Jennifer Couper

Professor Jennifer Couper

Head of Paediatrics - Professor

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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


Prof Jenny Couper is an active clinician as a paediatric endocrinologist and was Head of the Discipline of Paediatrics, University of Adelaide and Head of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Department, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, SA from 2001 to 2021. Her clinical research has focused on two areas in type 1 diabetes: the prevention of type 1 diabetes, and the prevention of cardiovascular complications in children with type 1 diabetes. She leads the first investigations of the prenatal and early origins of childhood type 1 diabetes (the ENDIA study www.endia.org.au) and has refined early biomarkers and strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and a co –author of national and international guidelines for the management of type 1 diabetes.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - 2017 Chair, Faculty of Health Sciences Board University of Adelaide
    2015 - 2017 Deputy Executive Dean University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2013 Member of Executive University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2007 - 2015 Deputy Head, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2013 Head University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2006 McGregor Reid Professor of Paediatrics and Head of Discipline of Paediatrics University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2002 Head of Diabetes and Endocrinology Department Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
    1991 Paediatric Endocrinologist Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
    1991 Honorary Visiting Paediatric Endocrinologist Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award Adelaide Medical School’s Research Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Award Robinson Research Institute Director’s Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2014 Award School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health Service Award University of Adelaide Australia
    2013 Award Healthy Development Adelaide Research University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 Award Professor Derek Frewin Citation in Clinical Teaching University of Adelaide Australia
    2010 Award Ray Williams Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence: Australasian Paediatric Endocrinology Group (APEG) University of Adelaide Australia
    1989 Award Toronto, Canada - Diabetes Research Award - Canada
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1990 University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia MD
    1985 Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney Australia FRACP
    1978 University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand MBChB
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    1987 - 1989 Hospital for Sick Children Research Foundation Fellowship Hospital for Sick Children Canada
    1984 - 1986 NZ Medical Research Council Overseas Research Fellowship NZ Medical Research Council New Zealand
  • Research Interests

Grants and Funding
Year Authors Title Granting Body Funding
2020-2022 Couper J, Harrison L, Craig M, Penno M, Colman P, Morahan G, Wentworth J, Rawlinson W, Giles L, Barry S.  The Environmental determinants of islet autoimmunity JDRFA CRN, and HELMSLEY charitable trust, USA $ 8.2M 
2018-2019 Couper J, Giles L  The impact of overweight on cardiovascular risk in type 1 diabetes  Channel 7 research foundation  $75,000.00
