Alexia Pena Vargas

Dr Alexia Pena Vargas

Senior Lecturer

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Alexia Peña is a Paediatrician originally trained in Colombia, South America. She migrated to Australia in 2000 to complete her training in Paediatric Endocrinology (FRACP). She completed her PhD in 2008 examining early markers of cardiovascular disease and strategies to improve vascular health in children with type 1 diabetes and obesity. Her research in childhood vascular health has been published in high impact factor journals and has been presented nationally and internationally.

Dr Peña has also a strong research interest in Adolescent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She is an investigator of the PCOS NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence that generated an international Evidence-Based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS published in late 2018. Her expertise has been recognised at a international level with her appointment as a member of the international consensus group on Adolescent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Dr Peña is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide and a Staff Specialist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Last updated August 19th 2020

Dr Peña has strong research interest into early markers of cardiovascular disease in children with type 1 diabetes or obesity, and strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease from childhood.

Dr Peña has also a strong research interest in management of childhood and adolescent obesity; and its comorbidities including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. She is part of the Centre for Research Excellence in the evaluation, management and health care needs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and related health implications. Dr Peña was involved in the development of international evidence based guidelines to improve the care of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  Her research includes evaluation of diagnosis experiences in adolescents with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and strategies to improve quality of life and well being of these girls.

In 2018, Dr Peña was selected for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Australia Future Research Leaders Program. This competitive program aims to support researchers in the early-mid stages of their careers to develop leadership potential. In collaboration with interstate researchers in this program Dr Peña will evaluate immune regulatory cells and kidney disease progression in people with type 1 diabetes.

 

Grants and Funding
2019-2023

The First 1,000 Days: in-utero and early life exposures and their contribution to child obesity.

Peña AS Chief investigator CIB NHMRC Project Grant $2,426,050
2020-2021 Regulatory T Cells and Kidney Disease Progression in Type 1 diabetes Ekinci E including Peña AS et al as investigator

JDRF Australia

EMCR Future Research Leaders Program 

$100,000
2019-2021

Does meditation improve quality of life and coping in adolescents with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome? A pilot randomized controlled study.

Peña AS Chief investigator WCH Research Project grant $75,000
2019

Anti-mullerian hormone isoforms in the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. 

Peña AS Chief investigator Ms McLeod Departmental Research Grant $10000
2018

Does treatment of early periodontal disease improve vascular health of children with Type 1 diabetes?

Peña AS Chief investigator CIB WCH Research Project grant $74,734
2017

Adolescents experiences with the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Peña AS Chief investigator NHMRC CRE project support grant $13,600
2017 Adolescents experiences with the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Peña AS Chief investigator Ms McLeod Departmental Research Grant $10000
2015 Do vascular benefits of metformin persist during puberty in type 1 diabetes? Adelaide Metformin RCT follow up study. Peña AS Chief investigator. WCH Project grant $74,734
2015 Measurement of metformin levels in the analysis of Adelaide Metformin randomized controlled trial”. Peña AS Chief investigator Ms McLeod Departmental Research Grant 2015 $10000
2015 APP1078444 Centre for Research Excellence in the evaluation, management and health care needs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and related health implications Peña AS Associate Investigator NHMRC 2015 $2,489,052
2013 APP1067807 Cystic Fibrosis ‐ Insulin Deficiency, Early Action (CF‐IDEA) Peña AS Associate investigator NHMRC  2013 $180,758
2013 Is hyperandrogenism a risk factor for vascular health in adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes? Peña AS Chief investigator Ms McLeod Departmental Research Grant 2013 $10000
2012 Does Metformin improve vascular structure in overweight youth with type 1 diabetes? Peña AS Associate Investigator Diabetes Australia Research Grant 2012 $58840
2011 Does Metformin improve vascular function in overweight youth with type 1 diabetes? Peña AS – Associate Investigator WCH Project grant 2011 $50000
2011 Does Metformin improve vascular function in overweight youth with type 1 diabetes? Peña AS – Chief Investigator APEC Pfizer Grants 2010 $50000
2009 What is the minimum dose of folic acid that improves vascular health in children with type 1 diabetes? Peña AS – Chief investigator WCH foundation Research Project grant 2009 $50000
2006 Peri pubertal changes in vascular function in children with type 1 diabetes and obesity. Peña AS – Chief investigator The APEG Novo Nordisk Research Grant 2006 $25000
    Teaching

    Medical Students: Small group medical tutorials (4-5 students per tutorial) per term.

    Write questions for OSCE medical exams and barrier exam.

    Examiner of OSCE and barrier exam.

    Examiner of observer clinical assessment of 5th year medical students.

    Chair of the School of Medicine MBBS Admissions Working Group since 2019.

     

    • Position: Senior Lecturer
    • Phone: 81618134
    • Email: alexia.pena@adelaide.edu.au
    • Fax: 8161 7031
    • Campus: Womens & Childrens Hospital
    • Building: WCH - Clarence Rieger Building
    • Org Unit: Women's and Children's Health

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