Tina Bianco-Miotto

Dr Tina Bianco-Miotto

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

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


I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. I am currently the Program Director of the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science and teach several courses within this Program.

My research interest focuses on how adverse exposures during critical time periods alter development. Adverse exposures during critical periods can lead to impaired organ function and future health issues. We know that organisms can adapt to adverse exposures during sensitive developmental time periods. However, how the exposure impacts the severity of the organ response in a sex-specific manner and how the changes are passed on to the next generation are unknown. The field of epigenetics can answer questions about the impact of the environment on organ development and how the response depends on the sex of the offspring for both current and subsequent generations.

I am also interested in the role of epigenetics in seed priming and how we can improve stress tolerance in plants in multiple generations. I also work on superfoods and identifying whether they have beneficial health properties.

I am committed to training and exposing others to epigenetics through my role as a lecturer, higher degree research student supervisor and through the Epigenetics Consortium of South Australia (EpiCSA) Inc which I co-founded in 2015 to foster an environment where SA epigenetic researchers have a forum for presenting their work and for networking opportunities.

1. Impact of adverse exposures on organ development.

In response to adverse exposures, such as those that may occur during pregnancy, animals change in response to these exposures. These changes may include modifications in development of organs like the kidney, heart or liver. In addition, these developmental changes can differ depending on the sex of the animal. This project will study why males and females respond differently to adverse exposures and if these changes are passed on to the next generation.

DOHAD

2. Seed priming to improve stress tolerance and seed quality.

Seed priming involves treating seeds to improve germination rates and increase plant tolerance to stress. The benefits of seed priming include uniform germination in crops, development of stress resistance, increased germination, and increased crop yield. There are several methods of seed priming with evidence that micronutrients used in combination, can enhance germination and plant vigour. In addition, seed priming may result in plant stress memory so that subsequent generations also have improved stress tolerance.

We need an understanding of what happens when plants are stressed and whether simple, cheap and effective seed priming options will improve plant tolerance to salt and drought stress. This may have the potential added benefit of biofortification, hence increasing the anti-oxidant content and therefore the health benefits of consuming the seeds from plants that have been primed.

3. Testing the 'super' in superfoods.

Interest in highly nutritious plant seeds is increasing as we are becoming more aware of the need to eat a balanced and varied diet. We already consume a wide variety of seeds in our food but some of these have been called “superfoods”, including flax, quinoa and chia. This is based on their desirable lipid contents (omega 3 vs omega 6 amounts and ratios), protein profiles because they contain all the essential amino acids or superior dietary fibre content. But how many of these properties have been thoroughly tested and verified, for example using bioavailability assays, and what effects do the seeds have on cells that are exposed to them? Does this vary according to whether the seeds are whole or ground (as we would eat them)? Our project aims to answer these questions.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 - ongoing Senior Lecturer (Level C) University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2016 Lecturer (Level B) University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2013 Cancer Council SA, W Bruce Hall Cancer Research Fellow (Level B) University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2009 NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow (Level B) University of Adelaide
    2005 - 2006 NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow (Level A) University of Adelaide
    2003 - 2004 Postdoctoral Fellow (Level A) University of Adelaide
    2002 - 2003 Research Officer Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1998 - 2002 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    1997 - 1997 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons)
    1993 - 1996 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
  • Research Interests

  • 2019: Robinson Research Institute Travel Grant to attend and present at the DOHaD 2019 World Congress (20-23 October, Melbourne) & DOHaD ANZ 2019  Symposium: Understanding Mechanisms Guiding Interventions: Developmental Physiology Approaches (24 October, Melbourne).
  • 2018: $25,000, Robinson Research Institute Innovation Seed Funding Program, Placental cell specific transcriptome and epigenome across gestation. CIs: Bianco-Miotto T, Lister R, Roberts CT.  
  • 2016-2020: $1,333,000, R01 HD089685-01 NIH NICHD, Maternal molecular profiles reflect placental function and development across gestation. CI: Roberts CT, Co-Investigators: Dekker G, Bianco-Miotto T, Smith AK, Breen J.
  • 2016: $25,000, Robinson Research Institute Engaging Opportunities Program, The conception of a preconception resource-#rightmessage #rightaudience #righttime #conceptionhealthmatters. CIs: Brown H, Breen J, Rumbold A, Hodyl N, Fullston T, Schjenken J, Diener K, Sharkey D, Donnelley M, Bianco-Miotto T, Penno M.
  • 2016: Robinson Research Institute Travel Grant to attend the ANZPRA Satellite Meeting (20-21 August, Gold Coast) and the ESA/SRB/ANZBMS Joint meeting 2016 (21-24 August, Gold Coast).
  • 2014-2016: $534,022, NHMRC Project Grant (APP1059120), Fetal sex: an important determinant of the placental transcriptome. CIs: Roberts C, Clifton V, Shoubridge C, Bianco-Miotto T, Bent S.
  • 2015: $22,700, Robinson Research Institute Innovation Seed Funding Program, Determining the relative importance of intrauterine and childhood nutritional exposures on telomere length in children. CIs: Grieger G, Roberts CT, Gatford KL, Bianco-Miotto T.
  • 2015: Robinson Research Institute Travel Grant to attend the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA 2015) meeting in Brisbane, Australia, 8-11th September.
  • 2015: $23,500, Waite Research Institute Research Capacity Development Funding, Obesity and Prostate Cancer Risk. CIs: Bianco-Miotto T, Kind K, Rodriguez Lopez C, Breen J, Roberts C, Buckberry S.
  • 2014: $25,000, Robinson Research Institute Innovation Seed Funding Program, Identifying molecular pathways in the placenta that are implicated in the link between preeclampsia and later life coronary artery disease. CIs: Andraweera P, Brown H, Bianco-Miotto T, Bent S.
  • 2013: $70,000, Waite Research Institute High Impact Publications Project, How nutrients regulate the microbiome-genome interactions in the maturing GI tract of preterm infants. Investigators: Muhlhausler B, Penttila I, Bianco-Miotto T, Bent S, Gibson R, McPhee A, Collins C, Zhou J, Makrides M.
  • 2012: $87,500, Cancer Council of South Australia/SAHMRI Beat Cancer Project Grant (APP1030945), An early obesogenic environment and prostate cancer. CIs: Bianco-Miotto T, Owens JA, Tilley WD, Kind KL.

