I am a current trainee and lead specialist dietitian in the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I am a member of the dedicated Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) clinical service led by Professor Quentin Anstee, contributing to the translational research programme and delivering evidence-based diet treatments.
Personalised Nutrition in NAFLD.
June 2019 – British Society of Gastroenterology 2019:
August 2020 – The European Association of Liver Disease (EASL), The Digital International Liver Congress:
September 2020 – European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting:
June 2019, Barriers and Facilitators to Mediterranean Diet Adoption by Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Northern Europe, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Volume 17, Issue 7, pages 1364-1371.
August 2020 – Awarded a young investigator bursary at The European Association of Liver Disease (EASL), The Digital International Liver Congress.
NAFLD is an increasingly common and progressive liver disease strongly linked to obesity and diabetes. NAFLD affects people across the life-course, but mainly middle-aged and elderly. Optimum diet treatments lead to fewer patients that need intensified medical treatment, reducing cost burden, and premature mortality and morbidity from diet-related factors. These gains would not be limited to NAFLD but cut across many long-term conditions and ageing-related illnesses. The therapeutic benefits of nutritional well-being are well established and extend to influencing healthy ageing. Personalised nutrition modulates ageing syndromes such as sarcopenia, frailty and multi-morbidity, as evidenced by the LiveWell project (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/livewell/) led by Professor John Mathers. I would like to build on that expertise to maximise research and clinical impacts on care for the ageing population in the NHS.
Since qualifying as a registered dietitian, I have over 10 years’ experience traversing public health and clinical spheres, with a particular focus on obesity. During this time, I have undertaken several activities to progress in a clinical academic capacity. This allows me to translate research findings directly into clinical practice with benefits for patients and the public affected by lifestyle-related disease.
My current research aligns with the IMI2 funded ‘LITMUS’ Liver Investigation: Testing Marker Utility in Steatohepatitis project led by Professor Anstee. Testing cutting-edge biomarkers, I will investigate if the PNPLA3 gene influences response to a Mediterranean diet in people with NAFLD. Currently, there are no drug treatments for NAFLD and lifestyle interventions are standard care to induce weight loss and disease regression. A major challenge is the wide variation among people in response to these interventions. Beyond adherence, it is important to understand why some people gain greater benefits from diet treatments than others. There is a need to explore how genetic background influences response to individual food components, dietary patterns and interactive effects on NAFLD. Hence, nutrigenomics is becoming increasingly important to develop clinically beneficial diet treatments, that are more tailored to the individual for greater health benefits.
The NIHR offers the chance to follow a combined path and perform patient-oriented clinical research. I’ve relished the challenge of developing laboratory skills and combining these with my clinical skills in a bi-translational relationship, between bench and bedside, for patient benefit. There are exceptional opportunities to access training to enhance knowledge and skills that will benefit you in your future research career.
My project is within the Liver theme, but being part of the BRC means I can also access the expertise from the other themes such as the Ageing Syndromes theme. For example, I have been fortunate to attend high-quality training on performing clinical research with older people. I have enjoyed networking and learning from others, across disciplines and research interests.
The BRC Impact Showcase Event. I found the event to be very inspirational, in highlighting how the excellent research from across the University and Trust Partnership is improving patients’ lives.
Involve patients and public in as many stages of the research process as possible.
There are so many great things that the city has to offer, I don’t think I could choose a favourite.