Isobel Stoodley

Isobel Stoodley

What are your research interests?

  • Nutrition and physical activity interventions for healthy ageing: With an ageing population in Australia and worldwide, is it imperative to investigate diet and physical activity patterns that help us live stronger for longer. We are currently running a clinical trial investigating the use of resistance or strength training in older adults with improved nutrition to help develop muscle mass, strength and function.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in asthma: I started my research journey investigating the relationships between baseline blood levels of fatty acids and asthma outcomes. We discovered that individuals with higher omega-3 levels in their blood had better asthma control and lower asthma medication doses. This may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, which have previously been documented in cardiovascular disease.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in ageing: As we age, chronic low levels of inflammation can develop. While this is often associated with conditions such as arthritis, it can also affect muscle. We are investigating how baseline levels of omega-3 fatty acids can impact muscle strength and function outcomes from our nutrition and physical activity intervention in older adults. This will help us better understand nutrients, foods and dietary patterns important for healthy ageing.

Why did you get into research?

I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian and during my undergraduate degree we had a 10 week clinical placement. During this placement I saw the same older woman come in and out of the hospital three times, relating to poor nutrition and falls. I remember thinking we need to be doing better, we need to be preventing this. I was offered an opportunity to work on a clinical trial in the healthy ageing space and knew this is where I was meant to be.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

What I love most about research is that through helping individuals we can help the community. I also love working in the nutrition space, everyone needs to eat and through food we can help prevent and treat many conditions. I would love to see my research translated to national guidelines encouraging our ageing population to eat well and exercise effectively, to live stronger for longer.

Biography

Isobel Stoodley is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and current PhD Candidate (Nutritional Biochemistry) at the University of Newcastle. With her supervisors Professor Lisa Wood, Dr Bronwyn Berthon and Dr Hayley Scott, she is currently investigating whether resistance exercise with improved nutrition can help improve muscle mass, strength and function in older adults. She also has experience in laboratory techniques such as red blood cell fatty acid analysis, which she has investigated during her undergraduate  

Future Focus

With an ageing population in Australia and worldwide, people are living longer lives. However, quality of life can often deteriorate over time with individuals losing their independence and ability to live comfortably at home. Isobel is passionate about improving quality of life using the tools of nutrition and physical activity. In particular, she hopes to clarify the ideal dietary patterns for older adults to help them keep strong and independent as they age.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Nutrition interventions
  • Dietary assessment and analysis
  • Body composition and bone mineral analysis (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry)
  • Strength and function assessment
  • Fatty acid analysis (gas chromatography)
  • Clinical trial design and implementation
  • Collection and processing of human biological specimens including blood
  • Statistical analysis

Affiliations

  • HMRI VIVA Program
  • Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs
  • Dietitians Australia (previously Dietitians Association of Australia)
  • Nutrition Society of Australia
  • School of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle