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About me

Having completed an undergraduate degree in Applied Human Nutrition at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh (1997), I joined the Queens University of Belfast to complete a PhD entitled 'the role of carbohydrate and the glycaemic index concept in cardiovascular risk' (2001). This position initiated research experience within the study recognized globally as one of the most in-depth nutritional epidemiology projects ever conducted: the INTERnational collaborative study of MAcro and micronutrients and blood Pressure (INTERMAP).  Acting as site (Belfast centre) and later, country (UK) nutritionist, this has led to international recognition for my work on dietary assessment (most recently, I was an invited speaker at the 12th Asian Congress of Nutrition, Japan: May 2015).

Post-doctorate, I completed 5 years in a permanent research position at Imperial College London (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health), continuing my work with the INTERMAP study, running two separate UK Food Standards Agency funded projects and teaching undergraduate medicine and masters students on the MSc in Modern Epidemiology.  In April 2006, I joined the University of Westminster as a senior lecturer in nutrition and public health. During this time, I have continued collaboration with colleagues at Imperial (both in teaching and research), continuing my work on the INTERMAP study and working with a project team looking at the relationship between vitamin D supplements and growth and development in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort. My research is now focused primarily on how diet and lifestyle factors influence breast cancer recurrence (and survival) in women.

Teaching

At Imperial College London, I completed an internal Supporting Learning and Teaching course, taught on the first and second year undergraduate medicine courses as a Problem Based Learning facilitator and as a lecturer/tutor within the Epidemiology in Practice module (the latter of which I still deliver as a visiting lecturer to both medical and Biomedical Science students). In addition to this, I taught on the Masters in Modern Epidemiology course, and supervised project students from this course each year.

At the University of Westminster, my teaching has been much more centered on nutrition and research methods. I teach across all levels of the UG course in Human Nutrition and the MSc in (International) Public Health Nutrition, and deliver a core module to all Life Sciences and Biomedical Science MSc students, leading four modules (level 4: Principles and Practices in Human Nutrition; level 6: Food Sciences in Nutrition; and level 7: Communicating Science and Research Project in Public Health). My teaching spans the basic science of nutrition (including dietary assessment, food based dietary guidelines, dietary reference values, requirements and metabolism), research methods, and specific specialisms within the fields of cancer and cardiovascular epidemiology and public health. 

I gained my MA in Higher Education at Westminster in 2012 and gained senior fellowship of the Higher Education Agency in April 2017.

Research

Current research interests:

  • Diet, lifestyle and its impacts on breast cancer survival and recurrence;
  • Assessing intakes: The complexities of nutritional epidemiology; 
  • Diet, Lifestyle and it's interactions on the inflammatory pathogenesis of breast cancer and other non-communicable diseases. 

Research projects:

  • Against Breast Cancer funded DietCompLyf Study.

Membership of professional bodies:

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (April, 2017 - current)

  • Honorary Secretary of Association for Nutrition (February 2011 - December 2016)
  • Registered Nutritionist, Association for Nutrition (No. 893)
  • Nutrition Society membership (No. 1939792)
  • Diabetes UK life member (No. 130479)

Collaborations:

  • Dr Miriam Dwek, University of Westminster, DietCompLyf Study
  • Professor Paul Elliott & Dr Queenie Chan, INTERMAP Study, Imperial College London
  • Dr Jayne Woodside, Dr Marie Cantwell & Dr Sarah Brennan, The Queens University of Belfast, DietCompLyf Study

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.