Professor Kerin O'Dea is Professor: Nutrition and Public Health in the Health Sciences Division of the University of South Australia. Professor O'Dea is currently engaged in research on an NHMRC Program Grant titled 'Improving Chronic Disease outcomes for Indigenous Australians: Causes, Interventions, System Change.' Professor O'Dea is interested in the therapeutic potential of traditional diets and lifestyles of numerous populations, including Indigenous Australians.
Key previous senior academic and research leadership positions include: Director of the Sansom Institute for Health Research, UniSA (2009-2012), Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital (2006-2009); Director, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin NT (2000-2005); Deakin University (1988-1997) as Professor of Human Nutrition, Dean of Health & Behavioural Sciences (1993-1994) and Pro Vice Chancellor Research (1995-1996).
She has been an active part of numerous national committees over many years advising government on health and medical research, Indigenous health, nutrition, and diabetes.
Kerin has served as a Council member of NHMRC for many years and is the inaugural Chair of the Prevention and Community Health Committee and a Board member of Outback Stores. She received the Order of Australia in 2004 for "service in the areas of medical and nutrition research, to the development of public health policy, and to the community, particularly Indigenous Australians through research into chronic disease and prevention methods". She has honorary professorial Fellow appointments at a number of institutions.