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Personal profile

Biography

Jessica is a Registered Nutritionist and Senior Lecturer with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food. Jessica's research focus is in digestive health and has expertise in the dietary management of gastrointestinal disorders.

Jessica is a past Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders at KU Leuven in Belgium, where she explored gastric nutrient sensing and how diet can alter the physiological response to meal ingestion. Her research focused on understanding the acute mechanistic effects of specific nutrients on the peripheral (gastrointestinal physiology and microbiome, symptoms, humoral) and central (emotions, neural) responses and the putative interactions between gut-brain signalling in health and different disease states.

Jessica completed her PhD with Monash University, investigating the effects of gluten and carbohydrates as inducers of gastrointestinal symptoms in adults without coeliac disease. Her PhD research gained Jessica the expertise in conducting large, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human dietary trials, population surveys and food composition analysis.

Jessica is a regular invited speaker and chairperson at international medical and nutrition science conferences and a frequent peer-reviewer for several gastroenterology and nutrition science journals. Jessica’s most notable achievements include being awarded the Rome Foundation’s Ken Heaton Award for the Most Cited Paper on Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders twice (2015 and 2013), the 2011 Nutrition Society of Australia Early Career Award and the 2009 Australian Gastroenterology Douglas Piper Clinical Young Investigator Award.

Research interests

  • Dietary triggers and dietary management strategies of gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Mechanisms underlying gastrointestinal signals and digestive physiology
  • Disorders of gut-brain interaction including irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Gastroenterology
  • Food sensitivity / intolerance
  • Gut-brain interaction
  • Gut symptoms
  • Gluten
  • FODMAPs
  • Dietary interventions
  • Gastrointestinal function
  • Appetite regulation

Network

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