Student Profile - Trish Veitch

Trish is a Masters student in the Department of Gastroenterology. Her research is based on looking at the role of prebiotic fibre in relation to wellbeing and gut health. Her supervisor is Dr Jane Muir.

What is your Masters about?

My Masters looks at the role of prebiotic fibre in relation to wellbeing, but also gut health. So I am concentrating on the high prebiotic health fibre foods and looking at wholefood sources, rather than supplements. 

Have you always been interested in this kind of research?

I've always been interested in nutrition and I'm passionate bout food and cooking. I actually started my working life as a professional chef, and I’ve worked in many different areas in that way. Then I eventually moved into the teaching sector of commercial cookery and I was teaching dietary requirements and nutrition, which sort of segued into doing Masters. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve come across while you’ve been doing your Masters?

Prebiotic fibre – what it is, what its food sources are. I now find that I’m totally obsessed when I walk around the supermarket! It’s also changed my own diet because I eat a lot more prebiotic fibre and it has improved the quality of my life. 

What advice would you give to someone who is starting their Masters?

Don’t have anything else on your plate. I feel like I’m wearing a lot of hats at the moment, because I’m working, studying and teaching and I would like to have more time to devote to my Masters. 

What made you decide to come to the Central Clinical School for Masters?

I went to last year’s public lecture given by Prof Peter Gibson about FODMAPs and it changed my life! I just thought, “I want to do that”. Then I met Jane Muir who is now my supervisor, and I told her I wanted to work with her, and that’s how I got into it. 

What will you do when you finish Masters?

Probably go into a retirement village!! But really, I’d like to pursue working in this area because it is brilliant. It marries my cookery, and it marries my interest in science and also this topic in particular with my background of my degree in microbiology. I enjoy the research, diet design and the cookery aspect of my topic. 

What do you like about your supervisor?

Jane Muir is my supervisor, and to start off with, she’s a really nice person, and I get  along well with her which is terrifically important as far as I’m concerned. She has exceptional knowledge in this area which I respect - I am grateful that I have her as a supervisor. 

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a huge walker, and I am also an organic gardener.  I grow a lot of my own fruit and vegetables and I have chickens, I just love the sustainability of it all. I like to travel too. I’ve worked in Shanghai, Bangkok and London and lived in Sri Lanka and South India, so I’ve done a lot of travelling.