Maria Makrides

Professor Maria Makrides

Professor of Human Nutrition

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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


Professor Maria Makrides is the Theme Leader for Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children. She is also Director of the Child Nutrition Research Centre with its headquarters at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.Maria is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow and also Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Adelaide.

Maria leads a multi-disciplinary research group of over 30 staff who are highly skilled in conducting and translating nutrition intervention trials involving mothers and babies.

As a research dietitian, Maria is committed to improving the nutrition and health of mothers and their babies through the conduct and translation of high quality research. She is particularly recognised for work investigating the health effects of dietary fatty acids, iron and novel dietary ingredients in the perinatal period. This work has resulted in significant changes in the composition of infant formulae and had an important impact on changing international food laws (Codex Alimentarius), which determine the minimum safe composition of infant foods. Most recently Maria was part of an international expert advisory group to comment on the composition of follow-up formulas under review by Codex.

Maria has over 180 peer reviewed publications including a number in the prestigious journals The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal. She is also co-editor of four books, including the most widely sold textbook in paediatric nutrition that is now translated into Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2013 Theme Leader & NHMRC Principal Research Fellow South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
    2010 - 2015 Research Director Women's & Children's Health Research Institute
    2004 - 2013 NHMRC Senior Research Fellow Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute
    2000 - 2003 NHMRC RD Wright Fellow Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute
    1997 - 2000 Postdoctoral Fellow University of Adelaide
    1995 - 1997 Postdoctoral Fellow Flinders University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2015 Award 12th Fatty Acid and Cell Signalling (FACS) Award for testing novel hypotheses in large scale clinical trials
    2014 Fellowship Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science Australia
    2012 Award Fellowship of the Nutrition Society of Australia Australia
    2012 Award International Women’s Day Award Organisation of Hellenic Women of Australia Australia
    2006 Award Nutrition Society of Australia Research Medal Australia
    2005 Award Appointment to the National Nutrition Committee Australian Academy of Science Australia
    1997 Award Research Award Nutrition Society of Australia Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2012 University of South Australia Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2012 Nutrition Society of Australia Australia Fellow
    1991 University of Melbourne Australia Bachelor of Science
    1991 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Research Grants 

In the last 5 years, aside from my NHMRC fellowship support, I have secured 6 NHMRC grants for 3 new trials and 3 follow-up studies totaling >$10 million.  The award of a Centre of Research Excellence in Foods for Future Australians (CIA, 2012-16) underscores my ability to pull together and secure productive and cohesive multi-disciplinary teams.

Ongoing Research Support

Date Project/ No. Investigators Funding Body
2016-2020 Aboriginal Families Study: 5-6 year follow-up of an intergenerational birth cohort Brown S, Glover K, Weetra D, Mensah F, Giallo R, Gartland D, Newbury J, Middleton P, Reilly S, Makrides M NHMRC Project APP1105561
2016-2020 Improving nutrition and health outcomes for women and babies in the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program Middleton P, Stuart-Butler D, Ah Kit J, Brown S, Rumbold A, Makrides M, Warin M, Brown A, Mensah F, Deverix J NHMRC Targeted Research APP1115534
2014-2018 Improving the outcomes of mothers and babies through nutritional interventions Makrides M NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship APP1061704
2013-2017 Omega 3 fats to Reduce the Incidence of Prematurity: The ORIP Trial Zhou SJ, Makrides M Quinlivan J, McPhee AJ, Yelland L, Gibson RA NHMRC project APP1050468
2012-2016 Foods for Future Australians Makrides M, Gibson RA, Ryan P, Zhou SJ, Dodd J, McPhee AJ, Umberger W, Muhlhausler B, Collins CT, Penttila I NHMRC CRE APP1035530

 Completed Research Support (in the last 5 years)

