Recognition for Early Career Researcher Dr Emma Beckett
Dr Emma Beckett, B.BiomedSc (Hons), GDip (ClinEpi), MSc.Mngt, PhD (Food Science) has been recognised as an Achiever in the Beryl Nashar Young Researcher Award in the 2019 Alumni Awards.
Dr Emma Beckett is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow at the University of Newcastle. Her research area is in the field of molecular nutrition focusing on gene-nutrient-environment interactions, in which she brings her experience in immunology, microbiology, food science and human nutrition.
She is a frequent guest speaker for schools, community and corporate events, radio programs and popular science podcasts.
Emma's undergraduate study was in biomedical science with an honours year in immunology and microbiology, followed by four years working in asthma and allergy research at UON. However, for her PhD, Emma wished to explore a new topic that really inspired her: diet and epigenetics. “I’m a twin, so I was already thinking that one of the only things different about me and my twin sister is diet. So I decided that I wanted to do a project exploring that and found the nutrition group here on the Central Coast to explore my project.”
A 2016 NHMRC Early Career Fellowship came at the perfect time for expanding her career independently of her PhD supervisors. “I can now recruit students and look to explore the complex interactions between diet, the microbiome, genetics and epigenetics – with the aim of leading to a better understanding of our risk for, and the effective treatment of, diet-related disease.”
Emma’s current research brings her previous work experience together with her undergraduate and postgraduate by assessing gene-nutrient interactions. “I’m interested in how the genes you have can influence how you taste, process or detect food in your body. But also about how the food you eat changes the way your genes are expressed.”
Congratulations on your achievements Emma.