Dr Seema Mihrshahi has recently been appointed as the Research Translation Co-ordinator of the Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood (EPOCH CRE). She has a background in nutritional epidemiology and is Senior Research Fellow at the Prevention Research Collaboration within the School of Public Health. Seema has experience in conducting nutrition surveillance surveys and complex evaluations of nutrition interventions. Her current research focuses on developing and evaluating interventions for the prevention of overweight and obesity with a focus on childhood and adolescence. Her role in the EPOCH CRE will be to facilitate partnerships, developing cross-disciplinary collaborations and designing and implementing processes for knowledge synthesis, dissemination, exchange and application.
Kylie Hunter is a Senior Project Officer for the Systematic Reviews and Health Technology Assessment team at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney. She has a background in Human Movement and works as a Research Assistant for EPOCH stream 1. She is also involved with the Cochrane Prospective Meta-analysis Methods Group, works for the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), and is involved in research projects on breast cancer screening, perinatal medicine, and research transparency.
Dr Penny Love has recently been appointed as a postdoctoral fellow within the EPOCH CRE based at Deakin University, focusing on the translation, implementation and sustainability of early childhood prevention interventions at scale. She has a background in dietetics and nutrition with experience spanning policy, practice, and research having worked as a public health nutrition practitioner in a range of contexts in urban, rural and remote areas. Penny's current research areas of interest are community-wide obesity prevention through a systems approach, implementation and sustainability at scale, with a specific interest in remote and rural communities. Her role within within the EPOCH CRE will be to undertake research to inform the identification of key leverage points for obesity prevention interventions when implemented within existing service delivery systems in Australasia.
David Espinoza as biostatistician employed at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre (CTC), University of Sydney since 2011. David has worked on the EPOCH1 IPD-PMA as well as various clinical oncology trials; collaborations with the BODEN institute looking at obesity and consults with the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research. He oversees the randomisation system offered by the CTC statistics team.
BMedSc MNutrDiet PhD
Dr Rebecca Byrne is the postdoctoral research fellow within Stream 2 of the EPOCH CRE, based at the Queensland University of Technology - Centre for Children's Health Research. Rebecca is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and her research interests include what and how young children are fed, understanding how eating behaviours - such as fussy eating - develop, and improving the measurement of obesogenic behaviours. She has worked on the NH&MRC funded NOURISH trial that evaluated a complementary feeding intervention to prevent childhood obesity, and upscaling of the PEACHTM program - Parenting, Eating & Activity for Child Health - across Queensland. Rebecca is passionate about ensuring parents and educators feel confident in their ability to foster heathy behaviours in children. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Byrne,_Rebecca.html
Sarah has recently been appointed as the Senior Research Officer and Postdoctoral Research Fellow within stream 4 of the EPOCH CRE based at Health Promotion Service, Sydney Local Health District. Her work will focus on conducting research for the implementation of the Healthy Beginnings program in the real-world setting as part of CRE Translational Research. Sarah is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and recently completed her PhD in the prevention of childhood obesity at the University of Technology Sydney. Her study was embedded in the Growing healthy program, a feasibility mHealth study which supported parents with infant feeding behaviours that promote healthy weight gain.
Profile: Sarah Taki COMBINE Study
Andrew Tan is the postdoctoral fellow within Stream 3 of the Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood (CRE EPOCH), based at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. He has a background in economics and was previously involved in research projects that investigate the impacts of climate on productivity and population health. Andrew's role in the CRE EPOCH will be to develop a health economic model for progression of obesity in early childhood, which will then be used to compare cost effectiveness of interventions targeted in childhood.
Dr Dorota Zarnowiecki is a postdoctoral research fellow within Stream 2 of the EPOCH CRE based at Flinders University. Dorota’s research investigates the individual, social and environmental determinants of dietary intake, to build a strong evidence base from which to improve healthy eating and prevent obesity. Dorota’s PhD explored relationships between socioeconomic status and children’s dietary intake to inform the design of tailored interventions. Since completing her PhD, she has worked on research trials evaluating the effectiveness of programs for improving nutrition, physical activity and health outcomes in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, working with vulnerable target groups including Aboriginal people, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups and individuals with mental illness. She has expertise in developing and evaluating diet and physical activity interventions, and developing valid and reliable instruments for measuring dietary intake. Dorota will be working as part of Stream 2 to develop validated measures of dietary intake for infants, toddlers and pre-school aged children.
Vicki has recently been appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within Stream 3 of the EPOCH CRE and is based at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her work will focus on the cost-effectiveness of early childhood obesity prevention interventions. Vicki recently completed her PhD, which investigated the role, impact and cost-effectiveness of ‘upstream’ interventions for obesity prevention. Vicki also holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and a Masters of Public Health.
Anna Lene Seidler is part of the Systematic Reviews and Health Technology Assessment team at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney. She has a background in Psychology (BSC and MSc) and works as a research assistant for EPOCH stream 1.
Dr Lucinda Bell is a postdoctoral research associate within Stream 2 of the EPOCH CRE, based at Flinders University. Lucy is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with a PhD in early childhood dietary assessment. Lucy's research interests centre on improving lifestyle behaviours in early childhood to prevent overweight and obesity. She has worked on several childhood obesity programs, namely NOURISH, an NHMRC-funded trial that evaluated a complementary feeding intervention to prevent childhood obesity, the evaluation of the state-wide South Australian OPAL - Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle- program, and delivery of the PEACHTM - Parenting, Eating & Activity for Child Health - program across South Australia. Lucy's role within the EPOCH CRE will be to undertake research to develop tools that measure key obesity-related behaviours in infants, toddlers and preschoolers and that are suitable for large-scale obesity prevention programs.
Jazzmin Miaobing Zheng
Jazzmin is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. She holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (2017-2021). She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and has a background in nutrition epidemiology and public health. Her fellowship focuses on assessing the dietary correlates of rapid growth and adiposity in early childhood, and how rapid weight gain during infancy programs later obesity risks among several Australian longitudinal birth cohorts. Other research interests include the role of dietary intakes such as portion size, energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods in the development of obesity and chronic diseases.
APD, MPH, MNutrDiet, BMedSci
Konsita commenced her PhD in January 2017 at Deakin University under the Deakin University Postgraduate Research Scholarships. Her research focuses on the promotion of best practice Infant feeding practices among Chinese immigrants in Australia. Konsita is an experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian with special interest in maternal and child nutrition.
Adam is a PhD student and lecturer in Dietetics in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University. Adam is an accredited practising dietitian having worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne prior to joining Deakin. The primary focus of Adam’s PhD is the influence of fathers on the dietary and physical activity behaviours of children under five years. Adam’s research has concentrated on developing a better understanding of the dimensions of father’s roles on the eating and physical activity behaviours of young children and the unique impact that paternal involvement has on child and family health outcomes.
Katherine is a PhD student at Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition. She holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Public Health Postgraduate Scholarship. Katherine’s research focuses on sedentary behaviour in early childhood. In particular, she is interested in how we can best educate and support parents to reduce their children’s sedentary behaviour.