Date Project/ No. Investigators Funding Body
2013-2015 Does n-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy improve the Intelligence Quotient of children at school age? Makrides M, Smithers LG, Yelland L, Treyvaud K NHMRC project APP1048493
2012-2014 Does n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in pregnancy reduce asthma and allergies in school age children? Makrides M, Gold M, Palmer DJ, Sullivan T, Kennedy J, Martin A NHMRC project APP1027710 
2012-2014 N-3 fatty acids for the improvement of respiratory outcome in preterm infants (N3RO): a randomised controlled trial Collins CT, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, Thio M, Sullivan T, Simmer K, Rajadurai V.  Makrides is an Associate Investigator NHMRC project APP1022112
2010-2014 A randomised controlled trial of iodine supplementation in pregnancy to enhance neurodevelopment in children (PINK) Makrides M, Zhou J, Skeaff S, Ryan P NHMRC Project ID: 626800
2008-2014 Early regular egg exposure during infancy to prevent egg allergy: a randomised controlled trial (STEP). Makrides M, Prescott S, Palmer D, Gold M NHMRC ID: 626805
2009-2013 Effect of prenatal n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on body mass in early childhood (ChOIR) Makrides M, Muhlhausler B, Gibson R, McDermott R NHMRC ID: 570109
2011-2013 Long-term follow-up of children born preterm who received high dose DHA:  growth and allergy Collins CT, Makrides M, Gibson RA, Ryan P Mead Johnson INDUSTRY
2008-2012 Long-term follow-up of children born preterm who received high dose DHA the DINO trial follow up  (DINO 7). Makrides M, Gibson RA, Doyle L, Anderson P, Ryan P, Collins CT NHMRC ID: 508003
2006-2010 n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in pregnancy to reduce allergies in childhood (DHAllergy). Makrides M, Gibson RA, Gold M, Hawkes J, Prescott S, Zola H NHMRC ID: 399389
2005-2008 A Randomised Trial of DHA in Pregnancy to prevent Postnatal Depressive Symptoms and Enhance Neurodevelopment in Children (DOMInO).  Makrides M, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, Quinlivan J NHMRC ID:349301
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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 Identification of Novel Strategies to Promote Evidence Based Messaging for Prenatal Omega-3 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Elizabeth Helen Kerling
    2017 Co-Supervisor Identifying healthy lifestyle and behavior interventions applicable for women at increased risk of stillbirth with compounding coexisting modifiable risk factors Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Anneka Jane Bowman
    2017 Co-Supervisor Changes to Breast Milk in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and its Relation to the Health Outcomes of Preterm Infants Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Chang Gao
    2016 Co-Supervisor The Role of Omega - 3 Fats and Their Metabolites in Pregnancy and Lactation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Christopher Edward Ramsden
    2015 Co-Supervisor Soil Transmitted Helminths and Schistosomiasis Infections and Associated Factors: An Individual Patient Data Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rehana Abdus Salam
    2014 Co-Supervisor Improving Outcomes for Babies Born too soon - Closing the Identified Research Gaps for Magnesium Sulphate and Exploring the Next Steps Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Emily Shepherd
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Enteral Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation to Attenuate Inflammation in the Preterm Infant Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Naomi Hayden Fink
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor The effect of Prenatal Supplementation with Omega 3 Long Chain Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) on Childhood Allergic Disease at Six Years of Age Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Karen Best
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Effects of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation for pregnant and lactating women in preventing allergic diseases in early childhood Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Anoja Wickrama Gunaratne
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Investigating the Relationship between Maternal Iodine Intake in Pregnancy and Iodine Status or Thyroid Function of Mothers and Infants. A prospective cohort study Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Dominique Condo
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor A Randomised Controlled Trail of DHA-Rich Fish Oil Supplementation During Pregnancy and Subsequent Development of Language in Early Childhood Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nicola Rachael Gawlik
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Nutritional strategies for allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment, with a specific focus on egg allergy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Merryn Netting
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Exploring the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Lenka Malek
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor The effect of higher protein human milk fortifier on growth in preterm infants Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessica Reid
    2009 - 2013 Principal 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
    2005 - 2010 Principal Supervisor The Efficiency and Safety of a Higher Protein Human Milk Fortifier on Growth for Preterm Human Milk-Fed Infants. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Jacqueline Miller
    2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor The Effect of Egg Ingestion on Ovalbumin Concentration in Human Milk Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Debra Palmer
    2003 - 2005 Principal Supervisor Effect of Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy on Childhood Development: a Long Term Follow-Up of a Randomised Controlled Trial Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jo Zhou
    2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Safety and Efficacy of High Dose Docosahexaenoic Acid for the Preterm Infant Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time APrf Lisa Smithers
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2001 - ongoing Member International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)
  • Position: Professor of Human Nutrition
  • Phone: 81616179
  • Email: maria.makrides@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8161 8228
  • Building:
  • Org Unit: Paediatrics and Reproductive Health

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External Profiles