Post Doctoral - Research Fellow
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
My current research focuses on nutrition in pregnancy and my research direction is in understanding how diet and metabolic profile impact pregnancy and birth outcomes. My current research investigates how different maternal exposures associate with time to pregnancy, and pregnancy complications; dietary modelling methods; and diet in relation to gestational diabetes.
Current research projects
BetterStart Research group:
PROJECT 1. Cultural differences regarding management to gestational diabetes
Supervisors: Dr Jessica Grieger, Dr Elizabeth Hoon, A/Prof Lisa Smithers
The rate of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has tripled in Australia over the last 15 years, now affecting 15% or 1 in 7 pregnancies. Diet and lifestyle management is the preferred means of managing GDM; however in antenatal care, there is no support for clinicians in determining which specific dietary intervention is the most effective for women with different cultural or social backgrounds. Because diet is closely tied to culture, adhering to a prescribed nutrition regimen may have specific challenges for certain groups of women.
Skills learned during this project: Focus group coordination; thematic analysis; consumer engagement
Project available for: Honours and HDR
Location: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, North Terrace
Research project start: Semester 2
Previous research projects
1. Metabolic syndrome and pregnancy complications:
Obesity increases the risk for developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia (PE), which both associate with increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women in later life. In the general population, metabolic syndrome (MetS) associates with T2DM and CVD. We followed over 5500 women throughout their first pregnancy to investigate whether MetS was associated with risk for pregnancy complications. Overall, 12.3% (n=684) had MetS. These women were at a higher risk for developing GDM and PE by 2-4 times. Increasing body mass index in combination with having MetS further increased the likelihood for developing GDM. We should continue to encourage all women, whether they are of normal or high body weight, to aim for a healthy pregnancy by having a good quality diet and continuing to exercise. Education should start early because we know that health issues track throughout life.
Research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30513077
Media links: https://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/robinson-institute/2018/12/14/media-release-metabolic-syndrome-increases-risk-of-pregnancy-complications/?fbclid=IwAR1rPPqZXiIxTPEg-PxgzFk7b3JOzZNZBtctIYJUSaD0Ffopo7A0FtqRsaQ
Dietary intake and pregnancy outcomes:
1. Maternal nutrition can have a profound effect on fetal growth, development, and subsequent infant birth weight. Preconception dietary patterns have not been assessed in relation to perinatal outcomes. We retrospectively collected food frequency questionnaires in a group of 309 pregnant women. We were the first to show that a high fat, sugar and take-away dietary pattern increased the risk of preterm birth, whereas a diet high in protein and fruit reduced the risk for preterm birth. Modification to poor dietary behaviours, pre-pregnancy, may be beneficial to improve perinatal outcomes and the long-term health of the child.
Research article: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/144/7/1075/4569765.
2. In non-pregnant asthmatics, unhealthy diets have been shown to be an underlying contributor to poorly controlled asthma and subsequent risk of asthma exacerbations. Little attention has been paid to maternal dietary intakes pre-conception and the potential impact this might have on maternal asthma control. In a group of 309 pregnant women, we showed that higher scores on a "high fat/sugar/takeaway pattern" was associated with increased likelihood of uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy. A healthy dietary pattern should be encouraged in all asthmatic women who are of childbearing age, and should additionally be promoted before pregnancy and beyond.
Research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25908413
Diet and lifestyle factors associated with infertility:
1. Time to pregnancy (TTP) is a measure of how long a couple takes to conceive, and infertility is the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Several lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity, have consistently been associated with a longer TTP or infertility, but the role of preconception diet in women remains poorly studied. Healthier foods or dietary patterns have been associated with improved fertility, however, these studies focused on women already diagnosed with or receiving treatments for infertility, rather than in the general population. Our multi-centre SCOPE cohort study (n=5598 pregnant women), is the first to show that a lower intake of fruit and higher intake of fast food in the preconception period were both associated with a longer TTP. In women with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 12%, and in those who ate fast food four or more times a week, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 16%. These findings underscore the importance of considering preconception diet for fertility and preconception guidance.
Research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29733398
2. In 5617 women from the SCOPE cohort study (n=1106 had been diagnosed with asthma), compared with non-asthmatics, women with current asthma who used only short-acting “rescue” medications like salbuterol were 15% less likely to have conceived in any given monthly cycle, and women on rescue medications were also 30% more likely to have taken more than 12 months to conceive.
Research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29444917
Altmetric link: https://ersjournals.altmetric.com/details/33222368#score
Date Position Institution name 2015 Post-doctoral research fellow, 0.6 FTE Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, 2015 - 2016 Post doctoral research fellow, 0.5 FTE University of South Australia 2012 - 2015 Post-doctoral research fellow (~1.5 years at 1.0 FTE) School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, 2009 - 2013 Post-doctoral research fellow (~3 years at 1.0 FTE) Flinders University 2007 - 2009 Post-doctoral research fellow Pennsylvania State University
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2019 Research Award Women's Research Excellence Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2017 Award Travel award: Robinson Research Institute — Australia — 2016 Award Travel grant: Robinson Research Institute — — $500 2014 Award WCH Young Investigator Award — — — 2014 Award ASMR Leading Light Award — — — 2014 Award Travel grant: Robinson Research Institute and School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health — — $1300
Date Institution name Country Title 2004 - 2007 Deakin University Australia PhD 2003 - 2003 University of Adelaide (CSIRO Human Nutrition) Australia BSc(hons) 2000 - 2002 University of Adelaide Australia BSc
Date Title Institution Country 2012 Research Supervisor Induction Workshop University of Adelaide Australia
Date Title Institution name Country 2010 Clinical bone densitometry license Australian and New Zealand Bone Mineral Society (ANZBMS) —
Year Citation 2012 Nowson, C., Grieger, J., & Cameron-Smith, D. (2012). Ageing and inflammation. In Nutrition and Physical Activity in Inflammatory Diseases (pp. 338-356).
