Dr Amanda Lloyd
BSc: Genetics and biochemistry PhD: Metabolomics and plant pathology
I have worked in the field of metabolomics since 2004, completing a Ph.D. and multiple post-doctoral research positions. Initially I was involved in projects concerning the identification of cancer biomarkers in human biofluids and the interactions of necrotrophic pathogens with plants. For the past decade I have been a member of the Diet, Exercise and Health Group with a keen interest in the development of metabolomics technology to investigate the detailed composition of food products and to track diet-derived metabolites in bio-fluids after food consumption. The group aims to link chemical phenotyping of plant/animal products and food raw materials with causal relationships between diet, exercise and health, aiming to address key bottlenecks in nutrition research. I have been the lead innovator in the research group’s collaborations with many prestigious academic teams in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal and Canada.
Within the Metabolomics and Diet and Health Teams, I am involved in the analysis of high dimensional ultra-high resolution metabolite fingerprinting and profiling data sets to identify and validate biomarkers of diet in human biofluids and to aid in the chemical phenotyping of plant/animal products. I am experienced in human bio- and meta-data handling, as well being skilled in data handling from tools for self-reporting dietary exposure and linking such data to metabolomics data. I have developed standardised protocols for nutritional metabolomics investigations for monitoring metabolic changes in response to both acute and habitual dietary exposure, identifying biomarkers associated with specific food consumption. I have aided in the development of a panel of urinary biomarkers of food intake (BFIs) for targeted quantification of diet exposure, alongside self-reporting methods.
I have been involved in experimental design of human nutritional intervention studies and developing urine collection methods in the community to objectively monitor diet at both the individual and population level, under ‘real world’ conditions. Using small posted samples collected in the home is a huge advantage to monitor individuals remotely. Recently I aided the design, establishment and supervision of a complex long-term clinical trial with collaborators in France, Spain and the UK. I am also a co-investigator/named researcher on a clinic-based study, which started in October 2020 (Healthy for my Baby) in the Sherbrooke region of Quebec, where multiple spot urine samples are being collected pre-conception and during pregnancy, following procedures developed by the Diet, Exercise and health Research group at Aberystwyth University.
The interest I have in developing health biomarkers led me into the role of Future Foods Clinical Trials Health Assessments & Scientific co-ordinator. Future Foods was a WEFO and Welsh Government funded programme, that ended in 2022, to provide practical and focused support for company-led R&D projects. I organised and managed clinical trials/food interventions, aided in undertaking health assessments, and the collection of biofluids for analytical analysis, focused on linking novel and enhanced foods to human health outcomes. During this role I was able to explore the use of dietary exposure monitoring and metabolomic technology into the future design of functional foods tailored for individual metabolic metabotypes. My long-term vision is that proactive and personalised prevention, including targeted support and tailored lifestyle advice, is required alongside traditional government public health strategies, empowering people with the right information to make healthier and more sustainable diet choices.
Currently I am CoI on five Welsh Government funded projects and PI on another project looking at enhancing and testing the health benefits of naturally supplemented foods and drinks, using high resolution metabolomic technology and multivariate modelling. These projects involve multiple food intervention trials coupled with biofluid collection, where metabolomics coupled with modelling is being used to explore putative health outcomes. I am a Researcher CoI on a recently awarded prestigious MRC programme grant 'SODIAT' integrating biomarker technologies, camera/imaging technology and self-report methods to generate a standardised and objective dietary intake assessment tool in habitual populations, including vulnerable and disadvantages communities.
I am currently PI on a Welsh government funded Covid Recovery grant and CoI on five Decarbonisation and Covid Challenge projects looking at the development of health-enhancing functional foods in Wales and running human food intervention trials. I am a Researcher CoI on a recently awarded prestigious MRC programme grant 'SODIAT' integrating biomarker technologies, camera/imaging technology and self-report methods to generate a standardised and objective dietary intake assessment tool in habitual populations, including vulnerable and disadvantages communities. I am also a co-investigator/named researcher on a clinic-based study, which started in October 2020 (Healthy for my Baby) in the Sherbrooke region of Quebec, where multiple spot urine samples are being collected pre-conception and during pregnancy, following procedures developed by the Diet, Exercise and health Research group at Aberystwyth University.
Prior to this I was the Future Foods Food Intervention Trials Health Assessments & Scientific co-ordinator at AU. Working with a team of experienced technicians I managed a range of company-led collaborations, within which I designed, organised and managed food interventions to investigate the impact of new food products on human health and well-being. I spent considerable effort co-writing the Welsh Government Food Development Framework bid with colleagues, which we won.
I assisted with the launch of the Well-being and Health Assessment Research Unit (WARU) at AU, which has enabled the undertaking of research activity to promote health and well-being in the community. From 2016 onwards, I have been responsible for the establishment of many capabilities within WARU, which allowed the Institute to undertake small clinical trials and thus help link its translational research to human health. WARU activities has enabled me to become co-investigator/named researcher on a clinic-based study, which started in October 2020 (Healthy for my Baby) in the Sherbrooke region of Quebec, where multiple spot urine samples will be collected. I am a co-investigator on a GCRF funded project - dietary patterns, microbiome, metabolome and cardiovascular disease risk in transitioning India. I have recently helped co-ordinate an MRC Programme Grant, which we were awarded in September 2022.