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Dr Alexia Pena Vargas

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 and an active participant in the international initiative to build PCOS awareness that will generate an international Evidence-Based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS currently under public consultation. This followed an initial national guidelines approved by the NHMRC in 2011. Her expertise has been recognised at an 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.

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Dr Alexia Pena Vargas

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 and an active participant in the international initiative to build PCOS awareness that will generate an international Evidence-Based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS currently under public consultation. This followed an initial national guidelines approved by the NHMRC in 2011. Her expertise has been recognised at an 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.

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.

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.

She 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.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2011 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
2009 Paediatric Endocrinologist Children’s, Youth and Women’s Health Service
2008 - 2011 Clinical Lecturer University of Adelaide

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2016 Nomination Award nomination for student teaching
2014 Award Kaichi Kida APPES Presentation Award
2013 Invitation Australian representatives to attend the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology Science School in Haifa Israel

Language Competencies

Language Competency
French Can read and understand spoken
Spanish; Castilian Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review

Journals

Year Citation
2018 Peña, A., & Metz, M. (2018). What is adolescent polycystic ovary syndrome?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 54(4), 351-355.
DOI
2018 Peña, A., Liew, G., Anderson, J., Giles, L., Gent, R., Wong, T., & Couper, J. (2018). Early atherosclerosis is associated with retinal microvascular changes in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes.
DOI
2018 Anderson, J., Couper, J., Toome, S., Mpundu-Kaambwa, C., Giles, L., Gent, R., . . . Peña, A. (2018). Dietary sodium intake relates to vascular health in children with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 19(1), 138-142.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1
2018 Pillay, S., Anderson, J., Couper, J., Maftei, O., Gent, R., & Pena Vargas, A. (2018). Children with Type 1 Diabetes Have Delayed Flow-Mediated Dilation. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42(3), 276-280.
DOI
2018 Peà A, A., Doherty, D., Atkinson, H., Hickey, M., Norman, R., & Hart, R. (2018). The majority of irregular menstrual cycles in adolescence are ovulatory: results of a prospective study. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103(3), 235-239.
DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC1
2017 Anderson, J., Couper, J., Giles, L., Leggett, C., Gent, R., Coppin, B., & Peña, A. (2017). Effect of metformin on vascular function in children with type 1 diabetes: A 12-month randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 102(12), 4448-4456.
DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC1
2017 Ibanez, L., Oberfield, S. E., Witchel, S. F., Auchus, R. J., Chang, R. J., Codner, E., . . . Lee, P. A. (2017). An International Consortium Update: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Adolescence. HORMONE RESEARCH IN PAEDIATRICS, 88(6), 371-395.
DOI WoS6 Europe PMC5
2017 Peña, A., Delko, T., Couper, R., Sutton, K., Kritas, S., Omari, T., . . . Khurana, S. (2017). Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in Australian adolescents : should it be done?. Obesity Surgery, 27(7), 1667-1673.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2016 Peña, A., Maftei, O., Harrington, J., Anderson, J., Hirte, C., Gent, R., & Couper, J. (2016). Lack of evidence for progression of atherosclerosis during puberty in type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 17(3), 199-205.
DOI Scopus3 WoS1 Europe PMC2
2016 Anderson, J., Couper, J., Mpundu-Kaambwa, C., Giles, L., Gent, R., Coppin, B., & Peña, A. (2016). An extra 1,000 steps per day relates to improved cardiovascular health in children with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 39(8), e108-e109.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC2
2016 Peña, A., Graham, A., Rao, V., Henning, P., & Couper, J. (2016). Diabetes recurrence after haemolytic uraemic syndrome outbreak in Adelaide. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 52(7), 771-773.
DOI Scopus1
2015 Witchel, S. F., Oberfield, S., Rosenfield, R. L., Codner, E., Bonny, A., Ibanez, L., . . . Lee, P. A. (2015). The Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome during Adolescence. HORMONE RESEARCH IN PAEDIATRICS, 83(6), 376-389.
DOI WoS47
2015 Wiltshire, E., Peña, A., MacKenzie, K., Bose-Sundernathan, T., Gent, R., & Couper, J. (2015). A NOS3 Polymorphism Determines Endothelial Response to Folate in Children with Type 1 Diabetes or Obesity. Journal of Pediatrics, 166(2), 319-325.e1.
DOI Scopus3 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2014 Ito, N., Peña, A., Perano, S., Atkins, G., Findlay, D., & Couper, J. (2014). First Australian report of vitamin D-dependent rickets type I. Medical Journal of Australia, 201(7), 420-421.
DOI Scopus1
2014 Maftei, O., Pena, A., Sullivan, T., Jones, T., Donaghue, K., Cameron, F., . . . Couper, J. (2014). Early atherosclerosis relates to urinary albumin excretion and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: adolescent type 1 Diabetes cardiorenal Intervention Trial (AdDIT). Diabetes Care, 37(11), 3069-3075.
DOI Scopus27 WoS26 Europe PMC16
2013 Harrington, J., Pena Vargas, A., Wilson, L., Gent, R., Dowling, K., Baghurst, P., & Couper, J. (2013). Vascular function and glucose variability improve transiently following initiation of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in children with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 14(7), 504-511.
DOI Scopus7 WoS8 Europe PMC8
2013 Anderson, J., Pena Vargas, A., Sullivan, T., Gent, R., D'Arcy, B., Olds, T., . . . Couper, J. (2013). Does metformin improve vascular health in children with Type 1 diabetes? Protocol for a one year, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics, 13(1), 1-10.
DOI Scopus14 WoS13 Europe PMC14
2013 Pena Vargas, A., Maftei, O., Dowling, K., Gent, R., Wiltshire, E., MacKenzie, K., & Couper, J. (2013). Folate fortification and supplementation do not provide vascular health benefits in type 1 diabetes. Journal of Pediatrics, 163(1), 255-260.
DOI Scopus7 WoS7 Europe PMC4
2012 Pena Vargas, A., Couper, J., Harrington, J., Gent, R., Fairchild, J., Tham, E., & Baghurst, P. (2012). Hypoglycemia, but Not Glucose Variability, Relates to Vascular Function in Children with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 14(6), 457-462.
DOI Scopus24 WoS23 Europe PMC18
2012 Harrington, J., Pena Vargas, A., Gent, R., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2012). Adolescents with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency have vascular dysfunction. Clinical Endocrinology, 76(6), 837-842.
DOI Scopus21 WoS16 Europe PMC9
2010 Harrington, J., Pena Vargas, A., Gent, R., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2010). Aortic intima media thickness is an early marker of atherosclerosis in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Pediatrics, 156(2), 237-241.
DOI Scopus66 WoS61 Europe PMC46
2010 Pena Vargas, A., Belobrajdic, D., Wiltshire, E., Gent, R., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2010). Adiponectin relates to smooth muscle function and folate in obese children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 5(2), 185-191.
DOI Scopus10 WoS9 Europe PMC7
2009 MacKenzie, K., Wiltshire, E., Pena Vargas, A., Gent, R., Hirte, C., Piotto, L., & Couper, J. (2009). Hs-CRP is associated with weight, BMI, and female sex but not with endothelial function in children with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 10(1), 44-51.
DOI Scopus16 WoS15 Europe PMC13
2009 Pena, A. S., Wiltshire, E. J., Harrington, J., McKenzie, K., Gent, R., Piotto, L., . . . Couper, J. (2009). Deterioration in vascular function during puberty in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. HORMONE RESEARCH, 72, 57.
2009 Wiltshire, E. J., Pena, A. S., MacKenzie, K., Piotto, L., Gent, R., Bose, T., & Couper, J. J. (2009). Polymorphisms in endothelial nitric oxide synthase influence folate status and predict endothelial response to folate in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes or obesity. HORMONE RESEARCH, 72, 58.
2008 Couper, J., & Pena Vargas, A. (2008). Folate, homocysteine, and candidate genes for vascular disease in children with type 1 diabetes. Pediatric Diabetes, 9(part 2), 345-347.
DOI
2007 Pena Vargas, A., Wiltshire, E., Gent, R., Piotto, L., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2007). Folic acid does not improve endothelial function in obese children and adolescents. Diabetes Care, 30(8), 2122-2127.
DOI Scopus23 WoS24 Europe PMC15
2006 Pena Vargas, A., Wiltshire, E., MacKenzie, K., Gent, R., Piotto, L., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2006). Vascular endothelial and smooth muscle function relates to body mass index and glucose in obese and nonobese children. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 91(11), 4467-4471.
DOI Scopus63 WoS59 Europe PMC39
2004 Pena Vargas, A., Wiltshire, E., Gent, R., Hirte, C., & Couper, J. (2004). Folic acid improves endothelial function in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Pediatrics, 144(4), 500-504.
DOI Scopus56 WoS53 Europe PMC36
2002 Wiltshire, E., Gent, R., Hirte, C., Pena Vargas, A., Thomas, D., & Couper, J. (2002). Endothelial dysfunction relates to folate status in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes, 51(7), 2282-2286.
DOI Scopus84 WoS79 Europe PMC63

