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Professor Robert Gibson

Telephone +61 8 8313 4333
Position Professor of Functional Food Science
Fax +61 8 8313 7135
Building Waite Building
Floor/Room GN 20
Campus Waite
Org Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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Biography/ Background

Prof Gibson is a biochemist/nutritionist who has published over 230 peer reviewed papers in a variety of paediatric, nutrition and biochemical journals. His work has been cited over 4,778 times in scholarly journals (over 200 citations per year since 2003). Average citation per item is 22 with an h-index of 37. Several papers enjoy high citation rates with 6 having over 150 citations each and 24 having over 50 citations each. Prof Gibson has been invited to write editorials for the Lancet, Paediatrics and the Medical Journal of Australia and his work published in the Am J Clin Nutr, the leading journal of his discipline, has been subject to invited editorials from other research leaders.

Prof Gibson has been actively involved in fatty acid research in cells, animals and humans for 25 years and has published over 100 papers in this area. He has designed and conducted many randomised clinical trials involving nutrition interventions in the perinatal period. The trials were designed to test the effects of interventions with iron, selenium, probiotics, nucleotides and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on infant biochemistry, growth, physiology and developmental outcome. Three RCTs are currently in progress – DINO: a National DHA-dose response study on mental development in 650 preterm infants, DOMInO: a National DHA in pregnancy study on postnatal depression and child development in approximately 2200 women/infants and N3RO: a study of N-3 fatty acids for the improvement of respiratory outcome in 1250 preterm infants.

Awards & Achievements

  • 1971-74 Australian Post-graduate Scholarship
  • 1974-76 CSIRO Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • 1997 Honorary member, South African Paediatric Association
  • 2000 Research Medal, Nutrition Society of Australia (inaugral medal, awarded for excellence in nutrition research for work undetaken in Australia)
  • 2001 Honorary member, South African Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition
  • 2001 Inaugural Nutrition Society of Australia Medal, Nutrition Society of Australia
  • 2004 Fellow, Nutrition Society of Australia. The most prestigious award of the Society.
  • 2006 Elected to the Board of Directors, International Society of the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)
  • 2012 Alexander Leaf Distinguished Scientist Award - International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)

Research Funding

Current NHMRC grants:

  • ID 570109; M Makrides, B Muhlhausler, RA Gibson, R McDermott, L Tapsell. Project Grant: Effect of prenatal n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on body mass in early childhood. 2009 $350,350; 2010 $258,350; 2011 $258,350; 2012 $258,350; 2013 $258,350.
  • ID: APP1022112; Collins CT, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, Thio M, Sullivan T, Simmer K, Rajadurai V. Project grant: N-3 fatty acids for the improvement of respiratory outcome in preterm infants (N3RO): a randomised controlled trial. 2012 for 3 years. $1,870,914.
  • ID: APP1035530; Makrides M, Gibson RA, Ryan P, Zhou SJ, Dodd J, McPhee AJ, Umberger W, Muhlhausler B, Collins CT, Penttila I. Centre of Research Excellence: Foods for Future Australians. 2012 for 5 years. $2,500,000.
  • ID: APP1046207; Gibson RA. Fellowship, PRF: 2013-2018 (2013 $130,553; 2014 $130,553; 2015 $130,553; 2016 $130,553; 2017 $130,553).
  • ID: APP1050468; Zhou SJ, Makrides M, Quinlivan J, McPhee AJ, Yelland L, Gibson RA. Omega 3 fats to Reduce the Incidence of Prematurity: The ORIP Trial. 2013 for 5 years. $4,021,840.

Other current grants:

  • The University of Adelaide; RA Gibson, M Makrides. FOODplus Research Centre Operating Grant. 2009 for 5 years; $1,250,000.
  • Mead Johnson; Collins CT, Makrides M, Gibson RA, Ryan P. Long-term follow-up of children born preterm who received high dose DHA: growth and allergy. 2011-2013; $186,054.
  • Clover Corporation; Collins CT, Gibson RA, Makrides M. Donation of study emulsion for N3RO study. 2012-2014; $250,000.


Professional Associations

  • NHMRC 2008 Project Grant Review Panel Member Selector Committee.
  • Board member, International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)
  • Member of Australian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
  • Member of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member of the Nutrition Society of Australia

Community Engagement

Recent invitations to speak at Conferences

  • 19th International Congress of Nutrition (ICN), Bangkok, Thailand, October 2009
  • WCOF: World Congress on Oils and Fats & 28th ISF, Australia, 2009
  • Nutrition Soceity of Australia workshop for Mid-career researchers, Newcastle, NSW, 2009
  • Nestle Nutrition Research Centre "Making food functional: FOODplus a new research centre", Vevey, Switzerland, 2009
  • 67th Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop, Marrakech, Morocco, March 2010
  • 9th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL), Maastricht, The Netherlands, May/June 2010
  • Danone Asia Pacific Nutrition Symposium, Suzhou, China, July 2010
  • French Lipid Society 2011, Paris, France, March 2011
  • Swedish Pediatric Society, Umea, Sweden, April 2011
  • 2011 ASEAN Pediatric Congress, Suntec, Singapore, April 2011
  • 10th Fatty Acids in Cell Signalling Meeting "Docosahexaenoic Acid in Translation Medicine", New Orleans, USA, November 2011
  • Reframing the Agenda; A National Forum on Food Security to 2050, Adelaide, SA, February 2012
  • 10th Congress of ISSFAL, Vancouver, Canada, May 2012
  • 45th Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Convention, Adelaide, SA, June 2012
  • ISSFAL/PSANZ special workshop on Lipids in Perinatal Care, Adelaide, SA, April 2013
  • Pfizer Educational Meetings, Adelaide and Perth, Aus, April/May 2013
  • The 46th Annual Meeting of ESPGHAN, London, UK, May 2013
  • 3rd Annual Wyeth Nutrition Global Summit, London, UK, May 2013


Entry last updated: Saturday, 1 Mar 2014

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