Profile image of Professor Kristina Pentieva

Professor Kristina Pentieva

Professor of Human Nutrition

Profile image of Professor Kristina Pentieva


Biomedical Sciences Research


Room W2028 Cromore Road Coleraine Co. Londonderry BT52 1SA



Kristina Pentieva completed her medical degree (MD) and PhD in medical science at the Medical University Sofia, Bulgaria. Prior to joining Ulster at 1998, she worked as a scientist at the Department of Nutrition, National Centre of Hygiene, Bulgaria and later as a postdoctoral fellow at MRC Dunn Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, UK.  She is currently a Professor of Human Nutrition at the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health, Ulster University.

Kristina’s research is focused on folate and related B-vitamins involved in one-carbon metabolism and their health effects in vulnerable population groups. The outcome of this research has informed health services and regulatory authorities worldwide in relation to dietary recommendations for B-vitamins. Of specific interest to Kristina in recent years is the area of B-vitamins in pregnancy and fetal programming. Her research has been supported by governmental agencies, the European Commission and charities. She has published more than 100 scientific papers in high quality peer-reviewed journals.

Currently Kristina is an active member of the Scientific Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). She previously served as an expert in EFSA’s Working Group tasked with updating dietary recommendations for vitamin intakes for European populations (2012-2018). Kristina also served as an Associate Editor of the journal ‘Nutrients’ for 9 years.

Research Interests

  • B-vitamin requirements in health & disease
  • Folate bioavailability
  • Folate fortification
  • B-vitamins and related genetic factors involved in one-carbon metabolism.

Teaching Interests

  • Food and Health
  • Nutrition and Food Regulatory Affairs Research
  • Sports and Exercise Nutrition

Administrative Roles

  • Course Director PgCert/PgDip/MSc Food Regulatory Affairs
  • Course Director PgCert Veterinary Public Health