Diabetes Specialist Group - 'Dietitian like me: Research skills for diabetes dietitians' Webinar series.

Hosted by Diabetes Specialist Group

The Diabetes Specialist Group Committees are excited to invite you to our two part webinar series on Wednesday 15 March and Wednesday 22 March. The aim of the webinars is to give an introduction to the role we have as clinical dietitians in contributing to the evidence around preventing, treating, and helping people living with diabetes.

As dietitians, we are natural investigators and scientists. This webinar series will introduce the importance of asking questions, exploring the literature, and sharing projects across the profession and beyond.

Often, those of us working on the ground in clinical practice don’t feel we have enough time to engage in research. These webinars offer an opportunity to consider our role in asking questions, audit and research, to explore opportunities for funding… and more!

We have an exciting line up of speakers including:

Dr Carmel Smart,  APD, PhD, Senior Diabetes Dietitian and Clinical Research Fellow,  John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Australia - 

Dr Carmel Smart is an international authority on nutrition and Type 1 Diabetes who works as a Senior Specialist Endocrinology Dietitian at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle. She holds conjoint positions with the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute. Carmel leads a clinical research team in type 1 diabetes with the main research interests being strategies to optimise glycaemia and reduce the daily burden of living with type 1 diabetes. Carmel was a recipient of the inaugural Hunter Health Clinical Research Fellowship and is on the Council of the Australian and New Zealand Endocrinology Society and the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. Dr Smart has led international clinical practice guidelines in type 1 diabetes and is an invited member of the JDRF International Exercise Advisory Group and the Technology for Type 1 Diabetes Living Guideline Project. Recently Carmel was the recipient of the Michelle Beets award for outstanding achievement in the advancement of Children’s Health and the Hunter Research Foundation Researcher of the Year.

John Pemberton, Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Dietitian, Birmingham Women's and Children's Foundation Trust

John is a diabetes dietitian with type 1 diabetes who helps empower children with diabetes to self-manage their condition. His niche is harnessing new technologies (CGM & AID & coding) to re-establish foundational principles of a healthy lifestyle (three balanced meals, an hour of activity per day, and being active after eating) by creating innovative structured education. 

He is the creator of the award-winning "CGM Academy" which teaches Dynamic Glucose Management. He is a co-author of the ISPAD 2022 Exercise Guidelines. He co-created the award-winning virtual school's diabetes teaching program in response to COVID-19. He has implemented many effective service solutions such as a high HbA1c pathway and the KISS system for giving extra insulin for high-fat meals. 

He is currently very concerned about the regulation of CGM and AID systems in Europe. He is trying his best to raise the consciousness to foster a desire for the diabetes community to get it changed.

His favourite creation is the education program he has set up for his family, in case his children develop type 1 diabetes - www.theglucoseneverlies.com 

Dr Duane Mellor, Associate Dean and Registered Dietitian, Aston University

Dr Duane Mellor is a dietitian, researcher, and educator with over 90 publications (https://research.aston.ac.uk/en/persons/duane-mellor) in nutrition, dietetics, and diabetes.

Their doctoral research investigated the glycaemic and cardiovascular effects of chocolate in people with type 2 diabetes and has since taken an interest in how research is communicated. Linking this interest to how evidence is used to justify medical and dietetic messages he has recently published about the loss of research meaning can occur between the paper and the public media coverage. In this session they will talk about how to quickly read a paper, identifying what is mostly author opinion and there to simply justify the papers column space from what actually tells you if the paper contains anything meaningful and useful for your dietetic practice.

Julie Johnson, Paediatric Dietitian and Researcher, University of Stirling

Julie graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2005 with a Master of Nutrition degree. She initially worked for East & North Herts PCT and Milton Keynes NHS foundation Trust. In 2009 she moved to the remote Scottish island of Shetland where she was head of the dietetic service until 2011 when she moved to Somerset to work as a Specialist Paediatric Dietitian for Yeovil NHS Foundation Trust. She then moved back to Scotland in 2013, this time to the Highlands. She has remained there ever since and is currently the Paediatric Dietetic Lead for the Highland Council in Inverness based at Raigmore Hospital. She manages and professionally leads a small team of paediatric dietitians and support staff. Her clinical specialty is paediatric diabetes.

Since 2017, Julie has been enrolled in the Clinical Doctorate programme with the University of Stirling. Julie’s area of research interest is postprandial hyperglycaemia and as part of her doctorate she is Chief Investigator for The BREAK study (the Breakfast Rise, Education and Knowledge Study in CYP with TID). Since 2020 she has worked with dietitians throughout the UK and they have successfully recruited participants for the first phase of this study and are now enrolling participants for the second phase.

Julie lives in a traditional Scottish cottage in a Highland glen which she has been renovating with her partner. She spends her leisure time walking and enjoying the varied flora and fauna of the Scottish Highlands.

Candice Ward, CDEP Lead

Candice is an Expert Diabetes Educator and Dietitian.   She has worked passionately over the years supporting the delivery of diabetes healthcare education at scale with the aim to reduce variation in diabetes care, improve patient safety and outcomes in a variety of roles such as leading the Cambridge Diabetes Education Programme (CDEP) and training manager for the CamAPS FX closed-loop insulin pump delivery system (CamDiab). 

Candice has a particular clinical interest in Type 1 Diabetes and the use of diabetes technology. 

More speakers to follow 


  • Diabetes Specialist Group Member Free
  • BDA Member £20
  • BDA Student Member Free
  • Non BDA Member £60
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