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Dr Helen White


About Dr Helen White

Dr Helen White is Subject Group Head for the Nutrition and Dietetic Group in the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences. She is an HCPC Registered Dietitian, HCPC Partner and a Fellow of the HEA.

Helen joined the University in 2004 and prior to this held a number of dietetic posts within the NHS, specialising in acute medicine, elderly medicine, paediatrics and cystic fibrosis. She completed her first degree in Applied Biology (University of Bradford) and Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics (Leeds Beckett University). In 2008 she went on to complete an MSc (Health Research) at University Leeds and PG Certificate in Higher Education (Leeds Beckett University). Her PhD by Published Work (Leeds Beckett University) in 2015, examined nutritional interventions in an ageing population with Cystic fibrosis. Helen undertook a dual lecturing and NHS dietetic role until moving to a full time Principal lecturing post in 2012; becoming Subject Group Head for Nutrition and Dietetics in 2016.

Current Teaching

Helen provides teaching input into:

  • BSc(Hons) Dietetics
  • MSc Dietetics
  • MSc Nutrition
  • MSc Nutrition in Practice
  • MSc Clinical Nutrition, in the areas of respiratory disease, cystic fibrosis, and dissertation supervision.

She is a supervisor for 3 PhD students.

Research Interests

Helen’s research interests lie within three areas: the evaluation of nutritional interventions in healthy ageing and chronic disease, interventions to improve adherence in chronic disease, and the use of electronic record data and digital technology to predict disease outcomes.

Nutritional interventions in healthy ageing and chronic disease: Helen has experience in researching nutritional interventions in the areas of healthy ageing and chronic respiratory disease, including cystic fibrosis. As part of collaborative research teams at University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University, she has been part of a number of studies examining essential amino acid supplementation in healthy ageing and nutritional and enteral supplementation in chronic disease.

Adherence in chronic disease: Adherence to long term medication and treatments is reported to be as low as 50%. Having led early studies to identify novel markers of clinical variation to detect and measure adherence, Helen currently leads a pharmaceutical industry funded RCT into the impact of on-line interventions in adherence. Further studies have also explored patient engagement with their electronic clinical record in chronic disease, determining their requirements for direct access to their record and the impact of inputting their own data to their ECR.

The Impact of Gut Dysbiosis on Lung Inflammation Funded by a strategic research centre grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a series of studies led and in conjunction with partners from University Leeds, University Cambridge, Sanger Institute Lausanne and Melbourne) aim to characterise the gut microbiome and the influence of diet (particularly short chain fatty acids) on the gut microbiome in cystic fibrosis.

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