Lisa Smithers

Associate Professor Lisa Smithers

NHMRC Grant-Funded Researcher D

Health and Medical Sciences Faculty Office

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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

Associate Professor Lisa Smithers is always looking for opportunities to make a difference to the health and welfare of children.

“I worry about things that get in the way of children reaching their full potential, whether that be physical health or development. If we can identify the impediments to children’s development, then we can design and test interventions that directly change or buffer the effects on development.”

Separating out hype from science is another one of her interests. “Often scientists, me included, fall in love with our favourite theories and use the best available evidence to support it. In our group, we often try to throw everything at a hypothesis before deciding whether the results support the theory. When we can, we use methods that deal with potential biases in results, from the basics such as imputation to address missing information, through to designing studies that incorporate assessments of bias such as negative control studies or more sophisticated methods such as quantitative bias assessments.”

I have research interests in perinatal and paediatrics health, including nutrition, public health and Aboriginal health.


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For details on projects available please view the following booklet: School of Public Health Student Projects

Competitive Research Funding

National Competitive Schemes (Category 1)

Date Project/No. Investigators Funding Body Amount

Grzeskowiak, Amir, Smithers, Jacobs, Ingman, Grivell, Knight.

NHMRC Project grant $980 k
2018   Jamieson, Paradies, Roberts, Hedges, Venner, Mitchell, Dunbar, Warren, Kularatna, Smithers. NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Indigenous Social and Emotional Wellbeing $898 k

Lynch, Sawyer, Mol, Roberts, Dekker, Stocks, Schurer, Gurrin, Dwyer, Bowering, Jeffs, Dandie, Associate Investigators: Frank, Mittinty, Law, Cobb-Clark, Smithers, Chittleborough.

NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence $2.49 mill
2014   Smithers, Sorell, Lynch. Heart Foundation $71 k
2013   Lynch, Chittleborough, Smithers, Sawyer, Brinkman, Mittinty, Sawyer, Bowering. NHMRC Partnership grant $273 k
2012   Makrides, Smithers, Yelland, Treyvaud. NHMRC Project grant $583 k
2012   Merlin, Smithers, Lynch Australian National Preventive Health Agency $60 k
2009   Gibson, Anderson, Smithers NHMRC Project grant $530 k
2009   Smithers, Makrides, Skeaff Foundation for Children $80 k

Other Sources of Funding


Date Project/No. Investigators Funding Body Amount
2018   Smithers, Lynch, Dekker, Hoon, Telfer. Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $75 k
2018   Hague, Smithers, Lynch, Dodd. Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia & New Zealand $10 k
2018   Smithers, Dekker, Lynch, Hoon. Robinson Research Institute, Engaging Opportunities $5 k
2018   Grieger (mentee), Smithers (mentor). University of Adelaide, FHMS Emerging Leadership $40 k
2018   Jamieson, Smithers, Hedges, Lynch. Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $75 k
2018   Zhou, Smithers, Roberts. Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $75 k
2017   Braunack-Mayer, Smithers, Miller. University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health Science Project $30 k
2016   Jamieson, Lynch, Dunbar, Smithers, Somogyi, Cooper, Weyrich. University of Adelaide, Interdisciplinary Research grant $35 k
2013   Gould, Makrides, Collins, Smithers. Women's & Children's Foundation $60 k
2011   Smithers. Australian Federation of University Women $5 k
2008   Smithers, Gibson, Makrides. Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $40 k
2007   Smithers, Gibson, Makrides. Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $47 k

2013 - 2017:  Lecturer, Epidemiological Research Methods, Master of Public Health program

2018 - 2019:  Course Coordinator, Introduction to Epidemiology, Master of Public Health Program

2018 - 2019:  Course Coordinator, Nutrition: Ideology, Individuals & Industry, Bachelor of Health & Medical Science

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Principal Supervisor Smoking in Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Cherise Jaye Fletcher
    2018 Co-Supervisor The Effects of an Early Childhood Caries Intervention on Dental Pain, Dental Extractions and Dental Treatment Under General Anaesthetics among Indigenous Children Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Wendy Wai Sau Cheung
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2023 Co-Supervisor “Our bodies aren’t meant to live the whitefellas way”: Navigating Indigenous oral health in neoliberal Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Brianna Poirier
    2018 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Iodine Nutrition in Early Life and Childhood Neurodevelopment and Growth Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Molla Mesele Wassie
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Psychometric properties of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Social Support Scale (SSS) and Sense of Personal Control Scale (SPCS) in Aboriginal Australian populations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Pedro Henrique Ribeiro Santiago
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Racism and Aboriginal Australian Children's Wellbeing: Impact and Protective Factors Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Davi Manzini Macedo
    2017 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Obstetrical Interventions during Labour and Birth: An examination of Effects on Breastfeeding, Neonatal Mortality and Children's Educational Outcomes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Engida Yisma Derbie
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor The incidence, risk factors and implications of type 1 diabetes: whole-of-population linked-data study of children in South Australia born from 1999-2013 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Mumtaz Begum
    2016 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Development and sustainability of interventions to improve child nutrition: A case-study of ethnic minority communities in northern Thailand Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Anna Roesler
    2013 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Children's Temperament and Parenting Practices in the First Five Years of Life and Cognitive, Academic and Adiposity Outcomes in Later Childhood and Adolescence Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Shiau Yun Chong
    2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor A Randomised Controlled Trial of DHA-Rich Fish Oil Supplementation During Pregnancy and Subsequent Development of Attention, Working Memory and Inhibitory Control in Early Childhood Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jacqueline Gould
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Health professionals views on smoking in pregnancy University of Adelaide BHMS(Adv) Honours Full Time Anna Kalamkarian
    2017 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Newborn morbidity and child development University of Adelaide BHMS Honours Full Time Amanda Reyes
    2015 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Sugar consumption in Australia University of Adelaide; University of Wollongong PhD Doctorate Full Time Adyya Gupta
    2009 - 2009 Co-Supervisor Non-esterified DHA in cord blood University of Adelaide B Biotech Honours Full Time Goldy Yong
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2018 - ongoing Advisory Board Member Longitudinal Study of Australian Children AIFS Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Chair Animal Ethics Committee (Science) University of Adelaide Australia
    2013 - ongoing Member South Australia's Young Investigator Award - Australia
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2018 - ongoing Department of Social Services Australian Institute for Family Studies Scientific research Australia
    2018 - ongoing Hort Innovation Project Reference Group - Farming and related Australia
    2013 - 2016 National Health and Medical Research Council Health Advice Panel member, services relevant to the development and presentation of evidence based health advice. Health services and related Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2013 - ongoing Editor The British Journal of Nutrition: an international journal of nutritional science - United Kingdom
  • Position: NHMRC Grant-Funded Researcher D
  • Phone: 83130546
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Rundle Mall Plaza, floor 4
  • Org Unit: Administration Office

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