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Australian nutrition expert awarded prestigious visiting professorship by world-renowned cancer institute

One of Australia’s leading experts in cancer-related nutrition has been awarded the 2014 Vivian Saykaly Visiting Professorship in Medical Oncology by the world-renowned Cedars Cancer Institute in Montreal.

Professor Liz Isenring, head of Bond University’s Nutrition and Dietetics programs, is the first allied health professional to receive this prestigious honour which has previously been awarded to North American-based medical, surgical and radiology specialists.

“It is a particular honour to receive this award because it highlights the important role that allied health professionals and, specifically, nutrition and dietetics play in improving care and quality of life for cancer patients,” said Professor Isenring.

“I was also touched that the Visiting Professorship is named in honour of Vivian Saykaly who was one of the founders of the Cedars Cancer Institute at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre and worked tirelessly for 48 years for the betterment of cancer care.”

Professor Isenring’s professorship visit encompassed five jam-packed days in Montreal meeting with oncologists, medical professionals, cancer support staff, medical students and researchers, as well as cancer patients and their families.

“Participating in the Cancer Rehabilitation/Cachexia Clinic on my final day was a real highlight and reminded me why I originally decided to work in this field,” said Professor Isenring who, in February this year, was appointed Chair of the global Nutrition and Cachexia Study Group for the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).

“The all-day clinic was held at McGill’s Nutrition and Performance Laboratory where you see hard evidence of the benefits that nutritional care brings to cancer patients and their carers.”

Professor Isenring’s visit has also opened the door to future collaborations between Bond University and Canadian researchers in this field with preliminary discussions held about the potential for an international nutrition study and joint research projects.

“There are a number of exciting opportunities for Bond University’s Nutrition and Dietetic programs that will eventuate from the contacts made during my visit to Montreal,” she said.

“Bond University aims to produce dieticians with a difference by giving every student the opportunity to complete an internship overseas with internationally recognised researchers working in highly specialised areas such as oncology nutrition, sports nutrition, and business and marketing.

“Establishing an on-going relationship with experts at the Cedars Cancer Institute and McGill University Health Centre will certainly expand the horizons for our Bond students.”

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