What are your research interests?
My research interests focus on developing, validating, implementing and evaluating nutrition and healthy lifestyle programs for individuals and families. The goal is to help people make changes to their dietary patterns and decrease their risk of weight-related chronic disease, across all population groups – children, women in pregnancy, young adults and parents. I have a special interest in the use of eHealth and information technologies within my research.
Why did you get into research?
When I graduated from university as an Accredited Practising Dietitian, I was pretty sure I'd never need to do research. But it turned out that the best way to evaluate the significance of my role in the paediatric cystic fibrosis team at John Hunter Children's Hospital was to evaluate it in a clinical research project. Little did I know that this would lead me to life as a researcher and research mentor and leader of the largest group of dietitian researchers in the world.
What would be the ultimate goal for your research?
If I could have my way then everyone would have their own personal dietitian. As that is not likely to happen I will settle for using technology to novel and engaging ways, to connect people with expert nutrition advice, support and motivation.
Healthy dietary patterns are your best insurance against developing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and specific diet-related cancers. By focusing on smart technologies to connect people with expert nutrition advice when they need it, I will lead my research team into the future to develop eating solutions that help people eat better, feel better and perform better. It will be a world where every person can have their own personal e-dietitian and get the sound nutrition advice and support they needed where and when they need it.
Clare Collins is Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing. She has received three prestigious NHMRC Research Fellowships and is currently Director of Hunter Medical Research Institute, Food and Nutrition Program.
Laureate Professor Collins has made major contributions to our knowledge on the impact of improving diet quality and food patterns on health and wellbeing outcomes. Her research in precision and personalised nutrition is driving a paradigm shift in technologies that improve delivery of medical nutrition therapy to under-served groups based on life-stage, socio-economic status or geographic location, for whom the chronic disease burden is 40-50% higher. This is generating new knowledge on cost-effective models of care that are available online or can be embedded in health settings .
Her passion was fuelled growing up as one of nine children and being in the first generation of her family to have the opportunity complete year 12 and go to university. She learnt from an early age the meaning of hard work, the importance of grasping opportunities when they arose and the importance of share the fruits of those opportunities.
Laureate Professor Collins is a Fellow of four prestigious bodies, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the Nutrition Society of Australia, Dietitians Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW. As the most successful research dietitian globally, her team includes dietitians, nutritionists, biochemists, computer scientists, biomedical engineers and software developers. They collaborate with government and non-government organisations, industry and researchers from other universities in Australia and around the world.
She has been awarded over $29 million dollars in research grants, published over 450 manuscripts and supervised 35 PhD and Master candidates to completion so far.
Laureate Professor Collins is a great believer in sharing her knowledge through translation of nutrition science to benefit the public. Her team have developed technology tools for dietary assessment, including the Australian Eating Survey, the Healthy Eating Quiz , accessed by over 500,000 people around the world, and the online program No Money No Time, supported by nib foundation. She is a highly sort after nutrition media commentator, having conducted thousands of media interviews for radio, print and TV. These include ABC, BBC, and as regular guest of Dr Karl on TripleJ Science Hour and Shirtloads of Science. She has authored over 100 articles for The Conversation with over 13million readers internationally. She co-created the EdX Massive Open Online Course, The Science of Weight Loss - Dispelling Diet Myths, completed by over 65,000 people across 180 countries.
- Nutrition, dietetics
- Dietary methods
- Nutrition assessment
- Validation studies
- Dietary interventions
- Nutrition education
- Public health nutrition
- Clinical nutrition
- Systematic reviews