2015-2019  Couper J, Harrison L, Craig M , Colman P, Morahan G, Wentworth J, Rawlinson W, Papenfuss A, Giles L, DoddJ Protection of the pancreatic beta cell  NHMRC JDRF Centre of Research Excellence # 1078106 $ 2.5M 
2015-2019 Couper J, Harrison L, Craig M, Colman P, Morahan G, Wentworth J, Rawlinson W, Papenfuss A, Giles L, DoddJ The Environmental determinants of islet autoimmunity  JDRF/ARC CRN and HELMSLEY charitable trust, USA  $8.0 M 
2015-2017 CID  Cystic Fibrosis - Insulin Deficiency, Early Action (CF-IDEA) NHMRC # 1067807  $182,000.00
2015-2016 Couper J, Horowitz M, Rayner C Role of exenatide in postprandial glycaemia in CFRD  Channel 7 Foundation  $72,000.00
2013-2016  Couper JJ, Craig M, Colman P, Baghurst P, Rawlinson W, Jones T, Cotterill A, Harrison L  Early Environmental determinants of type 1 diabetes Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International # 17-2013-526  $US496,000
2012-2015 Couper JJ, Craig M, Colman P, Baghurst P, Rawlinson W, Jones T, Cotterill A Early Environmental determinants of type 1 diabetes NHMRC # 1025083 $1.02 M 
2012-2013 Couper JJ Does metformin improve vascular health in adolescents with T1D  Diabetes Australia Research Trust  $50,000.00
2011-2012 Couper JJ Does metformin improve vascular health in adolescents with T1D  WCH Foundation $50,000.00
2010-2013 Donahue K, Jones T, Couper JJ Intervention to reduce retinopathy and early adverse retinal microvascular changes in type 1 diabetes NHMRC # 632521 $1,250,000.00
2008-2011 Couper JJ, Wiltshire EJ Defining vascular health and modifiable risk factors over time in childhood  NHMRC #519245  $309,600.00
2007-2009   Kennedy D, Couper JJ,van der Heuvel C, Martin J Does adenotonsillectomy change vascular function in children with sleep breathing disorders? NHMRC # 453637 2007- $172,575;
2008-$122,575
2009-$201,825
2007-2009   A Ferrante, C Hii and J Couper Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid analogues in the treatment of diabetic complications NHMRC 2007-$133,950;
2008-$133,950;
2009 $133,950
2007-2008   Couper JJ Kennedy DJ Van den Heuvel C, Martin J Vascular function in children with sleep breathing disorders and the effect of adenotonsillectomy  National Heart Foundation of Australia   $124,416.00
2005-2007 Trialnet Asia Pacifc Consortium    Natural history and genetic studies of type 1diabetes   NIH , US  grant   to our centre $ 38,000 per annum
2005-2006 Ferrante A, Hii C, Poulos A Couper JJ Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid mimetics which target protein kinase C beta mediated disease WCH Research Foundation $45,000.00
2002-2003 Couper JJ The effect of folate and vitamin B6 on endothelial function in type 1 diabetes WCH Foundation & Diabetes Australia $80,000.00
2002-2003 Couper JJ Folate supplementation in children with type 1 diabetes Channel 7 Research Foundation $32,000.00
2001-2003 Robinson JS, Couper JJ, Hillier J, Crowther CA Is insulin sensitivity in children and their mothers programmed by maternal blood glucose NHMRC # 157935 $415,000.00
2001-2002 Couper JJ, Brewster D, Colman P Relationship of intestinal permeability to islet autoimmunity WCH Research Foundation $90,000.00
2000-2002 Couper JJ, Wiltshire E Homocysteine Metabolism in Children with Type 1 Diabetes Channel 7 Research Foundation $32,000 per annum
1999-2001 Sawyer M, Couper JJ, Baghurst P Family and Environmental Factors Affecting Quality of Life in Children with Chronic Disease NHMRC $78,000 per year
1999-2000 Wiltshire E, Couper JJ Homocysteine Metabolism in Children with Type 1 Diabetes

