Dr Megan Jensen

Dr Megan Jensen
Project Grant
2017 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant
Project Grant
2011 Project Grant
Scholarship
2010 Scholarship

What are your research interest?

  • The role of diet and nutrition in asthma management for children.
  • The relationship between body composition and growth, and asthma outcomes in children.
  • The effect of maternal body composition, weight gain and nutrition during pregnancy on the development of the child, including respiratory outcomes.

Why did you get into research? 

Unfortunately, a lot of children are affected by acute and chronic illness during their young lifetime, including asthma which is the most common chronic childhood disease. Nutrition can have a profound effect on one's wellbeing and it all begins in the womb. My drive is to ensure nutrition is a key aspect in the management and prevention of chronic disease, including asthma. This drive has only been further fuelled by several members of my family being afflicted by asthma.  

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Nutrition to be recognised and embraced as a highly valuable aspect of health that can be easily controlled with the right help. I hope to contribute to the production of the research that supports the incorporation of nutrition into the assessment and clinical management of children with asthma. 

Brief Profile

Dr Jensen's research focuses on the role of nutritional intervention in the management of asthma, and investigating the role of both maternal and infant nutritional status in the development of asthma in the child. Given the high morbidity of childhood asthma, the absence of dietary guidelines for children with asthma, and the known importance of nutrition during periods of high growth and development, there is a need to develop this research area for the current and future health of Australians. 

Dr Jensen is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and clinical researcher. Graduating with Honours from a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics  (2008) and attaining her PhD (2013) from the University of Newcastle, Dr Jensen continued on to complete a research fellowship in Montreal, Canada (2013-2015).

Dr Jensen currently works in the Centre for Asthma & Respiratory Disease at HMRI and is apart of the University of Newcastle's Growing Up Well priority research centre . Dr Jensen has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences in the field of paediatric asthma and nutrition.

Her work has been credited by several awards and prizes and successful funding applications, including a Thrasher Early Career Award. Dr Jensen is striving towards optimising understanding of the role nutrition has to play in the prevention and management of childhood asthma.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Familial and paediatric dietary counselling
  • Nutritional assessment and dietary presciption
  • Body composition assessment (DEXA)
  • Blood collection 
  • Lung function testing
  • Sputum induction
  • Project management
  • Scientific writing and statistical analysis
  • Cinical trial design.

Affiliations 

2017

Understanding how diet modulates the gut microbiome in asthmatic children
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

The burden of asthma in children is unacceptably high. Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting more than 10% of Australian children. Inhaled steroids are the most effective therapy for controlling asthma day to day, however, they do not prevent many acute attacks of asthma and many patients and carers are concerned about unwanted side effects, which reduces adherence to prescribed medications. Therefore, alternative strategies for managing asthma in children are urgently needed.

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2015

Improving diet quality to reduce risk of asthma attacks in children
Project Grant
Description:

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting 10% of Australian children.

more

2014

Improving diet quality to reduce risk of asthma attacks in children
Project Grant
Description:

Asthma is the most chronic childhood disease affecting  10% of children.

more

2011

HCRF Education Prize
Project Grant
Researchers:

2010

Obesity Risk in Childhood Asthma (ORCA) - RhD Support
Scholarship
Researchers: