Professor Maria Makrides is the Theme Leader for Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children. She is also Director of the Child Nutrition Research Centre with its headquarters at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.Maria is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow and also Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Adelaide.
Maria leads a multi-disciplinary research group of over 30 staff who are highly skilled in conducting and translating nutrition intervention trials involving mothers and babies.
As a research dietitian, Maria is committed to improving the nutrition and health of mothers and their babies through the conduct and translation of high quality research. She is particularly recognised for work investigating the health effects of dietary fatty acids, iron and novel dietary ingredients in the perinatal period. This work has resulted in significant changes in the composition of infant formulae and had an important impact on changing international food laws (Codex Alimentarius), which determine the minimum safe composition of infant foods. Most recently Maria was part of an international expert advisory group to comment on the composition of follow-up formulas under review by Codex.
Maria is also part of the team that undertook the systematic reviews to underpin the Australian Dietary Guidelines for pregnant and lactating women released by the NHMRC in 2013. She is a member of the Infant and Young Child Scientific Advisory Group, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
Maria has over 180 peer reviewed publications including a number in the prestigious journals The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal. She is also co-editor of four books, including the most widely sold textbook in paediatric nutrition that is now translated into Chinese, Spanish and Russian.