Associate Professor Stijn Soenen joined Bond University in 2019. He is a clinical researcher, with a passion to teach, who specialises in nutrition. He completed a Bachelor in Nutrition and Dietetics (Leuven, Belgium), and a Master (high distinction) and PhD in Biological Health Sciences at Maastricht University (Maastricht, the Netherlands). In 2011, he relocated to Australia to expand his research skills within the NHMRC CCRE in Nutritional Physiology, Interventions and Outcomes and the CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health supported by the Mary Overton and Florey Fellowships from the Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Foundation (2011-18). He maintains strong links with the CRE at the University of Adelaide and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).
Dr Soenen has established an international reputation in the field of physiological mechanisms underlying energy balance (the regulation of energy intake and energy expenditure), particularly on the role of dietary protein on body weight, muscle mass and function, which is of major importance to health outcomes. He leads a program of research relating to malnutrition, over- (eg, bariatric surgery patients) and undernutrition (frailty), and type 2 diabetes, in older people. His complex, and technically demanding, clinical studies, performed in internationally recognised research environments, have been published in leading journals in his field e.g., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
His research has been awarded on several occasions and supported by >$2M including a principal investigator Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART) Grant related to postprandial glucose metabolism in older people (CIA, 2019), an NHMRC grant related to muscle protein accretion in ICU patients (CIC, 2018-20), and a further 21 project grants. He regularly presents at national and international conferences, reviews papers, grant applications, student-research proposals and conference abstracts, and chairs conference sessions.
His PhD students have acquired several awards including a University Doctoral Research Medal, a Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence, the Endeavour Research Fellowship, the South Australia International Student Award for Academic Excellence in Postgraduate Research and top ranked abstracts, best poster or oral presentations at the Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition, the Australian Physiology Society Conference, the Australian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Conference, the Nutrition Society of Australia, and the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research.
Dr Soenen is passionate about sharing his extensive research expertise, obtained in internationally recognised leading research institutes in the Netherlands and Australia, with students. He has experience in curriculum development and review in a tertiary setting, lecturing nutrition and sport sciences subjects to large groups, tutoring smaller student groups and lab practical teaching. As attested to his successful approach of supervising Masters (23) and PhD (3) students and mentoring post-doctoral researchers (2), Dr Soenen build upon his international research experience and network, and practices his teaching philosophy of being approachable, working interactively and creating a positive, and inspiring, learning environment, to stimulate students to become well-educated critical thinkers who achieve their career goals.