Gastroenterology

    Research areas

  • breath hydrogen tests, enteric nervous system, mucosal immunity, antibiotics, probiotics, diet, breath test, fructose malabsorption, lactulose, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, breath testing, carbohydrates, detary therapy, fodmaps, gastrointestinal symptoms, irritabl, cereals, fructans, fructooligosaccharides, fructose, galactooligosacch, high-performance liquid chromatography, sugar polyols, galactooli, enteral nutrition, diarrhea, enteral, formula, fodmap, irritable bowel syndrome, functional gut disorders, ileostomy, probi

Biography

Jaci is an Accredited Practising Dietitian employed by Central Clinical School as a Senior Lecturer. She is involved primarily in the supervision of dietetic and science honours students and research design for studies investigating the role of diet in gastrointestinal disorder management. Jaci is also the coordinator of the Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment Questionnaire (CNAQ), an online Food Frequency Questionnaire developed during her PhD tenure.



Jaci graduated with a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2001. After six years of clinical dietetic work, including significant experience in gastroenterology wards, Jaci commenced her PhD under the supervision of Professor Peter Gibson. Her thesis was entitled "The Role of FODMAPs in Gastrointestinal Disorders" and included four studies; 1) The mechanism of FODMAPs studied in ileostomates confirming that FODMAP carbohydrates induce an osmotic effect and are poorly absorbed, therefore explaining their role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), 2) The effect of Yakult on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in IBS, a pilot trial suggesting Yakult may be effective in normalising fermentation patterns suggestive of SIBO and may improve symptoms of wind, 3) A prevalence study on fructose and lactose across various gastrointestinal disorders, highlighting the high prevalence of fructose and lactose malabsorption in inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn's disease, apparently unrelated to disease activity, and 4) The development and validation of a Food Frequency Questionnaire able to analyse intake of major macro- and micro-nutrients and FODMAPs.

Since completing her PhD in 2009, Jaci has been working part time within the department, spending most of her time supervising dietetic and science honours students and creating an online version of the Food Frequency Questionnaire, developed during her PhD. This FFQ has been named the Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment Questionnaire (CNAQ) and is the first FFQ to analyse a variety of macro- and micro-nutrients and FODMAPs in an automated online system. The CNAQ is due to be launched in November 2012.

Jaci has a keen interest in diet and its role in bowel health and disease. She is keen to further investigate microbiological aspects of gastrointestinal disorders, such as IBS and Crohn's disease, as well as considering the role of probiotics and prebiotics for bowel health. Jaci is also now looking at the role of food chemicals in gastrointestinal disorders, specifically salicylates and amines, and the mechanism by which they induce symptoms.

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