Professor Robert Gibson

Contact details:
8313 4333

BSc, PhD

Brief biography:

Professor Robert Gibson is a senior NHMRC Research Fellow, and Director of the FOODplus Research Centre in the University of Adelaide. He holds Affiliate status with the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme at SAHMRI and is a key collaborator with Professor Maria Makrides and her team.

Robert is a clinical biochemist/nutritionist who has published over 300 peer reviewed papers in a variety of paediatric, nutrition and biochemical journals. He has designed and conducted a range of randomised clinical trials involving nutrition interventions in the perinatal period. He has tested the effects of interventions with iron, selenium, probiotics, nucleotides and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on infant biochemistry, growth, physiology and developmental outcome. Prof Gibson is committed to linking Agriculture & Food production to the needs of improving human health.

Prof Gibson was awarded the 2003 Nutrition Society of Australia, Research Medal and in 2004 was made a Fellow, Nutrition Society of Australia. In 2012 he was awarded the Alexander Leaf Distinguished Scientist Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He established the FOODplus Research Centre in 2009:


1971–74 Australian Post-graduate Scholarship

1974–76 CSIRO Post-doctoral Fellowship

1997 Honorary member, South African Paediatric Association

2000 Research Medal, Nutrition Society of Australia (inaugural medal, awarded for excellence in nutrition research for work undertaken in Australia)

2001 Honorary member, South African Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition

2001 Inaugural Nutrition Society of Australia Medal, Nutrition Society of Australia

2004 Fellow, Nutrition Society of Australia (recognising the contribution to the Society and to nutrition research)

2012 Alexander Leaf Distinguished Scientist Award - International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)

Selected publications – past five years:

1. Miller J, Makrides M, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, Stanford TE, Morris S, Ryan P, Collins CT. Effect of increasing the protein content of human milk fortifier on growth in preterm infants born <31 wk gestation: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:648-655.

2. Palmer DJ, Sullivan T, Gold MS, Prescott SL, Heddle R, Gibson RA, Makrides M. Effect of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) supplementation in pregnancy on infant allergies in the first year of life. BMJ 2012;344:e184

3. Zhou SJ, Yelland LN, McPhee AJ, Quinlivan J, Gibson RA, Makrides M. Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy does not reduce the risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:1378-84.

4. Gibson RA, Neumann MA, Lien EL, Boyd KA, Tu WC. Docosahexaenoic acid synthesis from alpha-linolenic acid is inhibited by diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2013;88:139-46.

5. Zhou SJ, Anderson A, Gibson RA, Makrides M. Effect of iodine supplementation in pregnancy on child development and other clinical outcomes: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:1241-54.

6. Liu G, Mühlhäusler BS, Gibson RA. A method for long term stabilisation of longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids in dried blood spots and its clinical application. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2014;91(6):251-60.

7. Makrides M, Gould JF, Gawlik NR, Yelland LN, Smithers LG, Anderson PJ, Gibson RA. Four-year follow-up of children born to women in a randomized trial of prenatal DHA supplementation. JAMA 2014;311:1802-1804.

8. Muhlhausler BS, Gibson RA, Yelland LN, Makrides M. Heterogeneity in cord blood DHA concentration: towards an explanation. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2014;91:135-140.

9. Zhou SJ, Sullivan T, Gibson RA, Lonnerdal B, Prosser CG, Lowry DJ, Makrides M. Nutritional adequacy of goat milk infant formulas for term infants: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. Brit J Nutr 2014;111:1641-1651.

10. Collins CT, Gibson RA, Anderson PJ, McPhee AJ, Sullivan TR, Gould JF, Ryan P, Doyle LW, Davis PG, McMichael JE, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 7 years' corrected age in preterm infants who were fed high-dose docosahexaenoic acid to term equivalent: a follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2015;5(3):e007314.

11. Collins CT, Sullivan TR, McPhee AJ, Stark MJ, Makrides M, Gibson RA. A dose response randomised controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in preterm infants. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2015;99:1-6

12. Huang Y, Clements P.R, Gibson RA. Robust measurement of vitamin A status in plasma and blood dried on paper. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2015;102-103:31-36.

13. Koletzko B, Fewtrell M, Gibson R, van Goudoever JB, Hernell O, Shamir R, Szajewska H on behalf of the Consensus Group on Outcome Measures Made in Paediatric Enteral Nutrition Clinical Trials (COMMENT) and the Early Nutrition Project. Core Data Necessary for Reporting Clinical Trials on Nutrition in Infancy. Ann Nutr Metab 2015;66(1):31-35.

14. Liu G, Muhlhausler BS, Gibson RA. Evaluation of contamination associated with current blood spot technology for determining the fatty acid status of individuals. Eur J Lipid Sci Tech 2015;117:1280-86.

15. Collins CT, Gibson RA, Makrides M, McPhee AJ, Sullivan TR, Davis PG, Rajadurai, N3RO Investigative Team. The N3RO trial: a randomised controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid to reduce bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants < 29 weeks' gestation. BMC Pediatrics, 2016;16(1):72.

16. Gibson RA. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) requirement for brain development: A personal view. Oilseed and Fats, Crops and Lipids 2016;23:D115.

17. Gould JF, Treyvaud K, Yelland LN, Anderson PJ, Smithers LG, Gibson RA, McPhee AJ, Makrides M. Does n-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy increase the IQ of children at school age? Follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 2016;6(5):e011465.

18. Koletzko B, Fewtrell M, Gibson R, Van Goudoever JB, Hernell O, Shamir R, Szajewska H. Core data necessary for reporting clinical trials on nutrition in infancy. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016;114:51.

19. Muhlhausler BS, Yelland LN, McDermott R, Tapsell L, McPhee A, Gibson RA, Makrides M. DHA supplementation during pregnancy does not reduce BMI or body fat mass in children: follow-up of the DHA to Optimize Mother Infant Outcome randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2016;103(6):1489-1496.

20. Yelland LN, Makrides M, McPhee AJ, Quinlivan J, Gibson RA. Importance of adequate sample sizes in fatty acid intervention trials. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 2016;107:8-11.

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