Personal details

Name
Adjunct Professor Nuala Byrne
Position(s)
Adjunct Professor
Faculty of Health,
School - Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Exercise and Nutrition - HDHS
Discipline *
Human Movement and Sports Science, Nutrition and Dietetics
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), MAppSc (Research) (Queensland University of Technology), BHMS (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations

 

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Prof Byrne undertakes mechanistic experimental research and clinically-relevant applied research in the aetiology, prevention, treatment and management of one of the world’s greatest current health challenges, obesity. This research is driven by the goal to assist the National agenda to prevent unhealthy weight gain, and to find better ways to help individuals who are already overweight/obese to achieve effective weight loss and to successfully prevent weight regain.  Prof Byrne undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Division of Physiology and Metabolism, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At UAB, she provided expertise in the area of exercise training in the conduct of the NIH-funded ROMEO and JULIET diet and exercise interventions. Research findings from these studies have had a major impact on the modification of international guidelines for physical activity promotion and exercise prescription for the obese. Prof Byrne’s research is now conducted in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at QUT where she established the Energy Metabolism Group along with Co-Directors, Professor Andrew Hills, and more recently, Professor Neil King. Prof Byrne was awarded the prestigious Young Investigator Award in 2005 for the Australasian Association for the Study of Obesity (ASSO). In 2009 she was elected as President of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS; formally ASSO), the peak scientific and professional organisation for obesity prevention, treatment and management, becoming only the second non-medical practitioner to hold this appointment. In addition to her research responsibilities, Prof Byrne is Discipline Leader of the Exercise and Movement Science programs within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. 

Research Highlights 

  • 2004-6 NHMRC Project Grant (CIB): Energy cost of self-paced walking. The extent of the impact of this research can be demonstrated by a publication in the Journal of Applied Physiology that was cited in the “Year Book of Sports Medicine” for 2006. The Year Book highlights articles identified as the year’s breakthrough developments in sports medicine, selected from more than 500 journals worldwide.
  • 2004-2007 managed the QUT arm of a large ($750,000) NHMRC Type 2 Diabetes Partnership Grant in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Queensland.
  • 2005-2009 ATN Universities Research Challenge ($1,985,000) to develop and fund the ATN Centre for Metabolic Fitness over a 5-year period. The focus of the Centre was to support research into diet and lifestyle strategies to optimise health and reduce the burden of obesity-related disease.
  • 2008-2010 NHMRC Project Grant (AI): ‘The effect of diet and exercise on the metabolic, histologic and inflammatory consequences of chronic liver diseases.’ (Hickman I, Macdonald G, Prins J, O’Moore-Sullivan T, Byrne NM, Hills AP) ($517,000).
  • 2008-2011 NHMRC Project Grant (CIA): Improving long-term weight loss by deactivating the human famine reaction ($771,000).
  • 2006-2011 funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to undertake a series of large-scale multi-country projects to assess the relationship between body fat and metabolic risk in children and adolescents. This initiative has made a significant contribution to research capacity building of researchers from more than 15 developing countries. Findings from these studies will make a significant contribution to moving the nutrition agenda forward globally. Also funded by the IAEA to undertake research into the nutritional status of Ugandan women living with HIV/AIDS.
  • 2012-2014 NHMRC Project Grant (CIA): Achieving more effective weight loss with intermittent energy restriction ($976,175).
  • 2012-2015 NHMRC Project Grant (CIB): Long-Term Effects of Very Low Energy Diet versus Conventional Diet on Adiposity, Lean Body Mass, Muscle Strength and Bone Density in Obese Adults, and Mechanisms Promoting Changes ($890,900).
  • State-of-the-art methodologies in body composition assessment, total daily energy expenditure, resting and exercise metabolism, substrate utilisation and energy intake, and appetite regulation assessment.
  • Extensive experience managing dietary and exercise interventions for weight loss and metabolic health improvement in obese, diabetic, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and numerous other clinical groups.
  • Management of the Energy Metabolism Group and co-ordination of concurrent research projects in multiple laboratories (exercise physiology, exercise training, biochemistry and mass spectrometry, body composition assessment, appetite, and resting metabolism). Under Prof Byrne’s leadership, the productivity of the research group has grown consistently over the last 5 years.

 Research Interests   

  • Markers of exercise intensity
  • Measuring energy expenditure during exercise and physical activity
  • Dose-response relationship between exercise and health outcomes
  • Co-morbidities of obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic, physiologic, metabolic and psychosocial predictors of weight gain.
This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Nuala Byrne.

Teaching

This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Nuala Byrne.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Long-term effects of very low energy diet versus conventional diet on adiposity, lean body mass, muscle strength and bone density in obese adults, and mechanisms promoting changes
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1026005
Start year
2012
Keywords
Title
Achieving more effective weight loss with intermittent energy restriction
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1030705
Start year
2013
Keywords
obesity; nutrition; energy expenditure; energy intake; energy metabolism
Title
Developing a Novel Method for Delivering a Behavioural Intervention for Decreasing Morbidity in Women with a Chronic Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0882338
Start year
2008
Keywords
Preventative Health; Nursing; Postmenopausal Women; Health Behaviour; Womens Health; Chronic Disease
Title
Improving Successful Long-term Weight Loss by Deactivating the Human Famine Reaction
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
497223
Start year
2008
Keywords
Body Weight Regulation; Obesity; Neuroendocrinology; Energy Metabolism; Weight Loss
Title
Energy Cost of Self-paced Walking in Obese Adults
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
290529
Start year
2004
Keywords
Energy Expenditure; Body Composition; Obesity

Supervision