Novo Nordisk Research Grant

AZA Australian Research Award

$10,000.00

$14,800.00

1997-1999 Couper JJ, Sawyer M Ambulatory Intervention in Adolescents with Poorly Controlled Type 1 Diabetes National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) $48,000.00
1997-1998 Couper JJ Trial of Mucosa Mediated Immune Tolerance in Subjects at Risk of Type 1 Diabetes WCH Research Foundation

Channel 7 Research Foundation

$35,000.00

$35,000 per year 

1996-1997 Couper JJ, Sawyer M Ambulatory Intervention in Adolescents with Poorly Controlled Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes Australia Research Trust $32,000.00
1993-1995 Couper JJ, Colman PG Prospective Immunological Study of Infants at Increased Risk of Type 1 Diabetes Variety Club of SA $24,000.00
2019 Couper J, Harrison LC, Craig ME, Penno M  The Environmental determinants of islet autoimmunity JDRFA CRN, JDRFI and HELMSLEY charitable trust, USA $ 3.96 M 
2013 Phillips J, Barry S, Couper J Does the gut microbiome drive the development of type 1 diabetes?  Pfizer APEC $55,000.00
2013 Phillips J, Barry S, Couper J Does the gut microbiome drive the development of type 1 diabetes?  Channel 7 Foundation  $72,000.00
2012 Perano S, Couper J Incretin release and post prandial glycaemia in cystic fibrosis related diabetes Pfizer APEC $55,000.00
2010 Barry S, Couper JJ T regulatory cells in preclinical and clinical type 1 diabetes   $50,000.00
2010 Pena A Couper JJ What is the minimal dose of folate required to normalise vascular function? WCH Foundation $50,000.00
2008 Couper JJ, Fairchild J, Tham J   Does glucose variability predict vascular function in children with type 1 diabetes Diabetes Australia Research Trust   $48,000.00
2007 Couper JJ, Wiltshire EJ   Peripubertal change in vascular function in children with diabetes and obesity  Diabetes Australia Research Trust   $48,000.00
2006 Couper JJ, Wiltshire E Effect of folate on early atherosclerosis in childhood WCH Research Foundation $48,000.00
2006 Couper JJ, Wiltshire E Effect of folate on early atherosclerosis in childhood Diabetes Australia Research Trust  $45,000.00
2006 Barry S, Zola H, Couper JJ, Roberton DM  Characterization of human Cord Blood regulatory T cells for autoimmune disease diagnosis Channel 7 Research Foundation $48,000.00
2004 Couper JJ, Wiltshire EJ Effect of folate and B6 on vascular function in children with type 1 diabetes  B1 grant ( Health research Development Award) , University of Adelaide  $12,000.00
2000 APEG Register Study Group National Diabetes Register for Type 1 Diabetes Australian Institute of Health and Welfare $14,000.00
2000 Robinson JS, Couper JJ, Hillier J, Crowther CA Is insulin sensitivity in children and their mothers programmed by maternal blood glucose Channel 7 Research Foundation $35,000 per annum
1998 Harrison LC, Couper JJ, Colman PG Intervention Trials in Preclinical Diabetes Diabetes Australia: National Strategy Plan $30,000.00
1996 Couper JJ Perinatal Changes in Hepatocyte Growth Factor Novo Nordisk Australian Research Grant $10,000.00
1996 Couper JJ Prospective Study of Children at Increased Risk of Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes Australia Research Trust $32,000.00
1993 Couper JJ Lipoprotein(a): Changes During Puberty WCH Research Foundation $35,000.00
1992 Couper JJ Immunological Changes in Preclinical Diabetes Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Australia $34,000.00
1990 Colman PG, Couper JJ, Harrison LC Prospective Study of Family Members with a First Degree Relative with Type 1 Diabetes Victorian Health Promotion  $38,000.00
1988 Couper JJ ACE Inhibition in Children with Microalbuminuria Bristol Myer Squibb $24,000.00
1987 Couper JJ Microalbuminuria in Children with Type 1 Diabetes HSC Research Foundation, Toronto $30,000.00

 

Teaching
  • Primary supervisor for 12 post graduate students training in paediatric endocrinology (SAC RACP) and completing a higher research degree 
  • Director of MBBS student training in  paediatrics, University of Adelaide 2006-2014
  • Lead examiner , MBBS year 5 Paediatrics : 2006-current
  • >20 years experience in under graduate and post graduate teaching and training in paediatrics
  • Member of curriculum committees for the University of Adelaide  and the SAC Endocrinology, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Undergraduate
1991- Tutorials and lectures to student nurses, student dietitians, and student podiatrists (University of South Australia)
1991 - current Women’s and Children's Hospital, Adelaide: includes tutorials, lectures (endocrinology, general paediatrics), clinical ward and outpatient teaching (total of 50 hours per annum of direct contact teaching: bedside, tutorial and lecture; and approximately 150 hours per annum of University of Adelaide and Flinders University medical students’ attendance at my outpatient clinics), written, viva and OSCE examination of Year V and Year VI medical students, University of Adelaide
1984-1986 &1990 Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
1987-1989 Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
1984 St Mary's Hospital, London
Curriculum Development
2014-current Chair, Paediatric Mental Health Unit, SA

2004-2005 &

2009-2011

Health Science in the MBBS curriculum, University of Adelaide Curriculum Subcommittee

2007

Development of the RACP curriculum in advanced training in paediatric endocrinology
1999

Child Health Concepts and Endocrinology Concepts for 2000 curriculum for Medical School, University of Adelaide

Development of the RACP guidelines for  advanced training in paediatric endocrinology

Postgraduate
1991-2007

Women’s and Children's Hospital, WCHN, SA: includes tutorials and clinical case teaching to registrars in training

