VESNA, Academic network for the study on vegan diets

VESNA network was founded as an informal network of European scholars and researchers in January 2019 jn Prague. The founding members steamed out from 14 research institutions across nine EU countries.

VESNA is an informal network that has arised from shared interest in health effects of plant-based diets. It brings together researchers with wide scope of expertise ranging from clinical science, through epidemiology, to food policy and environmental research. Want to learn more?

VESNA congress 2019

VESNA 2019 conference brings together European experts and current research from broad range of fields, presenting current knowledge about plant based diets and related topics. You can look forward for scientific sessions filled with up to date research, keynote lectures about hot topics in the view of top European experts as on practical workshop focusing on the clinical practice involving vegan patients or workshop on data analysis in nutritional research.

In the program:

  • Discussions about:
    • long term effect of plant based diet
    • Vegan and vegetarian pregnancy and children
    • Microbiome, metabolome and physiology under plant-based diet
    • Bone health and mineral density
    • Policies and public health in a changing climate
    • Phytosterols and their impact on human health
  • Workshop for medical professionals wanting to understand the needs of their vegan patients better
  • Student workshops teaching basics of data analysis and statistics in nutritional research
  • Meetings of VESNA working groups connecting scientist interested in future research cooperation and discussion about harmonisation of methods used in a plant based diet research
  • Gala evening with the opportunity to taste the vegan twist on traditional Central Europe cuisine from the hand of top Prague’s vegan chefs

The detailed program, including the names of our speakers, coming soon.

The abstract registration is already opened for any clinical, epidemiological, public health or basic science research focusing on topics of interests from Europe or elsewhere.

The registration for participants who wish not to present their original work will be opened by the end of summer as will be the registration for the workshops and social program (Gala evening).

For general public:

The conference focusing on research professionals is followed up by program dedicated to general public. We are preparing panel discussions about plant-based diet life from different point of views, climate change and its relationship to our diet and behaviour as the more serious discussion about policies we should adopt as a society. Workshops for vegetarian and vegan parents with experts from abroad, as well as session opening the needed discussion between medical doctors and nutritional specialist and vegan patients. Everything of course spiced up with the opportunity for social gathering. The program for the public event and the registration link for it will be published by the end of the summer.

For updates:

For updates regarding both part of the conference, follow our website or twitter:

Do you want to present your work?


Registration fees for scientific congress (active participants):

The payment will be held in Czech Crowns, transfer rate: 25.55CZ = 1 EUR.
  • VESNA Network members : 1500 CZK (58.72 EUR)
  • Non-members: 2000 CZK (78.29 EUR)
  • Students: 250 CZK (9.79 EUR)


Ovocný trh 560/5, 116 36 Staré Město


Organization team

Jan Gojda, MD, PhD

Deputy head of Dept. of Medicine 2, Third Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady. Consultant in diabetes/endocrinology and clinical nutrition. His expertise is research into human physiology.

He has a longstanding clinical as well as research experience with vegans as a model population in a diabetes research.
President of the congress

Eliska Selinger

Student and researcher at Dept. of Medicine 2, Third Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady.

Experience in nutritional analysis and epigenetic research, interested in her work in the health status of Czech vegans and its translation to public health policies and recommendations.
Responsible for the event management.

prof. Tim Key

team member

Tim Key has worked as a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Oxford since 1985. His main interests are the roles of diet and hormones in the etiology of cancer, particularly cancers of the breast, prostate and colon, and the health status of vegetarians and vegans. He currently works mostly on the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), as the principal investigator of the Oxford cohort of 60,000 subjects, including 30,000 people who don’t eat meat. He is also chairman of the EPIC prostate cancer group and co-ordinates the Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group.

Dr. Tilman “Til” Kühn

team member

Heading the Nutritional Epidemiology working group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Division of Cancer Epidemiology) in Heidelberg, Germany. The group is particularly interested in the interplay between diet, metabolic state and chronic disease risk. For their research they are using data from cohorts, RCT studies, and international consortia.

Cristian Del Bo’, PhD

team member

Cristian Del Bo’, PhD, is assistant professor in Human Nutrition at the Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy). He graduated in Food Science and Human Nutrition and pursued a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.
His research activity focuses on the evaluation of the role of bioactives, bioactive-rich foods and vegetable-rich dietary patterns in the modulation of markers related to human health with a specific focus on cardiovascular risk.