How Nutrition & Dietetics Benefit Clinical Trials

QUT Intern Carly Booth and Clinician Researcher Dr Ingrid Hickman discuss the critical role that nutrition and dietetics plays within the clinical trial process.

The crux of translational research is the clinical trial, where discoveries which have worked in computer and animal models are tested in humans. TRI manages 2 clinical trial facilities - the 1st at the PA Hospital and the 2nd at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

While a clinical trial primaily comes down to answering a research question, where one form of treatment is compared to another, it also consists of measuring primary and secondary outcome measures. 

As a dietitian, Ingrid plays a significant role within the clinical trial process, particularly within the nutrition science field. Involved in the design as well as the implementation of such trials, dietitians are able to measure and monitor dietary and behavioural changes over the course of a clinical trial. The metabolic mechanisms associated with dietary intake are also often studies by dietitians.

Despite the vast array of topics that are able to be studied, both dietitians and researchers alike often face a number of challenges throughout the research process.

"THere are many relaties that we face in terms of the Research process. can our question be answered? Can We actually test it? Can We Measure it?"

Ingrid and her team have worked on numerous clinical trials, including those surrounding metabolic medicine and obesity related chronic disease, where conditions such as liver disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes are explored. Not only playing a role in lifestyle based interventions, Ingrid and her team also take part in the development and implementation of food and supplemental studies as well as clinical trials relating to malnurition and cancer. 

Take a listen to this podcast to hear more about the importance of nutrition and dietetics within clinical trials from Clinician Researcher Dr Ingrid Hickman.

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Dr Ingrid Hickman at the Clinical Research Facility

The Intern Series:
How Nutrition & Dietetics Benefit Clinical Trials