Professor Kristina Pentieva

Professor of Human Nutrition

School of Biomedical Sciences

Coleraine campus

Room W2028,
Cromore Road,
Co. Londonderry,
BT52 1SA,

Biomedical Sciences Research

Professor of Human Nutrition

Professor Kristina Pentieva


Kristina Pentieva completed her MD training 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 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 for Kristina in the recent years is the area of B-vitamins in pregnancy and the impact on offspring health and development in later life.

Her research has been supported by the UK Research Councils (UKRI), governmental agencies, the European Commission and charities. She has published more than 150 scientific papers in high quality peer-reviewed journals.

Currently Kristina is a member of the Scientific Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). She is a chair of the Working Group (WG) on Dietary Folate Equivalents and a member of the WG on Tolerable Upper Intake Levels of Vitamin and Minerals within EFSA.

Kristina previously served as an expert in the WG tasked with updating the recommendations for vitamin intake of the European population (2012-2018). She is also an invited contributor to the seminal textbook "Principles of Nutritional Assessment’, 3rd Edition”.

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