Rebecca Thomson

Dr Rebecca Thomson

Research Fellow

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


I have a background in nutrition and exercise physiology and an interest in the health benefits of physical activity and nutrition. My research has investigated how incorporating nutrition with exercise can lead to added benefits for health and exercise performance. I have also been investigating exercise recovery, including assessing fatigue and recovery status using heart rate and potential treatments to enhance recovery from muscle damaging exercise.

I have extensive experience in managing large scale clinical trials investigating the effects of lifestyle modification on improving health and observational studies investigating the causes of type 1 diabetes. I have worked with a range of populations, from athletes to sedentary participants and children to older adults.

In June 2015 I joined the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) study, Australia’s largest study investigating the causes of type 1 diabetes, as a project manager and nutrition researcher. With my nutrition experience, I am in charge of monitoring the quality and completion of nutrition, growth and lifestyle measures across Australia. My program of research investigates the potential determinants of T1D during preconception, pregnancy and early life. This includes investigating the impact of maternal and paternal preconception lifestyle behaviours, maternal weight and gestational weight gain, maternal diet, physical activity levels, mental health and lifestyle during pregnancy, paternal weight and infant growth, diet and lifestyle.

I have a strong publication record relative to opportunity, with 50 high quality publications (19 first author), 1233 citations and an H index of 17 (Scopus). Two of the papers from my PhD were included in the recent ‘Evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome’ and my work has also led to the registration of 3 patents.

Dr Rebecca Thomson is the Project Manager for the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) study and Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, Australia. ENDIA is the first study in the world to explore how environmental exposures from pregnancy through early life may contribute to, or protect against, the development of childhood type 1 diabetes. Dr Thomson was appointed to manage ENDIA in 2015 and has played an integral role in expanding the cohort, which completed recruitment of 1500 mother-infant dyads in late 2019. With her nutrition experience, she is in charge of monitoring the quality and completion of nutrition, growth and lifestyle measures across Australia and has prepared and analysed nutrition data that supports colleagues’ investigation of the gut microbiome and virome in ENDIA pregnancy and infants. She has started investigating preconception and pregnancy nutrition and lifestyle behaviours and comparing behaviours between parents with and without type 1 diabetes to interestingly show minimal differences. 

Her program of research investigates the potential determinants of T1D during preconception, pregnancy and early life. This includes investigating the impact of maternal and paternal preconception lifestyle behaviours, maternal weight and gestational weight gain, maternal diet, physical activity levels, mental health and lifestyle during pregnancy, paternal weight and infant growth, diet and lifestyle.

For more information about the ENDIA study please visit our website at http://www.endia.org.au 

    Expand
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 Adjunct Senior Research Fellow University of South Australia
    2017 Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2015 - 2017 Senior Clinical Research Coordinator University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2015 - 2020 Adjunct Research Fellow University of South Australia
    2009 - 2014 Research Fellow University of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2009 University of South Australia Australia PhD
    2005 University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Applied Science (First Class Honours)
    2004 University of South Australia, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement)
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2010 Certified Clinical Research Coordinator Association of Clinical Research Professionals
    2009 Registered Nutritionist Nutrition Society of Australia
  • Research Interests

I have been successful in attracting over $13 million in funding over the last 10 years as a CI from a range of sources (Australian Research Council, JDRF, Helmsley Charitable Trust, Diabetes SA, industry, competitive internal grant schemes, technology commercialisation grant schemes and travel grants). 

I am active in developing the next generation of medical researchers in South Australia through mentoring and supervising students. I have successfully supervised to completion two PhD students (2016 and 2017), one Masters of Public Health student (2018), six Honours students (Health Science and Physiotherapy; 2010, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017), and four summer vacation scholarship students (Health Sciences and Medicine) through the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide and Deakin University. I am currently supervising one Masters by Research (Human Movement) student at the University of South Australia.

    Expand
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - ongoing Co-Supervisor The effects of menstrual cycle phase on physical performance and fatigue in team sport athletes University of South Australia Masters by Research (Human Movement) Master Full Time Mikaeli Carmichael
    2018 - 2018 Co-Supervisor An exploratory analysis of glycaemia during pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes Deakin University Masters of Public Health Major Project Master Full Time Candice Hall
    2017 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Validation of a field-based assessment of heart rate acceleration for tracking fatigue-induced changes in exercise performance University of South Australia Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) Honours Full Time Henry Blake
    Expand
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - 2020 Member Nutrition Society of Australia Adelaide Group Nutrition Society of Australia Australia
    2014 - ongoing Chair Nutrition Society of Australia Adelaide Group Australia
    2013 - 2013 Treasurer Nutrition Society of Australia Adelaide Group Australia
    2011 - 2012 Member Nutrition Society of Australia Adelaide Group Australia
  • Position: Research Fellow
  • Phone: 83133418
  • Email: r.thomson@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8161 9532
  • Campus: Womens & Childrens Hospital
  • Building: WCH - Norwich, floor 3
  • Org Unit: Medical Specialties

Connect With Me
External Profiles

Other Links