Cross-cutting speakers

Prof. Silvia Corvera

Professor and Endowed Chair, Diabetes Research, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, United States

Silvia Corvera, MD, is the Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, and a Professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine. Her laboratory focuses on human adipose tissue development and its relationship to systemic metabolism and type 2 diabetes. In particular, her focus is on identifying the full complement of diverse human adipocyte subtypes, their developmental mechanisms, and their physiological roles. Her lab has pioneered the use of species-hybrid models to study the development of adipose tissues from multipotent mesenchymal progenitor cells residing in different human adipose depots.

In addition to her research activities, Dr. Corvera is dedicated to efforts towards developing a strong biomedical workforce. She was director of the UMASS MD/PhD program, which was funded through a Medical Scientist Training Program by the National Institutes of Health from 2017 to 2022. She developed and directed the Clinical Translational Research pathway for the School of Medicine, which provides longitudinal research training opportunities to medical students. She was elected to the AAMC-GREAT group MD/PhD Steering Committee in 2020.

Dr. Corvera serves on multiple national advisory committees. She currently serves as a member of the National Institutes of Health Endocrinology/BMDM Study Section, and as a member of the National Advisory Committee for the PEW Latin American Fellows Program. She served as the Chair of the Mentor Advisory Group for the new “Pathway to Stop Diabetes” of the American Diabetes Association from 2017 to 2019, and as a member of the Research Policy Committee from 2017 to 2021. She served on the Chartered NIH-NIDDK, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee from 2014 to 2018. She has served on the editorial boards of Diabetes (2003-2005) the Journal of Biological Chemistry (2000-2003), and FASEB Journal (current).

Assoc. Prof. Andrew Holmes

Associate Professor, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Australia

Andrew has general interests understanding the role of microbial communities in both human and environmental health. An often-overlooked aspect of host control of microbes is via regulation of intestinal nutrient availability. He has particular interests in the relationship between the availability of food in the environment, how this shapes the behaviour of animals and the role of gut microbes in influencing the animal health outcomes.

A focus of his work has been the application of the geometric framework to investigate mechanisms of manipulation of host-microbe interaction in the gut via diet regimes or food supplements. Such understanding is applied in the development of modelling tools that enable the prediction of diet intervention outcomes or can inform development of regulatory guidelines.

Andrew is in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney where he is also Microbiome Project node leader in the Charles Perkins Centre, and Co-leader of the Food for Health theme of the Centre for Advanced Food Engineering. He is a Fellow of Food Standards, Australia, New Zealand (FSANZ) and Editor-in-Chief, Reviews for The ISME Journal.

Selected papers:

Simpson et al. (2022) Diet-driven microbial ecology underpins associations between cancer immunotherapy outcomes and the gut microbiome. Nature Medicine

Wali et al. (2021) Impact of dietary carbohydrate type and protein-carbohydrate interaction on metabolic health. Nature Metabolism 3:810-828

Koay YC, et al (2019) Ingestion of resistant starch by mice markedly increases microbiome-derived metabolites. FASEB Journal. 33:8033-8042

Holmes AJ, et al. (2017) Diet-Microbiome interactions in health are controlled by intestinal nitrogen source constraints. Cell Metabolism 25: 140-151.

Prof. Anna Peeters

Director, Institute for Health Transformation and Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Peeters is Director of the Institute for Health Transformation and Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University. She is Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International Policy Advisory Group (2015-ongoing), sits on the Board of Obesity Australia (2017-ongoing), the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) (2019-ongoing), and Western Health (2022-ongoing).

She was the recipient of the prestigious World Obesity Federation Andre Mayer Award (2014) for research excellence and a Churchill Award (2014) for innovative work in equity and population prevention. As a public health researcher, she works to provide information to facilitate objective and equitable choices in health by policy makers, practitioners and the public.

Ms. Clare Mullen

Acting Executive Director, Health Consumers’ Council, Western Australia

Clare has worked in change management and communications roles in the health and social care systems in the UK and Australia for over 20 years including leadership roles at the UK Department of Health, the WA Department of Health, and the WA Primary Health Alliance. She is currently the Acting Executive Director at the Health Consumers’ Council in Western Australia. 

In that role she coordinates the WELL (Weight Education and Lifestyle Leadership) Collaborative, a cross-sectoral network of people with both lived and learned experience with an interest in weight and health. She brings an understanding of this topic based on her own lived and learned experience, as well as from insights shared by hundreds of consumers over the last four years in a collaboration with the WA Department of Health, the WA Primary Health Alliance and the Health Consumers’ Council WA.

She is passionate about creating opportunities for people who use the health system and people who work in the health system to work together to improve health outcomes.