Catherine Itsiopoulos - Everything in moderation

Head of School of Allied Health and Professor of Dietetics at La Trobe University

Head of School of Allied Health and Professor of Dietetics at La Trobe University

Catherine Itsiopoulos

Everything in moderation

Catherine is a recognised leader in Dietetics and has international standing as a leader in Mediterranean diet research. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, deputy chair of the Australian Dietetics Council, and is the founding head of the department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at La Trobe University. Her current role is Head of School of Allied Health where she heads 11 disciplines and a staff in excess of 120 EFT. Previous positions include Associate Dean International Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University, Head of School of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Canberra, manager Accreditation and Recognition Services, Dietitians Association of Australia , Fellow of the CRE in Diabetes, University of Melbourne.

Catherine has an established research leadership role at La Trobe University and is the champion of the Food Cluster in the Securing Food Water and Environment Research Focus Area, member of the steering committee for the Understanding Disease Research Focus Area, and chair of the Mediterranean Research Consortium (a research/ industry collaborative).

Catherine is a member of the Evaluation Committee of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council World Forum for Nutrition Research. Recently invited to Chair the Olive Oil Wellness Institute. Catherine’s specific research area of interest is Mediterranean diet studies focusing both on migration impact on diet and lifestyle and chronic disease risk and dietary clinical intervention trials using the traditional Cretan Mediterranean diet (and elements of) as intervention models in the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression and mood disorders. Her interests span whole of diet interventions, modulating individual components of diet such as omega-3/omega-6 ratio and pharmacological doses of long-chain omega-3s through diet, and culinary herb and spice placebo controlled capsule trials. Her clinical laboratory interests include measurement of dietary intake, plasma biomarkers of diet, body composition and body fat distribution, and inflammatory markers of CVD risk.

Catherine has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications with 1231 citations , has an h-index of 18 including 20 papers in the last 5 years with at least 10 citations . Catherine has also authored an RACGP HANDII Guideline on Mediterranean Diet in CHD management, 3 book chapters, co-edited a Nutrition textbook, and has published 2 Mediterranean Diet Cookbooks (The Mediterranean Diet 2013, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook 2015). 

Research Grants and Fellowships: Catherine has been a CI on 11 successful grants over the past 5 years and has raised in excess of $2.9M across her career.

Catherine Itsiopoulos - Her Story

Catherine has always had an interest in medicine, and followed her passion in completing a science degree and undergoing a placement in a micro-lab. After realising she preferred to work in a more collaborative environment, she did a dietetics degree at Deakin University and went on to work in a clinical role at Alfred Hospital.

After gaining a foundation in the hospital, she moved on to complete a public health degree and gravitated toward a career in academia.  Along the line she met her career mentor – Professor Kerin O’Dea – under whom she completed her PhD.

Catherine has developed a wide-ranging experience in her field - from a clinical, academic, research and project management spaces. Having spent many years in academia she has a strong focus on developing and mentoring graduates however her main research is focused on the Mediterranean diet – and her passion in the field has allowed her many opportunities in many different places around the world.


Catherine Itsiopoulos - Advice for Others

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

  • Education is the lifeblood of opportunity. There are many doors to open, sometimes it’s worth stepping away and doing something completely different for a while.
  • Always be on the look out for opportunities, drive toward a goal and get a mentor!
  • Passion is key, especially when taking on big commitments and feeling a sense of purpose.
  • Take accountability for your responsibilities, own your actions and learn from the disappointments.
  • From a health standpoint, anything offering a ‘quick fix’ is too good to be true...


Catherine Itsiopoulos - Key Habits

Regarding your health, it’s worth consulting an expert or a dietician. Everyone has unique bodies and unique needs, sometimes you might be thin but you might not be healthy.


The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
By Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos

Catherine Itsiopoulos - Book Recommendations

Catherine has written two books, both with stories and principles from her research behind them as she not only wants to change policy, but also people’s lives. They contain menus and advice for a range of individuals - whether it be to maintain your weight or stave off chronic disease.


Contacting Catherine Itsiopoulos

Feel free to reach out to Catherine on LinkedIn or her email ( to discuss anything from career advice, diet tips or critiques on her work.