Year Citation 2018 Grzeskowiak, L. E., Smithers, L. G., Grieger, J. A., Bianco-Miotto, T., Leemaqz, S. Y., Clifton, V. L., . . . Roberts, C. T. (2018). Asthma associated with infertility-but not among women taking regular asthma preventers: Evidence from the international scope study. In PHARMACOEPIDEMIOLOGY AND DRUG SAFETY Vol. 27 (pp. 238-239). WILEY. 2016 Dickinson, H., Davies-Tuck, M., Ellery, S. J., Grieger, J., Wallace, E. M., Snow, R., . . . Clifton, V. (2016). Creatine Status in Women Is Profoundly Changed by Pregnancy: A Retrospective Cohort Study. In REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES Vol. 23 (pp. 285A). Montreal, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2013 Harris, K., West, S., Jonnalagadda, S., Ross, A., Hill, A., Grieger, J., . . . Kris-Etherton, P. (2013). WHOLE AND REFINED GRAINS HAVE DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS ON CARDIOMETABOLIC MARKERS IN OVERWEIGHT INDIVIDUALS WITH NORMAL FASTING GLUCOSE VERSUS PREDIABETES. In ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM Vol. 63 (pp. 528). KARGER. 2013 Monahan, P., Sun, J., Grieger, J., Li, C., Agbandje-Mckenna, M., Mcphee, S., & Samulski, R. (2013). Empty vector particles do not circumvent the neutralization of factor IX gene delivery by AAV-neutralizing antibodies. In HAEMOPHILIA Vol. 19 (pp. 468). WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2012 Berryman, C. E., West, S. G., Grieger, J. A., Blumberg, J. B., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2012). Effects of whole walnuts and walnut components on postprandial triglyceride response, plasma measures of antioxidant activity, and endothelial function in overweight and obese adults. In FASEB JOURNAL Vol. 26 (pp. 1 page). San Diego, CA: FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL. 2009 Grieger, J. A., West, S. G., & Kris-Etheron, P. M. (2009). Acute consumption of walnuts decreases CRP levels in healthy individuals, with high CRP. In FASEB JOURNAL Vol. 23 (pp. 1 page). FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL. 2008 Grieger, J. A., Katcher, H., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2008). Energy and Whole Grain Intake over a Nine Month Period Following Weight Loss. In FASEB JOURNAL Vol. 22 (pp. 1 page). FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL. 2007 Grieger, J., & Nowson, C. (2007). Vitamin D3 fortified milk improves nutritional status in a group of Australian aged care residents. In ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM Vol. 51 (pp. 241). KARGER.
Year Citation 2017 Khomami, M. B., Moran, L., Grieger, J., Kenny, L., Myers, J., Poston, L., . . . Roberts, C. (2017). Pregnancy Complications in Women with and without PCOS Following Consideration of Modifiable Lifestyle Factors: The SCOPE Cohort Study. Poster session presented at the meeting of AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY. WILEY. 2016 Wycherley, T., Grieger, J., Johnson, B., Riley, M., & Golley, R. (2016). Nutritional impact of discrete strategies to reformulate or reduce discretionary food choices in diet of the Australian population. Poster session presented at the meeting of Diabetologia. Munich, Germany: Springer.
Total funding: $2.2 M
CIA:  $70,000 Robinson Research Institute, Career Development Fellowship; [2019/20] $27,000 Barbara Kidman Fellowship, University of Adelaide;  $40,000 Emerging Leadership Mentored Development Program, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences; [2015/16] $23,000 Robinson Research Institute seed funding;  $34,000 Australian Seafood CRC; $10,800 NHMRC Equipment Grant; $10,000 Lyell McEwin Hospital Strategic Initiative;  $10,000 Australian Mussel Industry Association.
Co-investigator: [2019-2021] $967,481, NHMRC Project Grant (CIE; APP ID 1161079; "Targeting micronutrients to tackle pregnancy disorders: an integrated approach"; [2010-2012] $218,555 Australian Seafood CRC; [2008-2013] $540,000 USD General Mills USA;  $18,000 Foundation seeding grant Flinders Medical Centre; $68,000 Meat and Livestock Australia; $40,450 Kellogg Australia; $30,000 Australian Seafood CRC.
4010_HLTH_SC_2105 Reflect. Research. Resolve
Workshop coordinator, Nutritional Health stream
HLTH SC 3100 Exercise, Nutrition and Metabolism:
Practical demonstrator (Dietary methodology)
HLTH SC 3100 Exercise, Nutrition and Metabolism:
Guest lecture (nutrition and fertility; energy expenditure and cardiovascular health)
|2008 -2009||Co-lecturer: Nutrition 1, Penn State University, PA, USA|
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2019 Co-Supervisor The effect of micronutrients in oxidative stress, proliferation and apoptosis in placenta Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Nahal Habibi
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Lifestyle factors and the association with gestational diabetes, in a contemporary cohort of low socioeconomic pregnant women. University of Adelaide, Robinson Research Institute — Honours Full Time Ashleigh Schneider 2012 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Dietary strategies to attenuate telomere loss in older Australians: a pilot study Flinders University Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics Honours Full Time YanYin Phoi
Connect With Me