Jan 2018 - current: Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Applied Biology

July 2015 Dec 2016: Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science

2013- 2017: Course Coordinator and Lecturer: Nutrition III (FOOD SC 3502WT)

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018: Course Coordinator: Principles & Practice of Science for App Biology I (SCIENCE 1101WT)

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019: Course Coordinator: Research Skills for Applied Biology II (APP BIOL 2500WT)

2018: Lecturer: Foundations of Applied Biology I (APP BIOL 1510WT)

2019: Lecturer: Foundations of Applied Biology IA (APP BIOL 1510WT) 

2019: Course Coordinator: Foundations of Applied Biology IB (APP BIOL 1520WT) 

2019: Lecturer: Agricultural Genetics II (AGRIC 2510WT)

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Principal Supervisor Nutri-priming; A study on its effects on hemp physiology, epigenetic memory, and stress tolerance development. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zane Marks
    2021 Co-Supervisor Understanding the Effects of Elicitors to Manipulate the Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles of Cannabis Sativa Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sara Jalali
    2020 Principal Supervisor Using a human gut-on-a-chip to test health benefits of novel plant extracts Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jacqueline Paige Barsby
    2020 Principal Supervisor Mechanisms responsible for the transgenerational inheritance of intrauterine growth restriction phenotypes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Ngoc Anh Thu Doan
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Exploiting Natural Variation in Plantago Seed Composition for Food and Human Health Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr James Morgan Cowley
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Global Analysis of Genes Involved in Capsule Development and Seed Mucilage Polysaccharide Production in Plantago ovata Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Lina Herliana
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Epigenetic Profiling of Human Placenta Throughout Early Gestation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Qianhui Wan
    2017 - 2020 Principal Supervisor The Effect of Micronutrients in Oxidative Stress, Proliferation and Apoptosis in Placenta Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Nahal Habibi
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Omic Characterisation of Placental Development and Phenotype Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Benjamin Thomas Mayne
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor The Influence of Micronutrients on Placental Development and Pregnancy Outcome Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Rebecca Louise Wilson
    2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Hypoxia Induced HIF-1/HIF-2 Activity alters Trophoblast Transcriptional Regulation across Gestation Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Mrs Sultana Mahabbat-e Khoda
    2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor The Effect of Vitamin D on Placental Development and Pregnancy Success Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jessica Phillips
    2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor An Integrative Analysis of the Human Placental Transcriptome Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sam Buckberry
    2011 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Early Origins of Metabolic Syndrome Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jing Zhou
    2010 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The Role of Estrogen Receptor and the Androgen Receptor in Human Breast Cancer Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Shalini Jindal
    2006 - 2010 Principal Supervisor The Role of Epigenetic Modifications in Prostate Tumourigenesis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Karen Huiqin Chiam
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2017 - 2019 Chair Organising Committee Epigenetics Consortium of South Australia (EpiCSA) Inc Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member Nutrition Society of Australia
    2013 - ongoing Member Australian and New Zealand Placental Research Association (ANZPRA)
    2012 - 2014 Director Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
    2011 - ongoing Member Healthy Development Adelaide (HDA)
    2009 - ongoing Member Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB)
    2009 - ongoing Member Australian Epigenetic Alliance (AEpiA)
    2006 - ongoing Member Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA)
    2005 - ongoing Member American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) United States
    2005 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Email: tina.bianco@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Genomics Centre, floor Level Two
  • Room: 2.20
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine - WT

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