Clinical Nutrition Research

Research from members within this theme, individually and collaboratively, generates high quality evidence across clinical settings and age groups. Our research originates from research questions that arise in clinical practice.  This leads to research that is timely, relevant and of benefit to patients, clinicians and health services. We translate the evidence that arises from these studies into practice, through changing how nutrition care is provided, and our teaching.

Theme members have particular expertise at both ends of the life cycle, with Dr Zoe Davidson international expert in paediatric nutrition research.  Projects currently underway in paediatrics include contemporary trials of weight management from pre-conception to adulthood, and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

A/Prof Judi Porter and Dr Kay Nguo are recognised internationally for their ongoing research examining nutritional needs of ageing populations.  With the population aged 65 years and above, and particularly 80 years and above, evidence for the energy needs, appetite changes, nutritional status (including malnutrition and sarcopenia) in these populations is often inconclusive to inform practice.  This leads to unwanted weight loss and adverse health outcomes across a range of practice settings.  Their research, including the first study using doubly labelled water to determine total energy expenditure in people aged 80 years and over in Australia, is critical to ensure that nutritional intake is optimised in older adults.  Along with other clinical theme members, A/Prof Porter and Dr Nguo led the international collaboration to systematically analyse the published evidence of total energy expenditure in older adults (65 years and over) using doubly labelled water.

Clinical Nutrition theme members also lead research in acute and chronic diseases within their area of expertise.  Dr Kate Huggins is an NHMRC Translating Research into Practice Fellow, working within a large interprofessional team that is testing novel service delivery models to implement early nutrition care to cancer patients.  (See reference here). Dr Nicole Kellow holds an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship where she is exploring the role of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in female infertility. Dr Jorja Collins holds a conjoint role with Eastern Health is leading local and national collaborations aiming to reduce food waste in hospitals.   Dr Simone Gibson leads research investigating food and inflammation and dietetic processes in hospitals.

Importantly the research output from this theme is disseminated internationally, extending the clinical nutrition evidence base and improving practice for patients.