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Sebastian is a Master's student in nutrition science at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University, Sweden. For his research thesis he looked for opportunities "really far away from home" in an English speaking country. With an interest in kayaking, hiking and climbing mountains, New Zealand seemed like the perfect match!

Research interest in type 2 diabetes

Sebastian is interested in public health research related to type 2 diabetes, which led him to touch base with the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre to explore opportunities in New Zealand. He became interested in a trial Professor Jim Mann and Dr Andrew Reynolds were hoping to run on whole grain particle size and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

This whole grain trial is comprised of two interventions in which whole grain foods are provided to participants in two different states. In one intervention the provided foods are of largely intact wholegrains, while in the other intervention fibre and wholegrain quantity is matched but the foods are finely milled into small particle size. Blood glucose levels are measured throughout the day with a continuous glucose monitor.

Sebastian arrived in New Zealand in August 2018, and has been in charge of data collection for the trial. He really enjoys learning from and talking with the study participants.

Work-life balance

As well as getting into his research project, Sebastian has been making the most of his time in New Zealand.

"When I first arrived, I was amazed by the rolling countryside out to the open sea. It's quite a contrast to the relatively flat Swedish landscape with a huge archipelago. Since then, Dunedin has really grown on me."

Otago and other parts of the South Island provide a great opportunity to kayak, tramp and climb mountains.

Sebastian Åberg

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