Career Achievement Award

ESPEN awards professionals, preferably newly retired, who has been particularly successful to improve clinical nutritional practice with the ESPEN Career Achievement Award. This Award is given to a person who, during the course if her/his career, has made major contributions to markedly improve the clinical practice. The contribution can be internationally recognized, or of particular importance at the national level or both. The contributions can be multiple, multi facetted but must have made major impact for improving clinical practice in nutritional care. This award is not primarily to be given to award novel research findings, but rather actions or improvements of the use of proper nutritional care. Examples of actions or achievements that could merit for this award could be (but not by any means limited to) actions such as for instance developing educational material, implementation tools, systems for recognition of need for nutritional care, developing national strategies in nutritional care or building successful national societies etc. First Career Achievement Award was presented in 2010 at the ESPEN General Assembly at the Nice Congress.

These exceptional members are:

Professor Regina KOMSA Bulgaria    2017
Professor Ibolya NYULASI  Australia 2016
Professor John SHAFFER United Kingdom 2015
Professor Merce PLANAS Spain 2014
Professor Mois BAHAR Turkey 2013
Professor Lubos SOBOTKA Czech Republic 2011
Professor Pat HOWARD United Kingdom 2010






The Award is decided upon by the ESPEN Executive Committee, but nominations of Awardees can be made by ESPEN members to the General Secretary with an appropriate motivation and a CV of the Nominee.





Regina Komsa-Penkova, PhD, DSc, Professor of Biochemistry, Head of Department of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, Medical University Pleven,  Bulgaria


  • Graduated from Vilnius State University, Lithuania
  • Specialty Biochemistry, Medical University Pleven, Bulgaria


  • Initiator and coordinator of an EU project for the development of the LLL program in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Designer and co-founder of the ESPEN LLL program (2003-2005)
  • Co-director of the ESPEN LLL Program for ContinuousMedical Education of Physicians and HealthProfessionals in Clinical Nutrition (
  • Initiator and coordinator of the EU project « Teach the teacher » for the development of the TLLL course in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (2005-2007)

Other Appointments & Honours

  • Head of International Relations of the MedicalUniversity Pleven (1999-2009)
  • Initiator and coordinator of four EU projects in the field of Molecular and Medical Biosciences (1999-2009). Three of themwerenominated as Projects of Excellence
  • Among the first National experts of ECTS in medical curricula
  • Vice-Dean of MedicalFacultyat MU Pleven (2009-2013)
  • Vice-chairman of BULSPEN
  • Editorial advisoryboard of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Editorial advisoryboard of Nutrition

Current research

  • Role of genetic and non-genetic risk factors in the pathogenesis of thrombotic events in patients with venous thromboembolism and arterial thrombosis
  • Impact of inherited thrombophilia and life style onreproductive problem
  • Changes in the nanomechanical characteristics of platelets and platelet microparticles  in patients with thrombosis
  • Life style, nutrition and drug abuse.

Web for science informations

  • Sum of publications: 139
  • Sum of the Times Cited :401
  • h-index : 12