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Senior research officer

MSc (Nutrition), RNutr, PhD

Dr Rachelle Pretorius is a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) and senior research officer in Epidemiology, diabetes and obesity. She is particularly interested in understanding the influence of early life environment and exposures, such as nutrition during pregnancy and early childhood, on later life disease outcomes.

After ten years of working in the industry as a global regulatory and scientific affairs manager, Rachelle commenced a career in research and academia. Rachelle completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia. Her PhD project was part of the SYMBA Study ( a sub-project of The ORIGIN project) – Promoting Gut Health (SYMBiosis) for Allergy prevention. Her PhD focused on maternal dietary fibre intake during pregnancy and maternal and infant metabolic and immune health outcomes.

Currently, Rachelle is working on the Australian arm of the EU Child Cohort Network “Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health.” Her work aims to assess the influence of early-life risk factors on child development.

Her current research focus includes assessing:

  • Maternal gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnancy and developmental programming of neurodevelopment disorders
  • DNA methylation-based exposure score for maternal smoking during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood.
  • Education and Qualifications