Andrew's research topic is type 2 diabetes (T2), looking at how blood sugar levels respond to eating and physical activity.
He uses cutting edge technology to measure blood sugar control over short periods of time.
"I use glucose monitors that record your blood sugar every five minutes, and measure a protein in blood that reflects blood sugar control over the past two weeks."
He also investigates what people with T2 understand about the foods they eat and their effect on blood sugar.
Diabetes as a step to wider understanding
"I moved to New Zealand just so I could work for Professor Mann! And the fishing."
Andrew is training now to gain a solid understanding of T2. Then he hopes to move into other chronic diseases that affect New Zealand:
- Heart disease
- The metabolic syndrome
His particular interest is what dietary patterns and physical activity best reduce risk of these diseases.
From finance to health sciences
Before beginning his study Andrew worked in finance in a desk job.
"Lot's of sitting around, work stress and morning teas! When I got talking with some colleagues about their diabetes I realised we need to know more about T2 and we need better communication between health professionals and their patients."
Andrew completed a BSc majoring in biochemistry and human nutrition from La Trobe University (Australia) and the University of Oslo (Norway). He completed a European MSc in food science, technology and nutrition conferred by universities in Ireland, Germany, Portugal, and Belgium.
"Fishing! Tramping and renovating my house. I work 7 days because I'm really keen to get the most out of my work for Professor Mann. I will get away to Central Otago to do some fishing when I can, but work is important to me. I run a lot and play squash to stay active, and spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen tinkering with different foods and making big meals!"