Our Lead Experts
Meet some of the researchers behind our cocoa flavanol research program.
Our experts are leading the Mars Edge cocoa flavanols research program, with decades of experience in nutritional science and epidemiology. Partnering with a global network of leading research institutions and organizations, our researchers are working to advance our understanding of cocoa flavanols and human health.
Dr Hagen Schroeter, Chief Science Officer
Hagen is the Chief Science Officer at Mars Edge, leading Mars’ scientific contributions related to cocoa flavanols and the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS). Based at the University of California, Davis, where he is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Nutrition, he specializes in biomedical research into polyphenols and flavanols in the context of health, nutrition, and aging.
Prior to joining Mars in 2006, Hagen was a Research Associate and Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Davis. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers, published in prominent scientific journals, on cocoa flavanols and the efficacy and safety of bioactive food constituents in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and biochemistry.
Dr Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Research & Development and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Director
Catherine leads Research & Development and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at Mars Edge, working to translate over two decades of cocoa flavanol research into products that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. She began her career at Mars in 2002 as a Scientist, managing an external human research program on cocoa, then moving into a corporate role as Human Health and Nutrition Director.
Catherine has focused most of her career on the non-nutritive components in food, spending her PhD researching under-nutrition before conducting post-doctoral research in nutrition and cognition. More recently, she has focused on advancing analytical methods of analysis for the bioactives in cocoa. Catherine participates in various committees and organizations to help connect people with nutrition science, including the National Academies of Science (NAS) Obesity Roundtable and NAS Food Forum.
Dr Javier Ottaviani, Research Associate
Javier is a Research Associate at Mars Edge and the Director of the Mars Edge Core Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. He oversees strategic and operational biomedical and nutritional research activities and manages Mars’ external relationships related to the work of the Laboratory.
Javier focuses on the role of nutrition and dietary bioactive compounds in health, at an individual and population level. His current projects include investigating the effects of cocoa flavanols on healthy aging and vascular health. Javier also holds a position as an affiliated faculty in the Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis.
Dr Ugo Bussy, Principal Scientist
As Principal Scientist at Mars Edge, Ugo leads a team of scientists developing analytical solutions to characterize cocoa flavanols in dietary supplements and foods. In his current role, Ugo manages a network of expert collaborators from industry, government, and academic organizations, developing and sharing reliable testing for flavanols in cocoa-based products.
Before joining Mars Edge in 2017, Ugo oversaw the development of methods for the determination of biomarkers in complex samples at Michigan State University. During his tenure, he co-authored 28 research articles.