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Lesley MacDonald-Wicks

Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle

I graduated with a BHS(Nutrition and Dietetics) with honors from the University of Newcastle in 1998, and returned in 1999 to complete a PhD in Nutrition and Dietetics, which was awarded in 2003. The topic of the PhD was dietary fat intake and the impact on in vivo markers of antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress. There were three papers in ERA classified A* journals accepted from the PhD and I presented the findings nationally and internationally at relevant conferences. Subsequently I was invited to review in vitro measures of antioxidant capacity for the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture [ERA A].

In 2009-2010 I was a key member of the consortium awarded the tender from the National Health and Medical Research Council to update the evidence underpinning the review of the Dietary Guidelines for Australians. In this my role involved the management of the systematic review that related fat intake to prevention of chronic illness. Sufficient evidence was found to make evidence statements for fats and oils and prevention of cardiovascular disease, weight loss and obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, all cause mortality from Cancer and certain specific cancers and Mental Health. Similarly, in 2010/11 I was part of the consortium awarded the tender to update the evidence underpinning the update of the Best Practice Guidelines for the treatment of obesity in Adult Australians.

I have RHD students researching in the area of Nutrition and asthma and also in early childhood in particular childhood obesting and breastfeeding and the impact on chronic diseases. This particular area has developed into an NHMRC application which will be re-submitted in 2013. More recently I have started to combine my previous fatty acid expertise in the area of anxiety and stress. This has commenced as an honours project which I hope to develop in the future.

I have been cited 240 times with an H-index of 8. I focus my research efforts on forming strong local collaborations, and fostering strong research outputs in my RHD students ensuring a quality experience for these students and quality outcomes for my research.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer , University of Newcastle