The change for me has been the multi-disciplinary teams that we work in. It has been interesting to work with researchers from different backgrounds, and I was introduced to research that I have not been exposed to before. For example, I am now working with food technologists, which means my clinical findings can be translated into products, that are feasible for consumers on the market. My background in clinical research means I have been able to help scientists without this expertise, to help them, give advice, and conduct clinical trials.
At the Riddet Institute, I have the freedom to show initiative in my research and the support to develop useful skills for my future career. I am a project leader and I have been able to develop a strong network with both researchers and industry partners. This has been a steep learning curve but the skills I am developing will be very useful for my future career. I have a passion for research but I do like to see applicable results. I can see myself moving into industrial R&D where I can work on projects that are going to deliver products to the market to improve human health. The Riddet Institute collaboration with industry is a great pathway to get there.”
Dr Caroline Giezenaar completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, Australia, in May 2018. Her research focused on the effects of ageing on whey protein digestion, metabolism and energy intake regulation, with the goal to optimise protein supplementation strategies for older malnourished adults. During her PhD, she published several articles in high-impact nutrition and geriatrics journals, and she received of multiple awards, including a research medal for academic excellence.
Caroline joined the Riddet Institute in September 2018, where she focusses on the digestion, absorption and metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan following ingestion of different protein sources. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin and melatonin, which regulate mood, sleep, and cognitive function. With her research, Caroline aims to investigate whether tryptophan-rich protein has the ability to increase brain serotonin and melatonin production.