Dr Emma Beckett

Dr Emma Beckett
Project Grant
2017 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

I study gene-nutrient-environment interactions. This includes how our genes that make us unique change the way we respond to foods, and how the food we eat changes the way our genes are switched on and off.

I am interested in how and why we don’t all respond the same way foods and nutrients, and want to know what that means for health and disease risks.

Why did you get into research?

I am an identical twin from a giant family, so I was interested in genetics before I even knew what it was. Nutrition is interesting because we all eat food, every day, it’s unavoidable. So working out how food links to health is one way we can help everyone be more healthy. 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Some people have “bad” lifestyle habits and still live well in old age, others do the “right” things their whole lives and still get lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. I hope that understanding how our diets interact with our genes and our environments will help us level the playing field so that everyone can be healthy and well in old age. 


Dr Emma Beckett has a multi-faceted research background, with qualifications and experience in nutrition, epidemiology, science management, biomedical sciences, immunology and microbiology. Emma completed her PhD, in 2016, as a joint project between the Faculty of Science at the University of Newcastle and the CSIRO Food and Nutrition Flagship. 

Emma is interested in molecular nutrition and her work focuses on gene-nutrient-environment interactions. This involves the study of both how genetic variance alters the bodies responses to nutrition (nutrigenetics), and how nutrients influence gene expression (nutrigenomics) via direct interactions and modification of epigenetic marks. She hopes to unravel how our genes and nutrients interact to modify our risk of chronic and later-life-onset diseases. She is also interested in how diet and genetics influence the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract to predisposed to, or protect us from, diseases linked to diet and lifestyle such as colorectal cancer.

Future Focus

We all eat, but there is no “one-size fits all approach” to healthy eating. By understanding how our genes, environment and nutrition interact, we can use personalised nutrition advice to prevent and treat disease.

Specialised /  Technical Skills

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pre-clinical models
  • Cell culture
  • Dietary Assessment & Analysis
  • qPCR
  • PCR
  • A


  • EMCR Forum (Executive)
  • Nutrition Society of Australia
  • Australian Epigenetic Alliance



Equal Futures Award
Project Grant

Oceanic Leadership in Nutrition Platform training program for ECRs