataReview protocolsReview quality control activitiesReview reportsReview study protocolsSet up research projectsTeach university studentsWrite documentsWrite final reportsWrite papersWritten presentation


  • Prof. in food safety & nutrition from University of Ulster in 2009
  • PhD in food toxicology from Maastricht University in 1990


BrightOwl Assessment:
Self Assessment:
Full Proficiency
Professional Proficiency
Elementary Proficiency
Elementary Proficiency

Work Preferences

  • Notice Period:
    12 weeks
  • Work From Home:
    Yes, 0 to 5 days per week
  • Work Regime:
    Permanent position
  • International:

Area / Region

Parma, Province of Parma, Italy


Driving License
  • Yes