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Alexander Tups

Assoc. Prof. Alexander Tups


Alexander’s research investigates how the hormones leptin and insulin interact in the brain to control body weight, glucose homeostasis and cognition and how circadian timing feeds back on this system. The main focus is on identifying natural and pharmacological remedies that are able to rescue the disturbed crosstalk of these hormones that occurs during metabolic disease. One nutraceutical (patent filed) that targets brain inflammation as root cause of diabetes has progressed to the clinical trial phase.

His research is funded by Return on Science, Otago Innovation, the Maurice Wilkins Centre, the Royal Society of Marsden Fund and the German Research Foundation.   

Feng He

Prof. Feng He


Feng He is Professor of Global Health Research at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. Her research has focused on dietary salt and potassium intake, particularly their roles in regulating blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease. Feng has been involved in the UK’s salt reduction programme which has been successful in lowering salt intake, accompanied by a fall in population blood pressure and cardiovascular disease mortality. More recently, Feng has extended her salt reduction work to several Low- and Middle-Income Countries, e.g. China, Malaysia.

Phillip Calder

Prof. Philip Calder


Philip Calder is Professor of Nutritional Immunology at the University of Southampton, UK. He is an internationally recognized researcher on the metabolism and functionality of fatty acids with an emphasis on the roles of omega-3 fatty acids in immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. He has also conducted recognized research on amino acids, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and natural products. His research addresses both life course and translational considerations, and includes research in cell and animal models and in healthy humans and patients. He has received many awards and prizes for his work including the prestigious Danone International Prize for Nutrition (2016). Professor Calder was President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2009-2012), Chair of the Scientific Committee of ESPEN (2012-2016) and President of the Nutrition Society (2016-2019). He is currently President- of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies. He was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition from 2006 to 2013.

Claus Christophersen

Dr Claus T. Christophersen


Dr Christophersen is a molecular microbiologist specialising in the role and impact of the gut microbiome in health. He participates in multi-disciplinary research to understand how diets or supplements can improve health or prevent diseases. He has a special interest in the ability of resistant starches, and recently exercise, to improve gut health.

He has an MSc from the University of Copenhagen and a PhD from the University of Western Australia. He then undertook a post-doctoral appointment and later became a research scientist and team leader in CSIRO Food & Nutrition. He now leads the WA Human Microbiome Collaboration Centre at Curtin University.

Karen Best

Karen Best


Karen Best is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow and Clinical Scientist at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Women and Kids Theme, based at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide. Formerly a midwife, Karen has worked in clinical research for the past 15 years and is committed to improving the nutrition and health of mothers and their babies through the conduct and translation of high quality clinical trials. Karen’s work focuses on nutitional interventions during pregnancy and she has managed research projects involving more than 11,000 participants enabling publications in the prestigious journals the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal.

Mario Herrero

Prof. Mario Herrero


Professor Mario Herrero CorrFRSE is Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. His research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems for the benefit of humans and ecosystems. He works in the areas of sustainable intensification of agriculture, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, and healthy and sustainable diets.

Professor Herrero is a regular contributor to important global initiatives at the heart of the sustainability of global food systems, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems.

Maxine Bonham

Assoc. Prof. Maxine Bonham


Associate Professor Maxine Bonham is a research academic at Monash University (Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food) and a registered nutritionist. Maxine’s expertise is in the successful development and oversight of nutrition intervention programs that favourably impact metabolic health.  Maxine has established a research agenda in nutrition and circadian biology initiating a structured research program examining the adverse health effects associated with sleep debt, poor dietary habits and misalignment of circadian rhythms in shift workers. This work has been funded by the National Heart Foundation and NHMRC.  

Michael Skilton

Assoc. Prof. Michael Skilton


Associate Professor Michael Skilton leads the Nutrition and Cardiometabolic Disease group at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

He graduated from the University of Queensland (BSc Hons I) in 1998, was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney (2005), and subsequently spent time in Lyon, France at the Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine, and in Melbourne at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

His research interests lie at the intersection between nutrition and cardiometabolic diseases across the life course, age-appropriate assessment of cardiometabolic health, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Nicholas Talley

Prof. Nicholas Talley


Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley is a distinguished researcher, educator, clinician, academic leader and an international authority in the field of neurogastroenterology. He specialises in unexplained gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux and gastroparesis. He is also the author of the highly regarded textbooks Clinical Examination and Examination Medicine and in 2017 was named Australia’s most cited academic by Google Scholar. He is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Global Research University of Newcastle, a senior staff specialist in gastroenterology at the John Hunter Hospital, and holds adjunct research appointments at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Mayo Clinic in the USA.

Sarah McNaughton

Prof. Sarah McNaughton


Professor Sarah McNaughton is a nutritional epidemiologist, and an NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University. She is also Discipline Leader for Dietetics, in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2003, and since joining Deakin University in 2005, has held research fellowships from the NHMRC, Heart Foundation and Australian Research Council. Her research program includes the assessing and understanding dietary behaviours, diet quality and dietary patterns and generating evidence to inform strategies that promote health and wellbeing.