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2018 Pena, A., Hoeger, K., Oberfield, S., Witchel, S., Vogiatzi, M., Misso, M., & Teede, H. (2018). Diagnosis and Treatment of Adolescent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) According to the 2018 International Evidence-Based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of PCOS. In AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY Vol. 58 (pp. 4-5). WILEY.
2018 Pena, A., Witchel, S., Hoeger, K., Oberfield, S., Vogiatzi, M., Misso, M., & Teede, H. (2018). Pharmacological Treatment of Adolescent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) According to the 2018 International Evidence-Based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of PCOS. In HORMONE RESEARCH IN PAEDIATRICS Vol. 90 (pp. 99-100). KARGER.
2018 Pena, A., Hoeger, K., Oberfield, S., Wiitchel, S., Vogiatzi, M., Misso, M., & Teede, H. (2018). Diagnosis of Adolescent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) According to the 2018 International Evidence-Based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of PCOS. In HORMONE RESEARCH IN PAEDIATRICS Vol. 90 (pp. 551). KARGER.
Grants and Funding
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
20156 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
2010 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

     

    Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Monitoring of vascular health in children at risk for atherosclerosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jennifer Jean Harrington

    Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Member Organizing committee International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes/APEG
    2013 - ongoing Secretary APEG Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group
    2013 - ongoing Member Organising committee 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting ANZOS
    2012 - ongoing Member Organising committee 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting ANZOS New Zealand
    2011 - ongoing Representative DSD Subcommittee
    2011 - ongoing Chair Organising committee 21st Annual Scientific Meeting ANZOS
    2010 - ongoing Member Local organizing committee Annual Scientific Meeting APEG
    2009 - 2012 Member Diabetes Database Subcommittee APEG
    2009 - ongoing Council APEG Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group
    2009 - 2013 Council ASSO/ANZOS The Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
    2006 - 2012 Member Drug Therapeutic Committee Clinical Trials Review Working Party Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service Australia

    Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2016 - ongoing Women’s and Children’s Hospital
    2013 - ongoing Women’s & Children’s Health Network

    Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing Member Journal of Paediatric Child Health
    2013 - ongoing Member Colombian National Academy of Medicine Journal
    Position
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone
    81618134
    Fax
    8161 7031
    Campus
    Womens & Childrens Hospital
    Building
    WCH - Clarence Rieger Building
    Org Unit
    Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

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