Diploma of Child Health, South Australia: lecturer and examiner

1997-2006 Paediatric Endocrinology Representative, Specialist Advisory
1999-2005 
 
Committee in Endocrinology, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1998-2000 Post Graduate RACP Mentor Programme
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Moving towards evidence based practice in acute, severe paediatric asthma Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Charmaine Gray
    2015 Principal Supervisor Acute Effects of Exenatide on Post Prandial Glycaemia in Young People with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes or Impaired Glucose Tolerance Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Ms Myfanwy Geyer
    2013 Principal Supervisor Intestinal Permeability, Mucosal Immunity and the Gut Microbiome in Type 1 Diabetes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Jessica Emily Harbison
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Gastric emptying and its relationship with postprandial glycaemic control in young people with cystic fibrosis and type 1 diabetes Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Mrs Shiree Perano
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Assessing the Impact of Maternal Omega-3 LCPUFA DHA on the Body Composition of Children at 7 Years of Age using Air Displacement Plethysmography (ADP) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Katie Wood
    2010 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Monitoring of vascular health in children at risk for atherosclerosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jennifer Jean Harrington
    2003 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Vascular Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Function in Children at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and the Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Alexia Pena Vargas
    2003 - 2010 Principal Supervisor The Effect of Folate and Vitamin B6 on Endothelial Function in Children with Type 1 Diabetes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Karen MacKenzie
    2002 - 2004 Co-Supervisor TARGETING PKC AND NFkB BY POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACID MIMETICS IN DIABETIC RETINOPATHY Master of Medical Science Master Full Time Dr Elaine Bing-Ai Tham
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Metformin in type 1 diabetes University of Adelaide Doctorate Dr Jemma Anderson
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2020 - ongoing Member Advisory Council International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes ( ISPAD) Germany
    2013 - ongoing Member Robinson Institute Executive University of Adelaide Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing Member WCHN Outpatients Governance Committee Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN) Australia
    2020 - ongoing Member Research Advisory Panel Diabetes Australia Australia
    2019 - 2019 Member Conference Organising Committee Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Research Committee Diabetes SA Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member New WCH planning taskforce - Research and Education Subcommittees Women's and Children's Hospital Australia
    2017 - 2018 Member NHMRC Assigners Academy National Health and Medical Research Council Australia
    2016 - 2018 Chair Special Studies Leave Committee, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 - 2018 Co-Chair Post-doctoral and Career Development Fellowship Review Panels Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI) United States
    2015 - 2020 Member AIHW and SAC training committees Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia
    2014 - 2014 Member Review of Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Christchurch School of Medicine University of Otago New Zealand
    2013 - 2013 Member ISPAD International Science School International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Germany
    2012 - 2013 Member Robinson Institute Transition Management Committee University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - 2015 Member Clinical Network Steering Committee Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI) United States
    2010 - ongoing Member WCHN Research Committee Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN) Australia
    2007 - 2017 Member Committees for Levels C, D and E promotion of clinical title holders, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Adelaide Australia
    2007 - ongoing Member National Diabetes Register Committee Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG) Australia
    2006 - 2018 Member Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Research Committee University of Adelaide Australia
    2006 - 2017 Member Writing Group for Guidelines for Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Childhood International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Germany
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2014 - 2015 Co-Chair Scientific Programme, International Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Diabetes ( ISPAD) ASM Germany
    2000 - ongoing Autism Association of South Australia
    2000 - ongoing Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
    2000 - ongoing Member Minda - Disability Support Services - Parents’ Membership Australia
    1995 - ongoing Endocrine Society Australia
    1995 - ongoing American Diabetes Association
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing Board Member Paediatric Diabetes International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Germany
    2000 - 2006 Board Member Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) Australia
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2007 - 2012 Head, Children’s Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Adelaide Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2017 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review BMJ
    2016 - 2019 Review Panel, Strategic Grant Awards (2016, 2017, 2019) Grant Assessment Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI) United States
    2008 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Pediatric Diabetes
    2006 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review International Journal of Pediatric Obesity
    2006 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Diabetic Medicine
    2005 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications (JDC)
    2005 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
    2003 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
    2002 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review The Medical Journal of Australia
    2001 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Lancet
    2000 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review American Journal of Cardiology
    1999 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Diabetes
    1998 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review European Journal of Clinical Investigation
    1994 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Diabetologia
    1994 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review Diabetes Care
    1991 - ongoing Reviewer Journal Review The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Position: Head of Paediatrics - Professor
  • Phone: 81616402
  • Email: jennifer.couper@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8161 7031
  • Campus: Womens & Childrens Hospital
  • Building: WCH - Clarence Rieger Building, floor 2
  • Org Unit: Women's and Children's Health

Connect With Me
External Profiles