Dr Anna Wawer
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Anna obtained her BSc and MSc degrees in Food Technology and Human Nutrition from Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland. Shortly after she started her professional career in the British food industry where she monitored production processes and coordinated logistics.
After winning a competitive PhD scholarship co-funded by the industry Anna decided to return to academia. She took up research in the area of iron deficiency anaemia and nutrition.
Anna’s expertise is in:
Lab based research: In vitro experiments with extensive use of Caco-2 cell line, a model of small intestine enterocyte, which coupled with a simulated digestion phase is a valuable tool in assessing iron availability from foods. Anna was also investigating the kinetics of iron uptake into the cell with the use of live cell imaging. She was responsible for designing her experiments as well as adopting and evaluating laboratory protocols and technical procedures for the purpose of her research.
Clinical research: The project created and tested a novel delivery structure for iron, in which water soluble ferrous gluconate was housed within alginate gel microbeads and then coated in biopolymers and an impermeable wax or lipid layer. Anna was the chief investigator of a randomised, single blinded, cross-over human study in which iron absorption was measured from serum iron appearance after a test meal. The aim of the study was to measure the effect of alginate gel microbeads on iron absorption from ferrous gluconate and assess the potential modulating effect of calcium on iron absorption with and without alginate matrix.
Anna also took part in following collaborative projects:
• Iron and zinc status studied in Malawian women (part of www.espa.ac.uk)
• The contribution of diet and genotype to iron status in women: using a classical twin study design (part of www.twinsuk.ac.uk )
• Investigations of iron status in the elderly (part of www.nu-age.eu)
For more details on the above projects please refer to the list of publications.
Immediately after her studies Anna relocated to Adelaide to join her partner and became a mother. She returned to research in 2018. First as an independent researcher and nutritionist, and now as a Research Officer at the Basil Hetzel Institute. She is working on the project investigating zinc deficiency in cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients and the potential clinical benefit of zinc therapy in CVD. The project will reveal if there is a need to adjust Zn dietary guidelines within Australia for CVD patients.
Date Position Institution name 2019 - ongoing Postdoctoral Researcher University of Adelaide 2018 - ongoing Research Officer University of Adelaide 2014 - 2014 Research Officer Women's & Children's Health Research Institute, North Adelaide
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2018 Recognition Registered Nutritionist Nutrition Society Of Australia Australia -
Language Competency Polish Can peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2009 - 2014 University of East Anglia, Norwich United Kingdom PhD 2006 - 2008 Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw Poland MSc, 2002 - 2006 Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw Poland BSc, 2002 - 2006 Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw Poland BSc,
Date Title Institution name Country 2018 Registered Nutritionist (RNutr.) The Nutrition Society of Australia Australia
Research InterestsCardiac, Respiratory and Vascular Health Nutrition and Metabolic Health Translational Health Outcomes Aged Health Care Biomarkers Dietetics and Nutrigenomics Epigenetics Food Nutritional Balance Food Processing Food Science Horticulture Immunological and Bioassay Methods Microscopy Nutrition and Dietetics Public Nutrition Intervention
Date Role Membership Country 2017 - ongoing Member The Nutrition Society of Australia Australia
Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice
Date Title Type Institution Country 2018 - ongoing Nutrients Peer Review MDPI Switzerland
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