Louise Dye Pic

Prof. Louise Dye


Louise Dye is Professor of Nutrition and Behaviour, School of Psychology, University of Leeds. Louise is N8 Chair in Theme 3 (Improved Nutrition and Consumer Behaviour) and Academic Lead for the University of Leeds of the N8 Agrifood Programme. She is Associate Editor of Nutritional Neuroscience and the European Journal of Nutrition. She has published a number of influential systematic reviews on the effects of nutritional status and interventions on cognition. Her research interests includes the effects of impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes and stress on cognition.

Dana Stanley

Assoc. Prof. Dana Stanley


Associate Professor Dana Stanley was awarded a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from Victoria University, Melbourne, 2009. Her PhD project entitled “Generation and Characterisation of Ethanol-Tolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mutants” investigated the molecular and metabolic determinants of ethanol tolerance in yeast and was awarded “the most outstanding PhD in 2009” by Victoria University. Following PhD graduation, she started a postdoctoral position in CSIRO’s Animal Health Laboratories (AAHL), in poultry intestinal health research. Dana specialised in gut microbiota and genetics during her time at AAHL.  She moved to Central Queensland University in 2013 and is now a leader of the Molecular Microbiology research cluster focusing on human and livestock intestinal health and nutrition, probiotic and next-generation antibiotic development and pathogen control. She is working in collaboration with the world’s leading probiotic companies on research projects aiming to improve intestinal health of agricultural animals and humans. Majority of her publications are in the world’s top 10% journals and among 10% most cited in the world. She has published her research in Nature Medicine (as the first author), Nature Communications and Nature Immunology and is an ARC DECRA Fellow and NHMRC panel member. Dana is very passionate about nature conservation, animal ethics, exercise and nutrition.

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Prof. Michelle McKinley


Michelle McKinley is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Centre for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast and a registered Public Health Nutritionist in the UK. Prof McKinley’s research investigates the ability of dietary interventions to modify nutritional status and risk of chronic disease, particularly diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as exploring novel approaches to encouraging and supporting diet and lifestyle behaviour change and weight management throughout the life course. Her expertise in dietary interventions includes examining the effect of individual nutrients through to studies exploring interventions with whole foods, food groups and whole dietary patterns. Examples of her behaviour change research include developing and evaluating complex interventions to support dietary and lifestyle change: in the school-setting; before, during and after pregnancy; and for people with type 2 diabetes. This work encompasses the use of mHealth and eHealth technology to support behaviour change.

Tracy Burrows

Assoc. Prof Tracy Burrows


A/ Prof Burrows is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia from the Faculty Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle and a researcher  from Hunter Medical Research Institute.  She id the Deputy theme lead for Priority Research centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition. Dr Burrows’ has developed a cohesive program of research on obesity over the lifespan from preschool through to adulthood, with a particular focus on dietary assessment, dietary biomarkers and validation methods. She has developed a program of research investigating addictive eating behaviours and its relation to weight status and mental health. Burrows has >150 peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to National Clinical Guidelines for overweight and obesity and the Australian Dietary Guidelines.


Prof. Amanda Salis


Professor Amanda Salis (nee Sainsbury) leads basic research and multidisciplinary clinical trials at the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders. Her research aims to help people who are overweight or obese to safely attain and maintain optimum body weight and composition. Professor Salis’ research focuses on understanding and circumventing the body’s adaptive responses to continued energy restriction, a phenomenon she terms the ‘famine reaction’ that among other effects, increases appetite and reduces energy expenditure. “For me research is personal,” she says. “I used to be severely obese and tried many diets that worked for a while, but found I would inevitably become really hungry and hit a weight loss plateau, despite continued adherence to the diet, and I would give up and regain all the weight, plus more. I wanted to understand why and what could be done about it”. Professor Salis investigates the neuroendocrine pathways that mediate the body’s adaptive responses to energy restriction in obesity, and the subsequent effects on appetite, physical activity, energy expenditure, fat distribution, muscle function and bone mass. Importantly, she has successfully translated her basic research findings on hypothalamic control of these processes to randomised controlled trials in humans. Personally, her understanding has helped her to achieve and maintain significant weight loss. She engages extensively with the wider community to share her knowledge, and is a leading commentator on weight management on national radio, TV, print and digital media. In 2014 Professor Salis was named in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac list of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence.


Dr Melinda Hutchesson


Dr Melinda Hutchesson, is a dietitian and Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. She is a principal investigator within the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, where she is also the deputy lead of the Nutrition and Dietetics theme of research. Dr Hutchesson is currently leading a program of research to determine the impact of modifiable risk factors (e.g. poor diet quality, physical inactivity, excess body weight) on the cardiovascular health of women following hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. This research has been funded by the National Heart Foundation, and Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research.

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