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Childhood Disorders

This research area is led by Professor Julian Hamilton Shield from the School of Clinical Sciences. He is supported by Dr Elanor Hinton (Senior Research Associate) and Dr Fiona Lithander (Dietician and Study Manager). Researchers include, Dr Georgina Williams (Clinical PhD Student), Dr Toby Candler (GRID Trainee Endocrinology and Diabetes: soon to travel to MRC Unit in Gambia), Dr Ruth Mears (GP ACF), Miss Fiona Kinnear (Dietician and PhD Student), Miss Jennifer Cox (Psychologist and PhD Student), Miss Laura Birch (Dietician and PhD student) and Ms Sarah Trace (Dietician and MSc student, University of Plymouth). 

We have on-going, active collaborations with the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit in Bristol (Genetic epidemiology), Loughborough University (Exercise) and Imperial College (Dietary).

The overall aim is to identify practical, nutrition related interventions in chronic disorders of childhood such as obesity, obesity co-morbidities and diabetes that improve long-term health.

Some specific studies include:

  • Diet and exercise intervention to improve blood lipid and lipid fractions in young people with familial
  • The dietary management of Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes in adolescence and early adult life
  • Altering eating behaviours and choices to improve weight loss in young people with obesity
  • Evaluations of weight management services for children, benefit and cost effectiveness and adherence to NICE                     guidelines
  • Investigating near-patient devices to improve the care of children with diabetes both acurately and long term (industry           collaborations) 
  • Cohort development to study impact of early feeding on immune responses of children with Down's syndrome (FADES)
  • Improving the care of children with urea cycle defects through regular non-traumatic ammonia measurement (industry           collaboration: NIHR i4i Award)
  • Developing exercise interventions to improve the health of children with chronic asthma  

Other areas of interest and research include Type 1 and 2 diabetes in young people, the food environment in hospitals and genetic epidemiology of child obesity.

Child Disorders