Kiri is a research dietitian investigating Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Finding dietary patterns that help treat NAFLD
Relatively little is known about this diverse population of people and there is currently no treatment for this disease. Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research is aiming to establish dietary patterns that will help treat NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease research project
High prevalence of elevated liver enzymes
The 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey showed a high prevalence of elevated liver enzymes in the NZ population. Kiri says a lot of people are unaware they have a fatty liver and it looks as though it is only going to become more prevalent. This is a chance to find out what these people are currently eating, what is going to be the optimal diet for them and have an impact on their health.
Becoming a researcher
Becoming familiar with the research process and the research environment are the most challenging elements at this stage. She is excited by the work and is considering PhD study in the future.
At school she felt she was best suited to the maths and science subjects and found these the easiest. She studied for a BSc at Massey University before coming to Dunedin to study for a MDiet at the University of Otago.
"I really enjoyed the physiology and nutrition papers so I just went with that."
Kiri's advice to aspiring researchers is to try some summer work in research and see if it is for you, and if so go for it!
Outside the lab
Outside of work she likes to do CrossFit at CrossFit Uncut and gymnastics at Dunedin Gymnastics Academy. She generally likes to be active after a day at her computer.
Palmerston North is home for Kiri. She likes heading back to the North Island to see her friends and family whenever she can.