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.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
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
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
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)
Date Title Institution name Country 2010 Certified Clinical Research Coordinator Association of Clinical Research Professionals — 2009 Registered Nutritionist Nutrition Society of Australia —
Year Citation — Nutrition, Fertility, and Human Reproductive Function (n.d.). . CRC Press.
Year Citation 2017 Thomson, R., Penno, M. A., Battersby, R., & Couper, J. (2017). Are pregnant women meeting the Australian dietary guidelines? A comparison of women with and without Type 1 diabetes. In Journal of Nutrition and Intermediary Metabolism Vol. 8 (pp. 76-77). Melbourne: Elsevier.
2008 Thomson, R., Buckley, J., Noakes, M., Clifton, P., Norman, R., & Brinkworth, G. (2008). Effects of a Hypocaloric Diet with and without Exercise Training on Body Composition, Metabolic Risk Profile and Reproductive Function in Overweight and Obese Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In OBESITY Vol. 16 (pp. S230). Phoenix, AZ: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP.
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.
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
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
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