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Dr Fiona Lithander

Dr Fiona Lithander

Dr Fiona Lithander
BSc.(Hons), MNutr&Diet, PhD

Senior Research Associate (AMBER study Research Manager)

Lower Maudlin Street,
Bristol, BS1 2LY
(See a map)



Fiona Lithander (née Leahy) is a nutrition scientist and a registered dietitian with 15 years experience in research, teaching, and clinical practice.

Fiona completed her PhD in metabolic physiology in 2002 at the University of Cambridge where she studied human energy metabolism and appetite regulation under the supervision of Profs Andrew Prentice and Susan Jebb at the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre. Her primary nutrition training was at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Since then, Fiona has continued to study the regulation of energy balance, focusing both on over- and undernutrition. Specific research interests include the acute (postprandial) and longer term effects of nutrients on serum and non-serum makers of metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes, the link between obesity and inflammation, diet quality, and more recently, undernutrition and HIV treatment outcome in the developing world.

Fiona has been invited to advise the Irish Government on the TV advertising of unhealthy food and drink to children and the ACT Government (Australian Capital Territory) on the Public School Food and Drink Policy Policy. Fiona is Chair of the British Dietetics Association South West Branch and Editor of Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (UK)

Fiona has practiced as a dietitian in the NHS, has held Faculty positions at a number of research-intensive universities including Trinity College Dublin, Australian National University and the University of Auckland, and has significant teaching experience in the area of nutritional physiology. 

Current projects include:

  1. Evaluation and validation of a breath ammonia measurement technology for the improved management of patients with urea cycle defects

  2. Diet and exercise intervention to improve blood lipid and lipid fractions in young people with familial hypercholesterolaemia and their affected parents: a feasibility study

  3. Dietary intervention to improve glycaemic control in young people with cystic fibrosis and altered glucose handling: A feasibility study

  4. Are Food and Drink Retailers within NHS Venues adhering to NICE Quality Standard 94 Guidance on Childhood Obesity?

    1. A James, L Birch, P Fletcher, S Pearson, C Boyce, AR Ness, J Hamilton-Shield, FE Lithander (2017) Are food and drink retailers within NHS venues adhering to NICE Quality Standard 94 guidance on childhood obesity? A cross-sectional study of two large secondary care NHS hospitals in England. BMJ Open, Accepted

  5. NOURISH: Nutrition and Treatment Outcome: A Ugandan-Irish HIV Nutrition Research Cluster 

  6. Personalized cardio-metabolic responses to an eight-week anti-inflammatory nutrition intervention in obese adolescents

    1. Connaughton RM, McMorrow AM, McGillicuddy FC, Lithander FE, Roche HM. Impact of anti-inflammatory nutrients on obesity-associated metabolic-inflammation from childhood through to adulthood. Proc Nut Soc 2016

    2. McMorrow AM, Connaughton RM, Lithander FE, Roche HM. Adipose tissue dysregulation and metabolic consequences in childhood and adolescent obesity: potential impact of dietary fat quality. Proc Nut Soc 2015

  7. Sun exposure and Vitamin D Study

  8. Dietary intake and multiple sclerosis; Results from the AusImmune Study

    1. Hoare, Lithander et al. Higher intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is associated with a decreased risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination: Results from the Ausimmune Study. Mult Scler 2016

    2. Dietary factors and risk of MS: dietary inflammation index and antioxidant intake

  9. Lifestyle of women with previous gestational diabetes

    1. Zulfiqar T, Lithander FE et al Barriers to a healthy lifestyle post gestational-diabetes: An Australian qualitative study.

    2. Zilfiqar et al Why Australian-born and overseas-born mothers with post gestational diabetes struggle to implement health advice for their 3-4 year old children 



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